If you’re dragging yourself through the day, constantly drowsy, try these re-energising fatigue fixes.
Even just 10 minutes of exercise a day will help restore energy and keep you focused
1. Beet the system
Energy crisis: Propping yourself up with tea and coffee? Leicester City FC claim the secret weapon behind their Premier League win was drinking beetroot juice. Studies at the University of Exeter suggest the nitrate contained in the juice can help boost stamina due to its effect on oxygen uptake. But even for non-pro footballers, beetroot is a source of folic acid, which can help reduce fatigue.
Fuel up: Rather than reaching for a caffeine drink, try blending fruit and veg for a more steady release of energy. Nutritionist Rick Hay says, ‘Fruit juice will give a sugar high, but combining it with vegetables, especially those that have a lower glycaemic index, can help reduce sugar intake while maintaining hydration.’ Blend banana, spinach and date for a source of vitamin C, which contributes to combating tiredness. Spinach is itself also a source of magnesium and iron, both known for their fatigue-busting properties.
2. Get moving
Energy crisis: Need an initial boost to start exercising? Motivational speaker Pete Cohen, who’s coached sports stars such as Sally Gunnell, Roger Black and Arsenal FC, reveals the trick they use…
Fuel up: Athletes don’t wait until they feel like training. They just do it,’ says Pete. ‘People wait for inspiration, but if you just get going, motivation comes within minutes. We’re not designed to sit down, so if you feel worn out, walk around. Simply by moving, you secrete natural feel-good substances, such as endorphins and serotonin, which give you a boost.’
3. Play with colours
Energy crisis: Feeling listless? Check your home décor and wardrobe. If you always wear or are surrounded by cool, dark or dull shades, it may have an impact on your mood.
Fuel up: Introducing warm colours such as red, yellow and orange to your life may have an energising effect. According to the Eiseman Center for Colour Information & Training, these attention-grabbing hues activate our brain circuitry to produce adrenaline. Used all over, they may be too much, so add them as scarves, jewellery or socks, cushions at home, or even a bowl of tangerines on your desk at work.
4. Say no to techno
Energy crisis: A good night’s sleep is vital for ﬁghting fatigue, but too much technology before bed can keep your mind alert and slumber at bay. A study found that the average UK adult now spends more time each day using media and communication devices (8 hours 41 minutes) than they do actually sleeping (8 hours 21 minutes).
Fuel up: Silentnight sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan says, ‘In the UK, 75% of people are not getting a good night’s sleep. Checking emails, social-media channels and browsing the internet keep the brain working, making it more difficult to ﬁnally switch off and fall asleep. So turn off all tech (including the TV) at least 60-90 minutes before going to bed in order to give your mind time to wind down.’
5. Shock your system
Energy crisis: If you’re stuck in the same old rut, mix things up a bit. The human brain has evolved to thrive on uncertainty, so shaking up your daily routine may help energise you.
Fuel up: If you’re brrr-ave enough, start your day with a cold (or cool) shower. It will make you breathe deeply as your body tries to keep you warm by increasing your overall oxygen intake. Your heart rate will also increase, resulting in a rush of blood through your body that will help energise you for the day. On your commute, switch off the news and listen to some upbeat music so you feel like dancing before your working day begins.
6. Gimme ten
Energy crisis: So lethargic you’re stuck to the sofa? Short, gentle bursts of exercise may help you to perk up. Celebrity personal trainer Sam Eastwood claims, ‘Even just 10 minutes of exercise a day will help restore energy and keep you focused.’
Fuel up: ‘Skipping is a great way to get the heart pumping,’ says Sam. ‘Put your favourite song on and go for it. Stretches can fend off that mid-afternoon dip, too. They help bring oxygen to the brain and release tension stored in the muscles. Breathe deeply and hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Gentle head nods, touching your toes and reaching to the sky will leave you feeling ready to push on with your day.’
Need an instant energy boost? Try ASDA Tired Eyes Eye Drops to refresh and revitalise weary peepers, put zing in your step with some Radox Energising Shower Gel, and for a nutritious energy hit, bite into a Perk!er Cashew, Chia & Pumpkin Seed Quinoa Bar.