Most of us suffer from fatigue at some point in our lives. While this may be because of illness sometimes, if problems with fatigue persist then it could be your lifestyle which is to blame. Many factors can contribute to fatigue, such as poor diet, lack of exercise, stress and insufficient sleep. Here are a few tips to help you fight the problem.
Cut Out Caffeine
While caffeine may provide an instant boost to your energy, the effect doesn't tend to last that long and very soon you may find yourself feeling even more tired than before. The Royal College of Psychiatrists strongly recommends that anyone who tends to suffer from fatigue problems should attempt to give up caffeine altogether. Unfortunately, that goes not only for coffee but cola drinks and tea as well. The best advice is to cut out caffeine for three or four weeks to see if the fatigue is reduced. However, if you find you start experiencing severe headaches, try and wean yourself off it in stages.
Alcohol is another fatigue-inducing factor, although more so for some than others. A few drinks in the evening may leave you feeling relaxed and ready for bed, but the quality of sleep you get when you have alcohol in your body can be seriously affected. Therefore, cutting out alcohol altogether - or at least for a few days a week - will help you get a good night's rest on your single mattress, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to go in the morning. The NHS states that men should not exceed 3-4 units a day, while for women 2-3 units is the recommended limit.
While you may tell yourself you are far too tired for exercise, try and push yourself into it and before long you will find your energy levels are significantly increased. Your age and general health may be determining factors on the type of exercise you choose, but generally speaking the best strategy is to start off lightly - say a fifteen-minute walk each day - and then gradually increase the intensity until you have hit the recommended target of around two or three hours of moderate aerobic exercise each week. Cycling, swimming or fast walking are ideal activities.
As far as your diet is concerned, the best strategy is to eat less but more often. Taking regular small and healthy meals throughout the day every three hours or so is far better for you than simply eating three large meals a day. Good examples for snacks include fruit, cereal, yoghurt, grilled chicken, wholemeal bread and boiled eggs. In addition, should you be carrying excess weight then you are far more likely to suffer from fatigue. A low-fat diet and an exercise regime are highly recommended for those who are overweight.
While you may think you are feeling a little low on energy because you are hungry, more often than not the reality is that you are just a bit dehydrated. Dehydration can have a massive influence on fatigue problems, so ensuring you are sufficiently hydrated throughout the day is vital. Just plain water is generally the best remedy and drinking around eight glasses a day of it is recommended. However, if water is a touch bland for you, spice it up with a drop of cordial or even a slice of lemon.