Running on Empty

I am no spring chicken by any stretch of the imagination. Yeah, I hear you; ‘I’m only as old as I feel.’ Well, some days I feel ancient. I feel like am running on fumes and that fatigued feeling just will not go away.

The last year with all the covid restrictions only exacerbated the problem. I lived in front of my tv, laptop or my phone; my diet changed a lot; I altered my gym and running schedules; socializing was almost nonexistent for a while, and all these things began to influence my mental health. I felt like I was running on empty.

I contacted an old mate, Dr. Clayton Charles MD, who made a few suggestions that immediately changed things around. His recommendations were simple. First, he reminded me that fatigue is normal, especially when you hit middle age. Like I said, I am no spring chicken. I needed to find ways to manage and boost my energy levels.

Once we ruled out any possible medical issues, and we briefly discussed my state of mind and agreed that a few lifestyle changes were necessary, he then made some simple recommendations.

Dr. Charles’ Fatigue Fighting Tips:

And for tired eyes every light is too bright, and for tired lips every breath is too heavy, and for tired ears every word is too much.

Georg Buchner
  1. Ensure you are getting enough sleep – A poor night’s sleep equals daytime fatigue. It impairs performance.
  • Stay hydrated – Dehydration negatively affects your performance across all activities, even brain function. Have a couple glasses of water when you wake up, and ensure you get at least 10 glasses of water during the day.
  • Have a schedule for your activities – A planned day alleviates stress levels. Do not try to get everything done in one session. You have 24 hours in the day, manage your time effectively.
  • Exercise – Physical Activity boosts energy levels. Mix it up; a long walk in the park, hit the gym, do some yoga, go for a swim or a long ride. At least 45 mins of physical activity everyday if possible.
  • Have a healthy balanced Diet and Do not skip meals – Eating regularly helps to keep energy levels balanced throughout the day. The flip side of that is if you skip meals, your blood sugar levels tend to drop, and hence you begin to feel fatigued.
  • Schedule some time to just have fun – Sometimes we forget to make time for ourselves. Too many commitments suck the energy out of life. Make time to laugh, it truly will boost your energy levels.

The lockdown is almost over, and many parks and gyms have reopened. So, while still maintaining safe practices, get away from the television screens, and from behind your desks, and get active again. Go out, reacquaint yourself with your community, live again.

Don’t forget to consult with your primary care physician before commencing any exercise program.

Special thanks to Dr. Clayton Charles MD for his contribution to this post. A life long athlete and health and fitness enthusiast, Dr. Charles is a practicing physician based in Michigan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

June 2021
%d bloggers like this: