Research reveals one in three people admit to being permanently worn out because of the pace of modern life
Do you struggle to get out of bed, feel constantly drained and rely on pick-me-ups such as protein bars, coffee and sugary treats to get you through the day? If so, you’re far from alone. Research reveals one in three people admit to being permanently worn out because of the pace of modern life.
As a result, sales of supplements, energy drinks and power bars have shot up as part of our desperate bid to battle exhaustion, reported Mirror. Here are a few reasons why you are constantly worn out and how to counter them for a healthier lifestyle.
1. You’re not exercising enough
Light exercise can reduce fatigue. It might be the last thing you feel like doing, but avoiding exercise because you’re tired actually makes you feel worse. In a University of Georgia study, sedentary but otherwise healthy adults who began exercising lightly three days a week for just 20 minutes reported feeling less fatigued and more energised after six weeks. This is because regular exercise makes your heart and lungs work more efficiently, delivering oxygen and vital nutrients around the body. Next time you’re tempted to flop on the sofa, force yourself up for a brisk 10-minute walk – you’ll feel more alert.
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2. You’re missing out on vital B-vitamins
It’s vital to eat foods with B vitamins. Nutritionist Rob Hobson explains: “We all have increasingly busy lives; so, it’s essential to provide the body with enough calories and vitamins to get through the day”. He stresses that B-vitamins are particularly vital as they’re required by the body to convert the food you eat into energy. “You can find this group of vitamins in grains such as brown rice, barley and oats, as well as lean proteins such as oily fish and turkey,” says Rob.
3. You don’t sleep as well as you think
Switch off gadgets before bedtime otherwise you’ll have broken sleep. Recent research shows many of us survive on so-called ‘junk sleep’ – the kind when we wake up frequently throughout the night. It doesn’t replenish our energy levels as well as long stretches of continuous sleep. Junk sleep can be caused by stress, but also by over-stimulating the brain too close to bedtime. For example, by checking emails or using tablets and smartphones that emit a blue light found to disrupt sleep by tricking the brain into producing ‘wake-up’ hormones right when you need to wind down.To avoid junk sleep, you need to develop good sleep hygiene – which means going to bed at a set time, banning screens for an hour beforehand and developing a wind-down routine that prepares your body for sleep, such as a warm bath, followed by a milky drink and half-an-hour reading something easy-going.
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4. You’re overdosing on sugar
You can easily crash after a sugar boost. Nutritionist Linda Foster says: “What many people don’t realise is that they can actually feel more tired by the very foods supposed to give them energy”.
She further adds that sugary energy drinks and snack foods such as biscuits, chocolate and crisps cause sharp spikes and dips in blood sugar that can leave you flagging, irritable and desperate for a mid-afternoon nap. Swap to low-sugar foods – this includes avoiding white carbs such as bread and pasta which quickly convert to sugar in the body. Linda says: “Instead, choose wholegrain carbs such as granary bread, wholemeal pasta and brown rice which release energy more slowly. And eat them little and often to keep your blood sugar stable.”
5. You’re storing up stress
Take a break! The stress of daily life can be exhausting. While a little stress helps to keep us on our toes, long-term stress, for example from work or relationship problems, can exhaust the body, as well as being emotionally draining. It’s our response to stress that’s much more damaging to our health than the stress itself. So, by learning how to diffuse stressful situations, we can reduce their impact. When stress strikes, instead of going frantic to fix things, try to slow down and take a break instead. Call a friend, walk the dog or do some yoga.
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6. You’re skimping on protein
Get some protein into your diet. Surviving on fruit and salad might feel worthy, but avoiding protein in the form of meat, dairy and nuts will leave you exhausted, as it’s a vital energy giver.It also takes more time for protein to be broken down in the body, so the energy is released more slowly and it fills you up for a longer period of time.Snack on protein to keep energy levels stable. Eating a minimum of a palm-sized amount of protein with meals, and eating seeds and nuts or nut butters can prevent tiredness. Good protein sources are meat, fish, cheese, tofu, beans, lentils, yogurt, nuts and seeds.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2015.
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