Beating Spring Asthenia
Spring is finally here, but this doesn’t mean everyone will be full of energy and ‘the joys of spring’. In fact, some alternative health practitioners believe in a concept known as ‘spring asthenia’ whereby the change in seasons can bring on mental and physical fatigue and weakness in some people. The lasting effects of ‘hibernating’ over winter, can certainly leave us feeling heavier, sluggish and in need of a pick me up at this time of year. Here is some advice on how to boost your energy levels and get that spring back in your step.
Feed Yourself the Right Nutrients
If your diet has been less healthy over winter, you could be lacking in one or more of these important energy nutrients.
Iron is needed for transporting oxygen around the body and a lack can lead to low energy, lethargy and a feeling of apathy. Women are especially prone, due to the iron lost each month during menstruation. Eating a little good quality read meat or plenty of the vegetarian sources (spinach, kale, other leafy greens, seeds, nuts, beans, wholegrains, dark chocolate and tofu) will keep you topped up. Having vitamin C rich foods at the same time will help the body to absorb more iron.
B vitamins are needed to release energy from food for use by cells of the body. Nuts, seeds, fish, whole-grains, peas, eggs, avocadoes & spinach are good sources and Beauty & Go Vitality contains vitamins B6 & B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can leave you feeling mentally foggy or exhausted and as it is only found in animal foods, can be a problem for vegans. Low B6 is associated with PMS and low mood and is needed to manufacture brain chemicals responsible for sleep, happiness and motivation.
Magnesium is needed for energy production and is also great for the nervous system and stress levels. Unfortunately many people in the UK don’t get enough of this important nutrient in their diets and factors such as stress, alcohol, caffeine and refined sugars can cause magnesium to be lost from the body. Spinach, kale, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, lentils, whole-grains, avocadoes, bananas, dark chocolate are all good sources.
Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance used by the body to convert food into energy. Under perfect conditions the body produces enough of its own, however stress can block production and levels naturally decline as we age. Sardines, mackerel, chicken, nuts, seeds, broccoli and spinach are good sources and one Beauty & Go Vitality contains as much as 120 sardines!
Dehydration is one of the quickest ways to see your mental and physical energy drop. Just 1-2% dehydration can lead to a 40% reduction in productivity, so drink up! We need 1.5-2 litres of fluids per day.
Balance Your Blood Sugar
Your energy is determined by the amount of glucose present in your bloodstream for your cells to use for energy. This includes cells of the brain as well as the body, so we are talking both physical and mental energy here, and our mood is also influenced by blood sugar levels. Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day keeps energy, mood and appetite stable. Here’s how:
- Regular Eating – don’t go longer than 4 hours without eating
- Complex Carbs such as oats, rye, wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, sugar-free muesli, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and root vegetables such as beetroot, pumpkin and sweet potato release their energy slowly and gradually
- Protein combined with complex carbs is the KEY combination for balancing blood sugar. (Also include some healthy fats).
- Avoid sugar and refined carbs (white bread, white flour, white pasta, pastry, cakes, biscuits) which send blood sugar rocketing, followed by a low.
Energise Your Mind
Laugh with Friends or Watch a Funny Film
Anything that makes you laugh and focuses your mind on something positive for a period of time can have an energising effect. Build in time each week for activities like this to experience the energising effects – this kind of thing is just as important for our health and energy as diet and exercise, so make it a priority.
Copy the Happiest Country
Denmark is the happiest nation according to the UN’s happiness report, so looking to them for inspiration is a good idea. They have a word ‘hygge’ which can’t be translated, as we don’t have the same concept, but is similar in meaning to ‘cosiness’. Hygge encompasses revelling in life’s simple but important pleasures all year round, so things like candlelit suppers with friends, beautiful music or simply enjoying a luxuriant evening curled up with a great book and cashmere socks.
It will improve your circulation, give you more energy and help relieve stress or low mood. Being outside will also boost levels of the happy chemical serotonin and vitamin D. If your energy is low, start by going for a gentle walk outside and build up to fast walking or jogging if and when you can.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is an essential ingredient for good energy. 7-8 hours is optimal for most people and remember it’s not just about the hours you get, sleep quality counts too. For advice and tips on getting a good sleep, click here.
Take Regular Breaks
The human brain can only concentrate and work optimally in periods of 90 to 120 minutes. Take regular breaks in between for 10-15 minutes and your productivity and energy levels will increase! Get up and move during the break for even more of an energising effect.
Include a daily Beauty & Go SKIN VITALITY drink
This will help give you an energy boost due to its host of energising ingredients. The herb Ginkgo biloba increases circulation, including to the brain, helping support brain function and memory. Guarana has natural stimulating properties, along with Coenzyme Q10, B vitamins and energising superfood Baobab.