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Ten energy-maximizing tips
Never feel tired again, ever!

You are a man on the move. A working professional climbing the corporate ladder. Everything is working for you but somehow, every night after entertaining clients and completing your work, you just feel so tired. Soon you feel exhausted even before you start work. Nothing you do seems to energize you. You take your vitamins, eat right, and adopt all the tips you read in magazines about leading a healthy lifestyle. However, something is fatally wrong. Your doctor says you are fine, but just need a little rest to regain your competitive edge. Perhaps it’s the food you eat and the exercise you lack. Sometimes you are not what you eat but it is what surrounds you that sucks up your energy, whether at home, in the office or inside your body. If you are just able to spot these, you can feel energetic again and resume your normal workload ... and more. Here are the ten refreshing pointers:

Problem: Tough it out during the week and sleep all-weekend

Even it out. Do you wake up early morning and sleep late at night just to finish one last piece of work? Or you can’t dream of missing that episode of your favorite television series or comedy even though it is on-air in the wee hours of the morning. “Oh, I’ll stress it out till the weekend. Then I’ll be fine and ready to battle again on Monday,” you say. Well, that’s where you are WRONG! When you wake up at 6am on weekdays and at midday during the weekends, you upset your body’s clock. Do your body a favour. It normally starts releasing cortisol (a hormone that wake you up), between 3 to 4 am and peaks at about 11am. When you lie in bed past noon, you suppress the release of cortisol, dumping your brain into that weekend twilight zone. The solution is either sleep early during the week or play catch –up on the weekends by going to bed early instead of sleeping late. To maintain your biological rhythm, wake up every morning at the same time.

Problem: Day light, sun bright, bright lights

Avoid bring lights before knocking off. Sleeping in late way after the sun is overhead, is not the only thing that upsets your biological clock. Harvard Medical School’s research suggest that when you are exposed to normal indoor lighting, you tend to confuse your brain’s idea of day and night, putting you in a state of jet lag the entire day. The human body is made such that we are born to be alert during the day and feel tired at night. Shun away from bright lights several hours before bedtime and install a dimmer switch in your home…or you’ll end up confusing this natural process, similar to crossing time zones when traveling.

Problem: Do you have “NMH”?

Visit your physician for a quick check up. So what is NMH or “neurally mediated hypotension”? No, it’s not a newly discovered illness, it is a term for irregular bouts of low blood pressure. Doctors say it is a common but hidden cause of fatigue. Do you feel unsteady after standing for long, or dizzy when taking a hot shower or prone to fainting. Visit your doctor to have a quick NMH check. It is a simple test. By putting you on a tilted table with your head 70 degrees above your feet, long periods of standing is simulated. If after several minutes you feel nauseous and dizzy, you have the condition. Fret not, by adding salt and fluids to your diet, and some medication to prompt your kidneys to retain sodium, you can easily regulate your blood pressure.

Problem: High Carbohydrates, low proteins

A balanced diet. Avoid taking too much carbohydrate- enriched foods like rice, French fries, potatoes and bread. No, you don’t have to give them up totally just because they make you tired. The key is balance. A calming chemical, serotonin is released by carbohydrates. Proteins, however, produce dopamine which has the exact opposite effect. So balance your meals with protein-rich food, include low-fat milk, yogurt, lean meat or beans. A balance meat will go far in keeping you awake.

Problem: Feeling thirsty- to drink or not to drink

Yes, Drink more. When you feel thirsty, you have already lost one to two percent of your body fluids. The moment you lose more than three percent, physically you start getting weaker. Simple. Next time you are in the office, keep a bottle of water on your desk and make sure you have at least the doctor’s recommendation of eight glasses of water a day. If you exercise heavily, you need to drink more. Puzzled how water boosts your energy level? Well, energizing oxygen is found in water and when you drink, it helps to carry this oxygen through the body in your blood.

Problem: Medication that forces you to catch 40 winks

Read labels on medicine bottles carefully, take certain medicines only at night, if possible. We remember the all too familiar warning on most medications you are prescribed. Do not operate machinery or drive. This medication causes drowsiness. Well, besides the normal antihistamines, cough syrups and cold tablets that cause drowsiness, did you know that familiar drugs when taken in higher than recommended doses produce the same result? Painkillers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin); hemorrhoid drugs; benzocaine and pramoxine (Fleet relief, Proctor-Foam/non-steroidal); and even some asthma and blood-pressure medications can put you to sleep. Talk to your doctor about alternative medication.

Problem: The only thing to fear is fear itself

Think positive. Your muscles become tense when you are in fear, which leads to fatigue equivalent to a 2-hour physical session during your army days. Fear makes you hold your breath depriving you of oxygen which leads to fatigue. Think about your breathing, and try to take deep breaths. Use the age-old simple meditation method. Close your eyes, imagine yourself in a quiet setting such as by the beach, taking a slow walk in the park or sun-tanning. Next time, schedule the much dreaded dental appointment and other discomforting events in the morning so you don’t spend the whole day worrying about them.

Problem: Colleagues who just don’t seem able to shut the GAP

Opt for a peaceful environment. Maybe you feel tired at the end of the day, because you have noisy and loud-mouthed colleagues or there is construction work going on at the office. A loud and clear solution, if you are caught in a noisy situation, suggest to your colleagues they should chill out. If you have a door- shut it, do whatever is necessary to decrease the decibel count.

Problem: Eyestrain

Short Breaks that help relax your eyes. Your eyes are probably the least looked after part of your body. Working hard, staring at the monitor for hours on end, reading all those reports trigger fatigue when your eyes go out of focus. If your eyes have trouble focusing, you’ll end up twisting your body, sitting in the most awkward of positions or hunching over your desk. All that bodily stress will leave you tired and hamper your concentration. Take are of your eyes with 5-10 minutes breaks, have a cup of coffee, take a walk or just close your eyes every hour. Alternatively walk over to your window and look at trees or anything green to relax your eyes. Use these little breaks to do less stressful visual work like making routine phone calls.

Problem: Dull scenery and boring wallpaper

Take the plunge and have a change in environment. You can’t run away from the fact that color affects your mood, and surrounding yourself with somber colors makes you stressed and tired. London officials recently decided to paint their black bridges blue when they discovered an increase in bridge-related suicides. Not surprisingly, the suicide rate went down after that. It sure sounds unbelievable but it works. A dash of red would be a quick cure to fatigue. Add colors like orange, yellow and especially red to your surroundings. So net time you walk out of your house, keep these tips in mind. And you walk back through the same door that night, you’ll be just as energetic and battle fit for tomorrow after a good rest, of course!


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