If you’re anything like me, that extra cup of coffee just isn’t doing the trick these days. The effort it takes getting out of bed in the morning feels like the same effort needed to run a marathon. Mustering motivation to get to the gym is like trying to get water from a dry well. Winter fatigue has kicked in and the cold weather has us weary. Our physical and psychological energy seems dried up. Of course fatigue is not limited to the winter months but, boy oh boy, February seems never-ending. So how can we put vitality back in our lives and a spring in our step? Here are a few healthy tricks for fighting fatigue:
- Hydrate: Fatigue can be a sign of dehydration. Your body needs lots of water to perform well so ramp up your water intake.
- Nap: It goes without saying that a good night’s rest is essential when fighting fatigue. However, a short 20-30 minute nap is also a great energy booster. Napping can be the perfect reset button for both mental and physical fatigue.
- Move: Limit the time you sit down. Sedentary behavior, like sitting at your desk or watching television, helps to promote fatigue.
- Move More: Research shows that a moderate, consistent workout just three days a week can provide a significant increase in energy.
- Laugh:Studies have found that 15 minutes of laughing has the same physiological effect of two hours of sleep. So hit a local comedy club, rent a funny movie or watch silly YouTube videos.
- Massage: Fatigue can be a result of chronic stress and worry. Massage simultaneously increases circulation and relaxes the central nervous system. Thus, it gets your blood circulating and reduces stress. (Try the Indigo Spa at Hilton Head Health).
- Oatmeal: Lindsay Martin, RD at Hilton Head Health, recommends having a complex carbohydrate for breakfast, like oatmeal, with a piece of fruit or nuts. Complex carbs offer slower energy release and keep you energized longer.
- Tea: Lindsay also suggests using herbal teas to boost your energy. Find a tea that has a nice punch such as passion fruit or ginger.
- Fish:Omega-3 oils, found in many fish, may also boost alertness as well as quicken mental reaction. Studies have shown that eating fish can make people feel more vigorous.
- Vacation: There’s nothing like a short vacation for an energy reboot. A warm climate will help you refuel on vitamin D from the sun, heightening both your spirits and your energy.
What works for you to prevent fatigue?