Has the party season left you feeling drained out? These four simple steps can put the spring back in your step.
By Upneet Pansare
Anaemic or iron-deficient people tend to feel more tired because their body doesn’t get enough oxygen. Check with your doctor if you have any medical conditions that are known to lower energy levels—hypothyroidism, sleep apnea, depressive disorders, eating disorders, hormonal disorders, obesity, etc. Highly processed, fatty, rich food also makes you lethargic.
ZEST BOOSTER: Hydration is key—water increases the volume of blood in the body and makes it easier for your heart to pump efficiently. This increases the speed at which oxygen reaches your muscles and speeds up the energy production process in the cells. Fish oil, kidney beans, leafy vegetables, eggs (including the yolk) and nuts, fruits rich in vitamin C like oranges, sweet limes and berries, are all excellent for iron absorption and improving blood circulation.
You may just have been breathing wrong all this while. “Most of us take short, shallow breaths. This doesn’t get enough oxygen inside and increases carbon dioxide in the body. This is a sure shot way to feel tired all the time,” says Dr Rati Shah, a Mumbaibased orthopedic doctor.
ZEST BOOSTER: Take 10 minutes to breathe slowly, inhale and exhale to the count of four. Mumbai-based
yoga teacher, Shalini Shanbag explains, “Pranayam is the most effective method of dealing with fatigue.
Using the thumb of your right hand, block your right nostril and deeply inhale through your left nostril. Once you are full of breath, seal your left nostril with the ring finger of the same hand, release your thumb and exhale through your right nostril itself.
Be sure to exhale all the breath out of the right side and pause before inhaling again through the same side.
Perform up to 10 cycles. You can also try kapalbhaati. Inhale briefly through both nostrils, then sharply exhale
(from your nose) while pulling your navel inside. The exhalation should be short and quick. Do a round of 30
exhalations, rest for a minute and then repeat.”
Determines the tasks that are most taxing, so you canplan your day accordingly; identifies appropriate
breaks to help you re-energise; and tracks your sleep.
Rates your energy level and activities, besides tracking sleep, exercise, nutrition, mood and stress levels. It also reviews weekly reports to see the activity patterns that are affecting your energy most, sets reminders to help you build healthy habits.
Slouching, hunching and slumping plays truant with your spinal posture.“Bad posture also puts unnecessary strain on the otherparts of your body. This, in turn, can make your body painful and tired,” says Dr Rati.
ZEST BOOSTER: Keep a rolled up towel or a small pillow at the back of your chair or driving seat to make sure that your posture is erect. Take a break from sitting in one place and move about. Put your handbag on a different shoulder each day.
How often do you cite ‘too tired’ as an excuse not to work out? The more you exercise and remain active, the less tired you get. Exercising releases endorphins that keep you happy, fresh and energetic.
ZEST BOOSTER: If gymming is too monotonous, try a samba or zumba class, or any activity that you can look
forward to every day. Find a buddy you can go to these classes with. Use apps like Fitnet; it uses the camera on your smartphone to measure how well you’re keeping up with the workout, or Sworkit that allows you to customise and design your workouts and access high-quality videos.
From fatigued to fresh in 5 minutes
Be a sunflower: In the absence of natural light, the body has a tendency to go into sleep mode as it lowers the level of serotonin, a chemical in the brain responsible for stabilising mood. Try to get the morning sun rays (before 8 am), even if it is for just five minutes, to feel fresh through the day. Feeling drowsy after lunch? Go for a five-minute stroll outside your office. Any exposure to bright, natural light will immediately freshen you up.
Colour your wardrobe: Red is king. It stimulates the circulatory system and increases vigour. Yellow and orange are known to create a sense of euphoria. Green, blue and violet are calming.