Feeling tired? Hitting a wall after lunch? Need more energy? Juggling the demands of modern life can lead to poor choices that zap us of much-needed energy. Put a spring in to your step with these seven health-boosting tips.
EAT A RAINBOW
Before you reach for the A-Z of supplements, instead turn to the rainbow of fresh fruit and veggies that we have at our fingertips. The more colour, the better, as each food colour carries its own set of unique disease fighting chemicals and health enhancing properties A variety of fruit and veg in your diet will ensure you get the vitamins and minerals you need.
BOOST IRON LEVELS
Low amounts of iron in the blood can starve cells of oxygen and cause fatigue. Make sure your diet includes iron-rich foods such as lean red meat, chicken and fish. Include lots of plant-based foods, such as wholegrain breads, legumes, green leafy veg as well as eggs, especially if you don’t eat meat. To enhance iron absorption, team with vitamin-C rich foods like citrus, capsicum, kiwi, tomato, broccoli and strawberries.
Small and often is good for longer lasting energy. Schedule regular meals and healthy snacks every three to four hours. This will help keep blood sugar levels on an even keel and help you avoid the after work fridge-raid.
WATER IS YOUR BFF
Two-thirds of your body is made up of water, so it makes sense to reach for a glass of H20 before anything else. Remember, dehydration equals tiredness. To know if you’re drinking enough water – the proof is in the pee. You’re likely to be on the right track if your urine is clear or pale. If it’s dark or you’re thirsty, keep on drinking!
MEDICATE WITH MOVEMENT
When it comes to health, Aussies have come to expect a quick fix. Forget the pills and prescribe yourself some exercise. Exercise boosts energy and mood by releasing endorphins – aka “happy hormones”. Be active in as many ways as you can. Walk or cycle instead of using the car and do things yourself instead of using labour-saving machines such as remote controls. Take ‘long’ cuts rather than short cuts. Change your mindset from ‘what is the quickest way?’ to ‘what is the most active way?’
UNSWEETEN THE DEAL
Fighting brain fog and exhaustion with spoonfuls of the hyper sweet stuff may satisfy short term, but soaring blood sugar levels quickly plummet leaving you cranky, and craving more. Instead of that chocolate bar, go for naturally sweet fresh fruit and veg. For variety, try roasting or grilling with a dash of spice, like cinnamon. After a while, your taste buds will become more sensitive to artificial sugar, making the cookies, cakes or ice-cream less appealing.
It’s easy to put off going to bed to watch another episode of Orange is the New Black. But sleep is vital and one of the most important things for physical and mental well-being. Prime yourself for a good night’s rest and avoid alcohol, caffeine, heavy exercise and scrolling through your instagram feed too close to bedtime. Experiment with different relaxation techniques until you find one that works for you. Think deep breathing, light stretches or a warm bath.
In some cases, fatigue is a symptom of an underlying medical problem so be sure to see your GP if you are concerned.
HOW DO YOU FIGHT FATIGUE?