The SparkPeople Blog

All Entries For fatigue

Confession: I'm A Napper


It's true- I LOVE to take naps. I think it comes from my dad, who has always been a napper. My mom used to joke that he could sleep anywhere- on a bus, at a party, etc. The naps never had to be long, but they were (and still are) always a crucial part of his day. These days I'm just like him. That's why I was interested to read a new study that claims and afternoon nap might refresh the brain's capacity to learn, making you smarter.
Posted 3/2/2010  2:03:46 PM By: Jen Mueller : 215 comments   15,073 views
Read More ›

Improve Your Diet By Getting More Sleep


Do you find that it's easier to stick to your diet when you're well-rested? Is it difficult to stay on track when you're not? New research shows that not getting enough sleep can affect the food choices you make when you're awake. That's just one more reason to make sure you're getting enough shut-eye!
Posted 1/8/2010  10:25:41 AM By: Jen Mueller : 123 comments   17,497 views
Read More ›

SPENT: Tactics to Regain Energy in Life and Feel Great Again


Editor's note: After graduating from medical school in his native South Africa, Dr. Frank Lipman began treating patients about two hours from Johannesburg. Despite poverty-stricken conditions, he noticed that his patients were free from insomnia, depression and anxiety, which had plagued his urban patients. They rarely complained of back pain or fatigue despite long days of hard labor.

People lived by the rhythms of nature. During that time, he realized how important natural rhythm was to humans' lives. He immigrated to the States and, after a residency in internal medicine, started studying Chinese medicine. He has spent decades developing methods to help people overcome exhaustion and regain their lives. He recently published SPENT: End Exhaustion and Feel Great Again (Fireside/Simon & Schuster; January 2009) and took some time to answer our questions via email.


dailySpark: What foods should people eliminate from their diets straightaway to boost energy?

Dr. Lipman: Refined sugars and processed foods are major "Spent"-causing substances (I call them substances because they are not real food). Once you remove them from your diet, and get past the withdrawal symptoms, you will see a major boost in energy.
Posted 5/4/2009  2:26:33 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 76 comments   8,989 views
Read More ›

4 Tips to Avoid Exercise Burnout & Stick to Your Plan


January is one of the best times to be a fitness professional. My exercise classes are packed with participants, the gym is teeming with energy, and people have high spirits and good intentions to get fit. It's the second full week in January, and you're still going strong as you pursue your resolutions for the year. But one of the biggest mistakes that I see right now—from novice and seasoned exercisers alike—is overdoing it. Too much exercise—especially when combined with too little recovery—can hurt your efforts.

Recovery is just as important as the workout itself. Without proper rest, you will not get stronger, faster, or fitter. Why? Because when you rest, your muscles do two important things: repair (which helps them get stronger) and prepare (for future workouts by storing the food as muscle glycogen). When you skimp on the recovery time, your muscles tear and breakdown from your workouts, but don't have enough time to rebuild. But proper recovery benefits more than your muscles. Sometimes you need a mental break from working out just as much as you need a physical one. Without it, you risk burning out, which can get in the way of you reaching your goals. So how do you know if you're doing too much?
Posted 1/13/2009  8:13:41 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 51 comments   15,266 views
Read More ›

Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks NOT a Good Idea...


It’s Friday night, you’re tired after a long, hard week, but you really want to go out with your friends and do a little partying. The solution: mix your alcohol with an “energy” drink like Red Bull or Monster. It’s the new way to have your alcohol but stay awake and party all night, too.

Not a good idea, according to 11 State Attorneys General, including California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who recently announced an agreement with Anheuser-Busch Inc. that requires the company to discontinue production of all alcoholic energy drinks (AEDs), including its two current brands -- Tilt and Bud Extra. Similar negotiations are going on with Miller Brewing Company.
Posted 10/28/2008  4:56:48 PM By: Dean Anderson : 81 comments   26,048 views
Read More ›

Fitness Defined: Active and Passive Recovery


We'll all been there. You just started working out after a long hiatus. You feel proud and accomplished, but wake up the next day feeling so stiff, sore and achy that you don't want to get out of bed! You slowly but surely get on with your day, but every time you have to move, you feel that stiffness (and feel self-conscious as you wobble around, barely able to bend your knees). While it's great to know that you must have done something right for your muscles to be so sore, it certainly doesn't feel right! You wonder: Should I take it easy and skip my workout? The answer is a little more complex than a yes or no. What you should try is active recovery. So what does that mean?
Posted 10/28/2008  7:39:45 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 41 comments   17,662 views
Read More ›

Never Underestimate the Power of a Good Night’s Sleep


I don't know about you guys, but over the past several weeks, I haven't had too many restful slumbers. Between concerns over the current state of affairs, the economic situation, dealing with some overtraining issues, and just trying to cram all that I can in a 24 hour time frame, sleep is the one area in my life that I have come up a little short on.

I have always been one to need good, quality sleep to function. In fact I wonder how I ever made it through college, my young adult years, and yes, even parenthood on so little shut eye. But the older I get the more I appreciate a good restful night’s sleep.
Posted 10/11/2008  6:00:00 AM By: Nancy Howard : 73 comments   3,951 views
Read More ›

If Some is Good, More Must Be Better, Right?


Nine months ago while training for my first half-marathon I began experiencing issues with my sleep. That is, once I got to sleep, it was next to impossible to stay asleep. My appetite all but disappeared and most importantly I had lost my love for running. My mood was not too pleasant (just ask my husband), and I was becoming quite irritated with those around me, especially my running coach.

What in the world could be going on? My initial thought was the big M (you know, MENOPAUSE), but as I had not experienced any other symptoms, I thought peri-menopause? But my running coach had a whole different thought. He believed the symptoms I was experiencing were due to overtraining.
Posted 10/1/2008  6:05:01 AM By: Nancy Howard : 51 comments   3,583 views
Read More ›