Fatigue is something that plagues a massive percentage of our population. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to fatigue as it’s caused by such a large number of factors.
Feeling fatigued for lengthy periods of time can be detrimental to the body by increasing cortisol, our stress hormone, depleting magnesium and other vital nutrients and can even affect our diet – let’s face it, when we feel like crap, no one wants to prepare healthy food.
So what can we do to get more energy, fight fatigue and get back on track?
This may seem obvious, but most people really don’t get enough quality sleep. I know what it’s like to be a night owl – especially if you have young kids, night time feels like the only time you get to breathe, have me-time or get things done! But for the sake of your health, it really is important to try to be in bed, lights out and dozing off by 10.30 at the latest. Get yourself a solid 8 hours and see the difference it makes.
I can’t “stress” this enough (pun intended) – stress does some pretty awful things to our body. Stress puts a massive strain on our adrenal glands and thyroid, it can deplete our body of magnesium (needed for a lot of things, including energy) and when you’re stressed out, generally you don’t tend to sleep very well which obviously leads to fatigue.
Try to take up meditation, yoga, or slip in 10 minutes of de-stressing ‘me-time’ once a day to lower the stress in your life. Sip some chamomile tea, light some candles and indulge in a bubble bath. You deserve it!
Stimulants Make You Fatigued
It may not really seem like it, but stimulants such as refined sugar and caffeine actually contribute to fatigue. As a rule, try to limit caffeine intake to one to two coffees per day. Coffee actually has its health benefits in small doses, however, when you consume more than you probably should, it begins to take its toll on your adrenal glands, leading to fatigue and other issues. Sugar is a no-brainer – if you have a diet rich in refined sugar, you’re eventually going to crash and crash hard. While you’re at it, slow down on the alcohol intake as well!
Protein with every meal, especially breakfast is so absolutely vital for energy and stabilising our blood sugars! Many of us do consume protein, but it’s usually the incorrect type. If you find the protein you consume is mostly fast food, mince, sandwich meats, processed or comes wrapped in pastry – try swapping for proteins such as legumes, lentils, nuts and seeds, whole, lean meats like chicken, fish or kangaroo. These are the kinds of protein you really want in your life.
It’s always a good idea to get some blood tests done through your GP or naturopath to check all is well within! Start by asking for iron studies, thyroid function tests, vitamin D, 24hr cortisol and DHEA-S as well as your B12 and folate.
I believe we should get our nutrients from our food. Unfortunately, in this day and age, our soils are so depleted, that it really is almost impossible to do. I take a multivitamin, every day and I strongly believe that many people would do well on a good quality multi too (see your naturopath for a good quality supplement – some retail brands really lack quality and quantity).
For fatigue, you could ask your naturopath about supplements such as the multi I mentioned above, as well as a magnesium bisglycinate supplement and high-quality fish oil.
This is a bit of a doozy to get happening with fatigued people. You feel way too tired to exercise, yet if you actually did get out there and move, you’d feel less fatigued. It’s a catch-22. Exercising is the last thing you feel like doing when you’re tired out of your mind! Exercising doesn’t mean you have to get out of bed at sparrow’s fart either. Choose a time that suits you, start off light and force yourself out the door!
This is something that hardly anyone thinks of! The gut is just so important in so many ways. For fatigue, if your gut is not functioning properly, you won’t absorb nutrients such as iron, magnesium, b vitamins, etc. If you don’t absorb these and more, you will wind up feeling super tired. Ask your naturopath about setting up a treatment plan to ensure you’re absorbing all those delicious nutrients from your food!
If you are looking to take your health and well-being to another level, why not get involved in Martial Arts? At Wu Xing Dao Kung Fu, we take a holistic approach to Martial Arts. It’s not just about learning self-defence and punching and kicking, it’s also about self-discipline, health and nutrition.
After you have enrolled in martial art classes, we take time to help you understand the different types of martial arts and the various life skills that come with them. This allows you to make an informed decision when choosing the martial arts style you would like to learn. We ensure that every trainee learns how to defend themselves effectively as well as enjoy the many other benefits that martial arts offer.