At certain times in life, you’re overwhelmed with exhaustion. You get out of bed feeling like you’ve not had any rest and drag yourself about, lethargic and exhausted all day, which prevents you from performing as you should be both at work and in the gym. We’d like to help you learn how to combat fatigue, and provide practical advice to overcome it. You’ll be feeling like new again in no time!

 

What is fatigue?

Fatigue is the feeling of being extremely tired, exhausted with no energy, which is normal as a result of physical exercise, or lack of sleep, or even thanks to a hectic lifestyle and stress. It can also be as a result of psychological factors, a lack of motivation and apathy – which won’t benefit from a good night’s sleep, healthy meal or mental relaxation. This is when it becomes important to see a specialist.

 

The causes of fatigue are many and varied:

  • Lack of rest
  • Ineffective rest
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Infections, anaemia, allergies or hypothyroidism.
  • Excessive physical exercise
  • Stress or anxiety

At times, exhaustion may resolve itself with a good day’s rest, but on other occasions it turns into a chronic disease, where the patient is so exhausted that he or she cannot go about their normal daily routines, affecting them at an emotional level.

 

Symptoms of fatigue

Fatigue resulting purely from physical effort also involves muscular weakness, general aches and pains, a lack of appetite, lowered defences, and poor sports performance (inability to reach your goals, failing to turn up for workouts).

Mental fatigue affects concentration, memory, learning capacity, and usually goes hand in hand with sleepiness, headache, dizziness, depression, despondency, irritability, crying and the inability to deal with even minor issues.

 

Cures for fatigue

  • Make sure you get 8 hours of sleep, in silence and in the dark. The bedroom should be around 21 degrees, and you should sleep face up or on your side.
  • Eat a light dinner, so that digestion doesn’t disrupt your rest.
  • Don’t skip breakfast. If you do, you’ll be lacking energy in the morning. Remember to include protein, carbs, some fat and a good dose of vitamins from fruit or juice.
  • Flush out toxins. Fatigue can sometimes be a result of your body building up excess toxins. Do a one-day cleanse based on fruit and veg, and you’ll feel like new.
  • Control your schedule. Follow a strict routine for mealtimes, sleep and work. This means your biological clock isn’t affected and you’re adhering to its timetable.
  • Plan your day. Chaos is twice as tiring as the same activity done in an orderly manner. If you’re organised, you won’t be running around like a headless chicken, meaning you can relax.
  • Learn to delegate. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Some help is needed if you want to avoid overloading both your body and mind.
  • Take a break from sports too. Working out is crucial is you want to break a personal best or you’re training for an event, but your muscles need their rest too. Rest for at least one or two days after five days in a row of training. If you don’t do this, you’ll accumulate lactic acid and feel worn out.
  • Don’t be a couch potato. One thing is not overdoing it with exercise, and another spending the entire weekend lounging about. Being sedentary induces mental fatigue and it won’t help when it comes to sleeping at night. Practice a sport regularly to relax your mind and improve your circulation and breathing.
  • Set aside some time to have a nice, relaxing bath, listen to soothing music or read your favourite book. Switching up your activities and stopping for a few minutes a day will help you to prevent a build-up of fatigue.
  • Breathe deeply and consciously for 2 minutes when you get up, and before you go to bed. Clear your mind and be conscious of how the air enters your lungs, inflates your belly and expands your diaphragm. Exhale releasing air through your mouth and emptying your lungs fully.

 

You might need these nutrients to overcome fatigue: complex carbs, B group vitamins, protein, and tryptophan must all be present in your diet. You’ll find these in beef, chicken, turkey, white and oily fish, oats, nuts, wholemeal bread, pasta or rice, milk and dairy products, flaxseed, lentils, bananas, mandarins, red berries, carrots, tomatoes, and more.

Don’t give up. Follow our advice and put some oomph into your life.