Do you ever wake up feeling like you haven’t slept? Fatigue is exceptionally common in modern life as the demands of kids, work and family take their toll. This is not surprising as so many of us live frantic lives with long working days and even longer commutes. Our ever-increasing family and relationship commitments, and bumper social lives make it a constant juggle to get through the day. Many mums may find they have minimal time to rest and get our thoughts together to power on all over again.
While the demands of modern life are unlikely to change anytime soon, there are a few key lifestyle changes you can commit to that will help maintain energy levels on a daily basis. This will help you cruise to the end of your day, rather than collapse into it.
Ask yourself: are you getting enough iron?
If you are a meat eater, you need to eat red meat three to four times each week. Why? Because your body is programmed to absorb the iron it needs from red meat in order to transport oxygen around the body. If you do not give your body regular access to it, your stores will gradually be depleted and you will become tired.
Vegetarians are different as they are programmed to absorb their iron from non-meat sources. So, if you know your red meat intake may be on the low side – or if you are vegetarian – it may be time to have your iron checked by your local GP as low iron levels can contribute to extreme fatigue.
Ask yourself: are you getting enough Vitamin D?
A substantial number of Australians have low Vitamin D thanks to our focus on sun safety. Naturally, we spend a significant amount of time indoors working and caring for our children. Vitamin D has numerous functions in the body and is also known to help prevent a number of diseases. When it comes to energy levels, low Vitamin D also tends to result in lower mood states and muscle fatigue.
If you are not feeling 100% and cannot remember the last time you were in the sun, it may be time to have your Vitamin D checked by your local GP.
Ask yourself: are you eating enough fresh food?
For busy mums on the run it is easy to grab a one-off coffee, protein bar or pre-made sandwich in place of a home prepared and nutritious snack. While this is not an issue, if your diet is based solely around processed foods and supplements you will not be doing you energy or immune system any favours.
Fresh foods including fruits, grains, vegetables and seeds offer numerous nutritional benefits over any processed foods. This means you need these types of foods every single day to keep your training body at its best. As a general rule of thumb, the brighter the fresh food, the better it will be for you. Adults need two to three cups of brightly coloured vegetables and a couple of pieces of fruit every single day.
A simple way to get your vitamin hit each day includes grabbing a fresh juice, rather than a coffee, and keeping quick cook vegetable packs at work. You could also try snacking on fresh carrots and other cut up vegetables on a daily basis.
Ask yourself: are you relying on quick fixes?
The thing about consuming caffeine and other energy type drinks is that while they help increase liveliness, they are also likely to leave you feeling even worse than before. The reason for this is that even though stimulants will give you an initial “hit” they will also see a subsequent “drop” once the stimulant has been metabolised. For these reasons, using caffeine in small amounts regularly and avoiding all sugar-based drinks is a much better option than relying on them for an energy hit. Large volumes of water and some herbal tea are the best types of fluids to keep your body hydrated and your energy systems at their best.
Ask yourself: do you need to go to bed earlier?
One of the easiest ways of improving your energy levels and preventing fatigue is to simply get more sleep. While the regular adult averages just five to six hours of sleep a night – we need at least seven to nine hours to be at our best.
Try making the commitment to get into bed early a few nights each week. Remove all electronic equipment from the bedroom, including mobile phones, and practice getting to bed by 9pm or 10pm. Good sleep habits can be built over time and go a long way in managing your energy levels on a daily basis.
Article from Bellamy’s Organic