Sluggish, foggy, fatigued, yucky – these are words we sometimes use to describe our day-to-day health. Often we turn to caffeine or sugar to get us through the day and experience a crash later on. Everyone’s body feels “out of sorts” now and then, but if you feel that your body’s been in a rut and you want to get out, here are some things you can try to get yourself back on track.
Vitamin D is one of those super-substances your body loves. It does a lot of the leg work when it comes to how we function and getting the right amount can help our bodies get back on track. The easiest way to get Vitamin D is by being exposed to sunlight, as the body naturally produces the vitamin as a result. But if you’re also trying to protect your skin from damage, the sunscreen you’re using is probably blocking D production as well and you may need to try a supplement or consume more vitamin D foods, fortified or natural. Some of the best sources are salmon and fortified milk.
This is the tip that makes it on every health improvement list, and it’s there for a reason. Exercise is the number one way to start feeling better and improving your overall health. Take things slow and start with a little bit of walking. Don’t overdo it or you’ll be so sore that you won’t want to move the next day! And remember that any movement is better than no movement at all, whether it is lifting weights while you watch TV in the evenings or just getting up and down from your office chair a few more times in a day.
B vitamins might be what you need if you’re looking for a pick-me-up. B vitamins have been known to promote healthy skin and hair, energy, and kick problems like anemia and “brain fog,” and these are just a few of the benefits. Try eating foods high in the B’s (like eggs, beef, dark greens, and yogurt) or taking a B complex supplement if you’re feeling sluggish.
Meditation and relaxation
Stress and anxiety can do some crazy things to your mind and body, and it uses up many of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Start trying to cut back on the things that stress you out and you are bound to start feeling better. Say “no” more often when it comes to things you really don’t want to do. Say “yes” more often when it comes to treating yourself right and doing things you love. And try spending a few minutes each day in quite thought, or meditation. Meditation can help you learn to quiet your mind and observe more often than you react, which helps to lower your stress overall.
Drinking water is the easiest thing you can do, right now, to start feeling better. Water helps “wash” things through your body, including in your digestion, kidneys, bladder, and circulatory system. This means better health, better skin, and more energy. Try filling a pitcher with water and put it in the fridge each morning so you have access to a cold drink all day long, making a goal to get through the whole pitcher. Try adding citrus or flavorings if plain water doesn’t usually appeal to you.
This may sound like the hardest tip on the list, but it may have the greatest payoff. Sugar, specifically sugar that isn’t naturally a part of a food, can really do a number on your body. It’s in so many foods these days that a person really has to make an effort to cut back. Start watching the labels on the foods you eat and stay below 6 grams of sugar per serving as often as possible. The recommended amount of added sugar for the average man is no more than 37.5 grams per day and for a woman, no more than 25 grams. One big way to cut back – eliminate sugary drinks (soda and fruit juice) from your diet.
It may seem impossible. You may wonder where you’re going to find the extra minutes. But sleep can do amazing things for your mind and body and it’s got to be a priority! How about putting down your phone 30 minutes earlier tonight? How about watching one less episode of your favorite show on Netflix? How about skipping that last load of laundry or delegating some of the chores to someone else? Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and just knowing that you got that extra little bit of sleep can sometimes help you power through the afternoon doldrums the next day.
By using one of these tips, or better yet, combining a few of them, you’re bound to start feeling better. Then maybe you’ll be using words like healthy and energized to describe yourself and you can say goodbye to those sluggish days!
Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added four kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.
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