Feeling Sluggish?

In this blog post I talk about 5 things that you can implement right now to help combat fatigue. 

 

Lately, I have been feeling super run down - like a bag of potatoes that has been dragged through a field backwards.

I was feeling tired, sluggish and cranky! It was hard getting out of bed and my usual 1-2 cups of coffee wasn’t cutting it anymore. I wasn’t exercising and I was eating too much of the wrong thing!

Fun times :-( 

By taking a long hard look at my lifestyle - my day to day routine - and by taking action on things that were working against me I now feel completely rejuvenated and reenergised, like my old self again!

 

It's safe to say that we all go through phases of feeling sluggish and run down.

Find out what you can do right now to have limitless amounts of energy.

 

Exercise
You don’t train when you have the energy, you train to get the energy! The benefits of exercise are endless but for so many of us it becomes singular - training just for performance, aesthetics or health has become an obsession! We have forgotten that exercising for our wellbeing or happiness is equally as important.

The links between exercise and happiness have been scientifically proven. When we start exercising (specifically when we become out of breath) our brain initially recognises this as a stressful event and wants to protect us from this stress by releasing endorphins. The chemical endorphins are the hormones responsible for us feeling of happy.

To further protect us from stress when we exercise a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) is also released. This protein is the reason why we often feel so clear and calm after exercising (another incredible benefit).

However, much like we have with food we have started to abuse our relationship with exercise.

We are very quick to use exercise to manage our weight and enhance our performance but rarely do we focus as much effort on the role exercise will play in transforming our mental and spiritual health. Exercise is one of the most powerful tools to increase a persons happiness and wellbeing. Sadly, it is probably one of the most under-utilised tools for reducing stress and anxiety, increasing happiness, positivity and over all health!

Since I started walking and training more regularly (even if I didn’t want to) nothing but good things happened.

Water
I’d say I was drinking between 1-2 litres of liquid a day, which included coffee and herbal tea. By increasing my water intake by up to 2 litres alone I felt instantly better.  A great to check how hydrated you are is to monitor your tinkle - if your tinkle is not a pale yellow means this means you most definitely would benefit from more water.  

Not only has increasing the amount of water I drink made me sharper and more alert but my skin is looking so much better too!

Sleep
Sleep is crucial for our wellbeing and health yet so many of us aren’t getting enough. I simply wasn’t sleeping enough.

The time spent lying in bed does not count as sleeping, it’s really important to understand this difference.  Even though I was lying in bed for 7 hours some nights I most certainly wasn’t sleeping for this.  

Sleepiness tends to cause slower brain waves in the frontal cortex (the problem solving part of the brain), shortened attention span, higher anxiety, impaired memory, and a grouchy mood. Conversely, a well-rested brain and body tends to have improved memory and mood.

Improving the quantity and quality of your sleep can be one of the easiest and best things to increase your happiness and health. With a good bed time routine and a little discipline you can  you can sleep for 8 hours every night. Make sure that your bedroom is cool, dark and that you avoid using any mobile devices around 30-60 minutes minutes minutes going to sleep so you can start the process of winding down. 

Food
The right food has the ability to make us feel, perform and look great. Conversely, when we feed our body rubbish, we will feel like rubbish!

Some of my biggest problems were that that I never ate enough carbs. This wasn’t because I was afraid of them, it was simply because I never knew how much was enough. I had to educate myself about how much carbs I should be eating. Now, I do not count (or save) my macros but I do understand how much of what I need to eat in order to feel good.

James has joked in the past that I am like a ticking time bomb after a dose of sugar. You can almost time the highs and lows down to the second. Whilst I really do enjoy the odd treat, sometimes it’s just not worth it!

I am mindful of what I eat and I eat with balance, moderation and perspective. I aspire to no one diet but I am inspired by them all. I eat to perform and not just in the gym but in life as well. I eat because I enjoy food and it adds value to my life.

I truly believe that food should add to your life in more ways it takes away from it.

B6
Whilst I can't speak with any authority on this I have noticed that taking a B6 supplement makes a massive difference in my day. I use to experience brain fog, and found it really difficult to concentrate but this reduced significantly when I started taking vitmanin B.

B vitamins are important for normal brain function and producing mood-boosting serotonin, with vitamins B12 and B6 being particularly beneficial for regulating your mood.

 

Body and Mind
Whenever I feel sluggish and run down I look to my lifestyle first and address the 5 crucial elements outlined above. 

A healthy mind can only exist in a healthy body. Our ability to add value and energy to this world is determined by what value and energy we take from it. 

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