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How to combat fatigue

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The pace of modern life rarely lets up and it can be particularly difficult to meet all of your obligations and get through the day if you are suffering from fatigue. Fatigue is an increasingly common complaint, and it is most noticeable in middle age. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to combat fatigue and restore your energy levels so that you can get more out of life.

Check for health problems

The starting point if you are suffering from chronic fatigue is to speak to your physician so that they can rule out certain illnesses, for which fatigue can be a symptom. These include serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and thyroid disease. A blood test can usually rule out many of the more serious conditions and if you are wondering where to get one you can speak to your physician or go online to find out about local facilities that can provide a blood test.

Related to this potential cause of fatigue is medication. Unfortunately, many medications, including those for blood pressure, and drugs such as antihistamines and diuretics, can lead to fatigue. If your fatigue appears to be related to a new medication, speak to your doctor and they may be able to find you an alternative medication that doesn’t provoke the same side effects.

Physical activity

If you’ve ruled out medical conditions and medication side effects, the next step is to increase the amount of physical exercise you undertake. Exercising more when you feel fatigue may seem counter-intuitive, but multiple studies show that taking more exercise can have a range of benefits, including making your heart, muscles and lungs more efficient, which in turn gives you more energy.

Try yoga

Any exercise is good, but there is some evidence to suggest that yoga is particularly good at boosting energy levels. A study in the UK found that volunteers who took part in a once-a-week yoga class reported improvements in alertness, energy and clear-mindedness and similar results emerged from a study of men and women aged 65 to 85 conducted by the University of Oregon.

Hydrate

Dehydration is one of the leading causes of low energy and impaired physical performance. Research shows that athletes who are dehydrated struggle to perform at their best level, and it can also sap both concentration and alertness. It is easy to spot if you are not drinking enough water: if your urine is darker in color than a light yellow, then you may well be suffering from dehydration.

Get an early night

Lack of sleep is one of the more obvious causes of fatigue, but that doesn’t make it any less significant. The fact is that if you don’t get enough sleep, you will lack energy and focus, and you will also be at a greater risk of experiencing accidents. Good sleep habits may even have an impact on longevity. The secret to getting more sleep is not to stay in bed later in the morning, but to go to bed earlier the night before. And if you are short of sleep, try a 10-30-minute afternoon nap. This can boost your energy levels without affecting your regular sleep patterns.

Fish is good for you

Fish is one of the healthiest sources of protein available. Not only is it good for your heart, the omega-3 oils in fish can also boost your alertness and reduce fatigue. A 2009 study in Italy found that volunteers who took fish oil reported feeling more vigorous and showed faster reaction times.

Respect your body clock

Everyone’s body clock is different. Some of us are full of energy in the morning, while others are at their best in the evening or late afternoon. These differences in our energy patterns are the result of brain shape and genetics, and that means that they are hard to change. So instead of trying to fight your natural patterns, try to become more aware of your own daily rhythms. Once you know what time of day you are most energetic, you can try to schedule demanding activities for that peak time.

Lose the extra pounds

Losing those extra pounds can make a big difference to your energy levels. In fact, even small reductions in your body fat percentage have been found to boost mood, improve vigor, and raise the  individual’s quality of life. There are many ways to shed those pounds, but the most reliable methods include eating smaller portions, sticking to a more balanced diet and taking more exercise.

Conclusion

Too many of us accept a level of fatigue as a natural part of life, but in many cases, fatigue is instead the result of lifestyle. With a few simple changes, you can boost your energy levels, ensuring that you are more alert, and that you can get more out of your life.

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