|I couldn't resist this image - Dog Tired?|
Feeling tired and fatigued all the time can be caused by a variety of factors, including lack of sleep, poor nutrition, stress, and physical illness. Whatever the cause of your fatigue, there are some simple things you can do to help alleviate the constant tiredness. Here are my tips to fight fatigue.
1. Eat little and often
Eating regular small meals and snacks helps to stabilise your blood sugar and energy levels throughout the day. Aim to eat a healthy meal or snack every three to four hours. Choose healthy options and stick to small portions, especially if you are trying to lose weight or improve an existing health condition. Fruit, salad, nuts, yogurt, wholegrain cereal, oily fish, and lean chicken are all excellent foods for boosting your energy levels and beating fatigue.
While fatigue may rob you of the desire to do anything strenuous, exercise is one of the best ways to beat tiredness and fatigue in the long run. Start small and gradually build up the amount of exercise you take each day. If your fatigue is particularly bad, you could start by taking a ten minute walk to the shops each day. If you have a health condition that restricts your mobility, try doing some gentle stretching exercises from your armchair.
3. Watch your weight
Being overweight puts a strain on your heart and other vital organs. The more overweight you are, the harder your heart has to work to carry all the excess weight. This can leave you feeling tired and drained. Being overweight can also put a strain on your joints, making exercise more difficult and tiring than it should be. Try to get your weight within healthy limits and aim to reach your ideal BMI (body mass index).
4. Curb your drinking
Excessive alcohol intake depletes your energy stores for the next day. Regularly drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can leave you feeling constantly tired and fatigued. Aim to keep your alcohol intake within the recommended limits and try to avoid binge drinking. Caffeine drinks, such as tea, coffee, and cola, can also drain your body of energy and should be avoided as much as possible. Switch to decaffeinated coffee and herbal tea.
5. Drink more water
Dehydration is a common cause of lethargy and fatigue. Many of us have lost the ability to recognise when we are thirsty, so even if you don’t feel the urge to drink water, you may still be dehydrated. Make sure you are drinking at least two litres of water every day, increasing this amount in hot weather or when doing strenuous exercise. You may also need to increase your intake of water if you are overweight or suffering from ill health.
6. Learn to relax
Stress takes its toll on the human body and uses up vital nutrients from our bodily reserves. Learning to relax reduces your general stress levels and takes the strain off your body. Try to make time to do something you enjoy every day – take a relaxing bath, chat with friends, have a massage, or read a book. Learn a relaxation technique or join a meditation class to help you learn to deal with stress more effectively.
7. Get your full eight hours sleep
Fatigue may simply be the result of not getting enough sleep. Many people have trouble getting to sleep, or staying asleep, and make matters worse by lying in bed worrying about their problems. If you can’t sleep, get up and do something that will help to shift your focus. Clean the kitchen, make a milky drink, take a bath, or read a book. If you find that worries are playing on your mind and preventing you from sleeping, write down your concerns before going to bed and promise yourself that you’ll deal with them in the morning.