By ANDY KRESS
We’ve all had a case of the blahs, that combination of being tired and weak known as fatigue. You are not alone. Current studies show Americans are sleeping less hours per night then at any other time in their history. The reason is routinely laid off on a heavier than usual work schedule (prompted by a slow economy) The good news is that functioning while fatigued for a short amount of time is generally bearable and can easily be fixed with a little rest.
Functioning under fatigue for extended periods of time, however, is a serious health problem and should be a cause of major concern. Continuous fatigue requires a more comprehensive plan than just getting a bit more shut eye. This plan is important to follow because those who are chronically fatigued are a threat not only to themselves, but also to the people around them. Become fatigued, and watch every human process slow down or stop. The brain’s reaction time is severely affected, resulting in unnecessary accidents on the roads and in the workplace. These accidents have a detrimental effect on the economy by raising healthcare costs and auto insurance across the United States.
Officially, fatigue can be caused by both mental and physical conditions. On the mental health side, many chronically fatigued people are those who have a compulsive or perfectionist type of character. They feel they cannot stop until the job is done, no matter how big it is or how tired they may be. A company implicating mandatory overtime is small compared to a perfectionist who is not happy with his or her work. Either way, the result is a fatigued worker. As far as physical health is concerned, diet is the chief contributing factor, and often overlooked as a cause of fatigue.
Fatigue created by improper eating habits lowers vitality and energy. Fatigue is the first implication that the body’s cells are not getting sufficient energy from its food. Eating a healthier diet is an easy way to help the body break free from fatigue’s harsh grip. Choosing certain food groups will help the body recover faster than others. Choosing foods that are high in certain types of vitamins will also help the body fight off fatigue faster, as well.
People who chronically experience fatigue should start eating a diet that is varied and that complies with the aspects of the national pyramid plate. Eating the proper portion size at the right time of day is imperative to fighting fatigue, as well. Choosing foods rich in B vitamins will give you a faster recovery-time. These foods would be wheat and other whole grain cereals, green leafy vegetables, un-polished rice, milk, bananas, nuts, pulses, peas and yeast. Potassium found in raw green vegetables is helpful in fighting fatigue. Foods high in calcium help prevent insomnia and tension, both major contributors to fatigue. Sodium and zinc are also beneficial as well. Carrots, beets and cucumbers are a great choice, especially if you are juicing a few meals.
There are a few things that you should avoid if you are feeling fatigued. Eliminate any vitality crutches from your diet immediately. They offer only a temporary spike in energy, and the subsequent recoil reaction is further fatigue. This includes caffeine, tranquilizers and other drugs, coffee and alcohol, sugary and sweet snacks, as well as smoking. These items will only give temporary boosts for this long-term condition and may be even more harmful after time.
Eat right; eat smart; and send fatigue packing on the next bus outta town.