Fatigue and lack of energy is one of the more common complaints a doctor hears from women. If you find that you don't have the energy you used to have, there is a lot you can do right now to get back on track to a more energetic you.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES?
It is no surprise that women are tired; they are busier than ever. Many are juggling work, children, family and endless responsibilities — it is a recipe for fatigue. All of this hustle means that women are not taking care of themselves; not eating right, not getting enough nutrients, nor are they getting enough exercise or sleep.
Our busy lives leave us with low energy, irritability, stress, worn down immune systems, and may even lead more serious conditions like depression.
WHAT CAN I DO?
You might think that drinking coffee or taking other stimulants is a solution, but these are only temporary fixes that often lead to more fatigue in the future. If you are looking for a better way to ensure your long-term energy needs, try these energy boosters:
• Exercise is an important part of your fatigue-fighting routine. Research has shown that regular exercise releases endorphins which help us feel good and exercise has been shown to reduce tiredness.i
• Getting a good night's sleep is one of the best tools in your fatigue-fighting arsenal. Try going to bed at the same time every day, avoiding caffeine late in the day, or read a book instead of watching TV.
• Food is the fuel for your body; try eating healthier, avoiding sugar and processed foods, and don't skip meals.
• Take care of yourself. A massage, lunch with friends, a walk in the woods can all help. Take time during the day to relax (even 10 minutes alone can help). *
• Supplementation: **
◊ Multivitamin: even if you try to eat healthy, you may be lacking some key nutrients, so a good multivitamin is a great place to start.
◊ B-Vitamins (including B12 and folate) are important in many metabolic processes in the body and have long been used for people looking for energy. In a study, supplementing with extra B vitamins improved energy, stress, mental health, and improve cognitive performance.ii
◊ Magnesium deficiency is one of the more common deficiencies in America, with close to half of people in the US not getting enough.iii Magnesium is required for over 300 processes in the body, including the breakdown of glucose into energy. The best form of magnesium to take is a time-release formula; to ensure a steady stream of magnesium.
◊ Iron is an important mineral for women who are still menstruating and low iron can lead to lack of energy, especially in young women who have heavy menstrual bleeding. iv
Your lack of energy can be turned around with a little effort and good nutritional supplementation. Remember that fatigue can be a sign of an underlying condition. If your fatigue persists, check with your health care provider.
i Puetz TW, Flowers SS, O'Connor PJ. A randomized controlled trial of the effect of aerobic exercise training on feelings of energy and fatigue in sedentary young adults with persistent fatigue. Psychother Psychosom. 2008;77(3):167-74. PMID: 18277063. ii Engels A, Schröer U, Schremmer D. Efficacy of a combination therapy with vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid for general feeling of ill-health. Results of a non-interventional post-marketing surveillance study]. MMW Fortschr Med. 2008 Jan 17;149 Suppl 4:162-6. PMID: 18402241.
iii Rosanoff A, Weaver CM, Rude RK. Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated? Nutr Rev. 2012 Mar;70(3):153-64. PMID: 22364157.
iv Wang W, Bourgeois T, Klima J, et al. Iron deficiency and fatigue in adolescent females with heavy menstrual bleeding. Haemophilia. 2013 Mar;19(2):225-3. PMID: 23106971.
Last update: 05/08/13
Posted on: 05/06/13
Information courtesy of Shaklee Corporation.
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