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How to beat afternoon fatigue with natural remedies that boost energy levels and your overall health

Women''s health

(NaturalNews) The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Women explores the increasingly high preference for female physicians, as well as offering tips specific to women's health. Written by Sharon Faelten, the book is based on advice given exclusively by women doctors, with the help of the American Medical Women's Association.

One of the tips provided in the book includes ways to beat afternoon fatigue. You know, that drowsy feeling you sometimes get halfway through the day? Well, it turns out there are easy and natural ways to boost your energy levels, your overall health, and zap you out of that afternoon funk. The following is an excerpt from the book:

Lunchtime is long past, quitting time is a while away and there's still plenty to cross off your to-do list. But there you sit, too pooped to pick up a pencil. Sound familiar? Welcome to the afternoon slump. If you slept poorly the night before or worked through lunch, it's no mystery why your energy evaporates. But sometimes energy flags for no obvious reason. Either way, you want to pull out of it fast.

Here's what experts suggest that you try when you find yourself doing a fast fade

See the light. "If your afternoon fatigue is worse in winter, and especially if it seems to be part of a general pattern of winter weariness, you may be troubled by seasonal affective disorder (SAD), says Brenda Byrne, Ph.D., director of the SAD Clinic of the Jefferson Light Research Program at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

SAD is a mood disorder triggered by the reduced daylight of winter and is responsive to treatment with light. So for your afternoon slump, try natural light treatment by bundling up and taking a brisk midday walk. Especially if done regularly, this combination of light and exercise is likely to boost your energy and alertness.

Take an exercise break. "When I need to be revived after sitting and working at my desk for some time, I get up and move around or go for a brief walk," says Tracy Horton, Ph.D., research instructor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Center for Human Nutrition in Denver. "Exercise is good for renewing energy and spirit."

Roll your shoulders. "Shoulder rolls are a great way to revitalize yourself and relieve tension while you're at your desk," says Peggy Norwood-Keating, director of fitness at Duke University Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, North Carolina.

First, inhale and push your shoulders forward as if you're collapsing your chest. Then, lift your shoulders up toward your ears. Next, squeeze your shoulder blades together as you begin to exhale. Finally, drop your shoulders and release the tension, exhaling completely. Repeat once or twice.

Breathe deeply. Norwood-Keating advocates deep, cleansing breaths for afternoon restoration. "Take a very deep breath, pulling air in through your nose as deeply as you can. Hold it in for a few seconds, then breathe it out slowly and deliberately. Do this several times until you feel refreshed and renewed."

Enjoy some essential oil

Inhaling certain scents can give you an instant lift, says Jeanne Rose, president of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy and author of The Aromatherapy Book. "Put a drop or two of the essential oil of rosemary, peppermint or orange peel oil on a hanky," she suggests.

"Keep it close to you to feel quickly renewed." Look for essential oils at the Body Shop, health food stores and other stores that sell aromatic soaps and lotions.

Plan for peaks and valleys. Be aware of your own personal body clock. "Some people have a natural downtime that hits at mid-afternoon," says Nancy Clark, R.D., a nutritionist at Sports Medicine Brookline in Brookline, Massachusetts.

"If this happens to you, try to schedule easy activities for that time, or for a wake-me-up walk or take a short nap."

"If you haven't eaten for the past three to four hours, your blood levels of glucose, the essential fuel for your brain, are probably dropping slightly," says Franca Alphin, R.D., nutrition director at Duke University Diet and Fitness Center.

So eating healthfully, small quantities of nutrient-dense foods at regularly spaced intervals, can help restore your zip by providing your blood and brain with an infusion of fuel.

Graze, don't gorge.

"A big meal full of carbohydrates and fat can tire you out," says Alphin. "With fat being much more calorically dense than carbohydrates and protein, and the large load of carbohydrates prompting a significant rise in blood sugar, this type of meal can require quite a bit of work on the part of your metabolism. Instead, eat small low-fat meals four or five times a day."

For more health tips geared specifically to women, pick up a copy of the book today!


Faelten, S. (1997) The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Women: Women Doctors Reveal Over 2,000 Self-Help Tips on the Health Problems That Concern Women the Most : Rodale Press


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