By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
Are you feeling fatigued and feel that it is difficult to make it through the day? Here are the top reasons for a lack of energy and suggestions to improve your energy level:
Lack of sleep:
This may seem like an obvious reason for fatigue, but statistics show that 1 in 3 of adults in the U.S. are not getting enough sleep. According to The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, it is recommended that people ages 18-60 need seven or more hours of sleep per night for optimal health. If you are not getting at least seven, this can not only cause fatigue but be detrimental for your health over time.
If your diet is full of sugar, simple carbohydrates and processed food, this will be a major contributor to fatigue. Maintaining a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean and unprocessed meats, and whole grains can boost your energy level.
A few tips: Never skip breakfast, eat at regular intervals and drink enough water. Lack of water in your diet can cause dehydration, which can worsen fatigue.
If you have a diet poor in nutrients, you can acquire a vitamin deficiency such as low Vit B12, which can further worsen fatigue.
Lack of exercise:
When you are feeling fatigued, sitting on the couch can seem like the best thing to do. But getting up and moving around can re-energize you!
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest that all adults need 2 hours, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week and muscle-strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups two or more days per week.
A little stress can be healthy and might make us more alert and able to perform better in tasks such as interviews, but stress is a positive thing only if it is short-lived. Excessive, prolonged stress can cause physical and emotional exhaustion and lead to illness. If the pressures that you face are making you feel overtired or giving you headaches, migraines or tense muscles, don’t ignore these signals.
If you are making the necessary lifestyle changes but still feel tired all the time, there may be an undiagnosed medical problem. Some of the most common are anemia, underactive thyroid, diabetes, anxiety, depression, food intolerance, heart disease, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
If you are concerned that you have a medical condition causing fatigue, you will want to discuss this with your healthcare provider.