4 Easy Ways to Beat Fatigue...Naturally!
In today’s world, we are constantly on the go, a steady state “busy-ness” is the norm, and we’re always running from one responsibility to the next - literally! So, it’s no wonder that physical fatigue is such a common complaint.
The good news is that there are some really simple (and natural) ways to increase your energy so you can keep up with your busy life.
Get off the blood sugar roller coaster
One of the simplest ways we can boost our energy is to stabilize blood sugar. When we don’t eat enough food throughout the day or when we eat foods that are higher in sugar, our energy levels bottom out.
You can balance your blood sugar, and boost your energy naturally by:
● Eating every 3-4 hours gives your body the nutrients and fuel it needs to keep your blood sugar - and energy levels steady
● Consuming foods that are low on the glycemic index (think fruits and veggies, whole grains) instead of the higher sugar white breads and pastas.
● Eating protein with every meal to slow down the release of carbohydrates into your bloodstream. Protein is broken down and released slower so you’re less likely to have a blood sugar spike and subsequent crash.
You like to move it, move it!
When you’re tired, the last thing you want to do is exercise. However, as hard as it can be to get your butt off the couch, it’s one of the best things you can do to fight fatigue.
Doing Cardio and High Intensity Interval Training are great for getting your energy up as they work the cardio-vascular system. Boxing, Kickboxing, Martial arts, gymnastics, playing baseball, any sports you play, swimming, running, walking and let’s not forget dancing are great ways to get your cardio in!
Resistance training is great for boosting your energy too because building lean muscle helps with boosting your metabolism, which can help boost your energy as well.
And as much as some people have this misconception about yoga, that it is just for relaxing and stretching, it actually can be quite energizing and evening detoxifying! And there’s even Yoga HIIT which is Yoga and High Intensity Interval Training mixed together. In Yoga, you can use expanding breath which helps open up your lungs and expands your chest to allow more oxygen in, which can help energize your body. Poses like Warrior sequences, sunflowers, moon flows, back bends (of course be gentle with yourself when going into them), any plank movements (downward dog to plank, side planks etc), chair & twisting chair flow, and lunges to work the bigger muscles, to help build heat, energize and detoxify your body.
And, it turns out that you don’t even have to commit to a long workout!
A California State University study hyperlink to this study: https://web.csulb.edu/misc/inside/archives/vol_58_no_4/1.htm concluded that even a brisk 10-minute walk can increase your energy for up to 2 hours.
So when you feel that afternoon slump coming on, skip the coffee and lace up your running shoes instead.
Up your sleep game
It may seem obvious that lack of sleep causes fatigue. However did you know that the quality of your sleep can have an even bigger impact on your daily energy? Even slight disturbances in our sleep can affect how rested we feel the next day.
Here are a couple of tips for a more restful sleep:
● Avoid tech in the bedroom, or within 1-2 hours of bedtime. Even the small amount of light, especially the blue light emitted from devices, interrupts your body’s circadian rhythm. Your brain still thinks it’s daytime and won’t wind down.
● No Late Night Eating! Eating within 2-3 hours before bed can actually cause you to stay awake even longer. Set a “food boundary” with yourself by giving yourself a cut off time based on when you’re going to bed. For example, going to bed at 11:00 PM, then last time to eat should be 7:30/8:00 PM. Try to keep last meal or snack on the lighter side. Having undigested food, feeling bloated or dealing with heart burn and indigestion can all keep you awake at night, and leave you feeling tired the next day as well.
● Avoid caffeine late in the day (past 12:00 or 2:00 pm) - or avoid all together if this is a problem for you or if you have anxiety, as caffeine can be over-stimulating
● Try to create a regular sleep/wake schedule to help your body develop a sleep routine = good sleep hygiene.
● Dab a bit of calming lavender or serenity (restful blend) essential oil on your temples before bed, on the back of your neck or on the bottoms of your feet or you can put a few drops on your pillow. Breathe in the calm. You may also use a diffuser to and lavender and serenity essential oil to help
● do some deep breathing, meditating stretching or something relaxing like a hot bath to help you relax, if you have a hard time getting to sleep
● Sleepy teas (I especially like the one called relaxing tea by triple leaf!) and supplements may also help you get to sleep at night. If you have anxiety, valerian root is a good supplement to take at night to help relax before bed and get a restful nights sleep. Melatonin is also good to use to get a more restful sleep at night also or if you have to completely reset your sleep schedule. Keep in mind, you don’t want to take it every night and be dependent on it as your body produces this naturally. It’s good to take once in a while when its really needed and all the other natural methods aren’t working.
Before you reach for that coffee or energy drink to perk you up, consider switching to plain old water. While caffeine is usually the first choice for busting out of an energy slump, it can be dehydrating.
And then there’s dehydration. Even mild dehydration impairs our concentration, decreases our mood and zaps our energy.
What if you don’t like water?
Yes, I’ve heard this one before. And had clients that just don’t like the taste of water. There are some other ways of getting water other than just drinking water. You can add flavours to your water like adding fresh lime, lemon or mint. Sometimes In the summer, we add mint, cucumber and lime to our water to give it a fresh tasting flavour. You can even add doterra lemon essentail oil, or lime, or peppermint. Of course, first make sure the oils you are using are safe for ingesting or dietary use. Doterra essential oils are pure and lost which ones are ok for dietary use.
Believe it or not, you can eat even your water-fruits like watermelon and strawberry are mostly made or water, as well as veggies like cucumbers, celery and iceburg lettuce.
How do you know if you may be dehydrated?
Check the colour of your urine. If it’s the colour of straw, you’re good to go. If it’s a darker yellow colour, it’s time to drink up.
If you’re still craving a caffeine hit, try the Energizing Matcha Smoothie recipe below.
Matcha gives a longer lasting energy boost than coffee. It doesn’t hit you hard and then cause you to crash. Plus the recipe really is delicious!
Energizing Vanilla Matcha Smoothie
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (your choice, no added sugar)
1-2 tsp matcha green tea powder (start with less if you’re new to matcha - it packs a kick!)
½ frozen banana
Ice cubes (optional)
1 large handful of spinach or kale (optional, but recommended)
How to prepare
Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until desired smoothness is achieved. Sip and enjoy!
Glycemic Index Foundation - https://www.gisymbol.com/about-glycemic-index/
California State University Long Beach, Public Affairs & Publications - https://web.csulb.edu/misc/inside/archives/vol_58_no_4/1.htm
National Sleep Foundation - https://sleepfoundation.org/press-release/what-good-quality-sleep