With 1 in 5 of us feeling unusually tired and 1 in 10 of us suffering chronic tiredness, you aren’t alone in struggling with fatigue. So Katie shares part two of her top ten tips of how to beat it and feel full of health and vitality.
It is always important to note that fatigue is a symptom of many medical conditions which may need initial investigations to rule them out. Tiredness which isn’t relieved by a good nights sleep should warrant a visit to the doctor after about a month. If you have other symptoms such as nausea, weight loss, increased thirst, hair loss or changes to your bowel habit you should go sooner. Your GP will then usually carry out a blood test.
Common medical causes of tiredness include anaemia, early stage pregnancy, thyroid problems, side-effects of medication, diabetes or underlying infection. However once these have been ruled out, what can you do to help yourself feel better?
This may seem counter-intuitive, but doing some exercise may help you to feel less tired and more awake. Doing 30 minutes of low to moderate intensity exercise has been shown to help you feel more alert – as well as releasing lots of feel-good endorphins too. And the best news is that this leaves you feeling better than if you had eaten a chocolate bar! Bonus!
If you think that it is just the benefit of getting out and about that helps you to feel more awake, research shows that doing exercise indoors is just as effective as being outside. Although going outside tends to give you a better feeling of wellbeing.
If you exercise more it becomes easier to fall asleep at night, and thus get more sleep and feel less tired. This also has a positive impact on your mental health and wellbeing.
Exercise in this sense doesn’t mean a high impact session at the gym or an Insanity workout. It can mean a light walk into town, a gentle swim, or even hoovering your house. Just increase your heart rate and breathing and you are there!
- Try Eating a Small Amount of Dark Chocolate
There is research to show that eating 15mg of 85% cocoa content chocolate three times a day for eight weeks significantly improves fatigue in those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.
Unfortunately we do not fully understand why chronic fatigue occurs, and there is also poor understanding around general fatigue so the causes may be similar or different. If this is the case then dark chocolate may also help those suffering from general tiredness. It’s worth a try!
- Eat Meals at Regular Times
Surveys looking at the relationship between different habits and fatigue in healthy individuals directly have identified a link between eating at regular times with reduced levels of fatigue.
Ensuring you have at least 3 proper meals a day at roughly the same time is an easy way to try to combat fatigue. The importance of blood sugar balancing is a subject for a whole other blog and is vital for maintaining your energy, health and wellbeing!
- Stay Hydrated
Fatigue is a symptom of dehydration and some members of the population, especially the elderly, are prone to chronic dehydration.
This is an easy one to try out – increase your intake of liquid for a few days and see if you feel any better. There is also some evidence that tea might be good for hydration – although the study was funded by the UK Tea Advisory Panel! So maybe sticking to water would be the best place to start!
These are some quick fixes which should help you so let us know how you get on! And don’t forget, we are always on hand if you do have any questions or concerns about your energy levels and would like further help and support.