Adapted from American Arthritis Association
Fatigue is a symptom often experienced by people living with arthritis that can make everyday tasks seem impossible. Managing fatigue may often require a range of options such as support from your GP, exercise and diet, techniques to help with sleep and relaxation, and learning ways to pace and protect your joints.
This article compiles some additional tricks for boosting energy that some people may find helpful for fighting fatigue from arthritis.
Listen to your favorite playlist on the way to work, or sing along with choices from a loved one. Researchers have found that listening to music helps boost energy and stimulates positive thinking.
Bad posture can slowly sap your energy. According to the International Chiropractors Association, slouching requires your muscles to work harder to hold up your body, and that can lead to fatigue. Just 15 minutes of reading or typing in a slouched position strains the neck, shoulders and upper-back muscles.
Setting aside time to do mini meditations throughout the day can help when you’re overwhelmed. Mediation helps refocus your thoughts and create positive energy. Find a quiet spot with no distractions, sit in a relaxed position with your eyes closed and take deep, slow breaths. Focus only on breathing in and out. As outside thoughts enter your consciousness, acknowledge them and then refocus on your breathing. Do this for 3 minutes.
Every hour go for a quick walk around the office, get a glass of water or do a few slow stretches to get your blood
flowing. Practice good posture by ensuring that your shoulders and hips are aligned and your head is straight. At your desk, sit in a chair
that provides good lower-back support, and keep your knees slightly higher than your hips.
On days when you’re feeling sluggish, try wearing a colorful sweater or scarf for an immediate pick-me-up. Red, in particular, has been shown to improve mood and alertness.
According to Sue Moores, a registered dietitian in St. Paul, Minnesota, fried and sugary foods provide a quick burst of energy, but can leave you feeling hungry and depleted just 30 minutes later. Instead, eat fruits, veggies, whole grains and proteins for snacks. They help keep your blood sugar even, enabling you to avoid extreme energy peaks and valleys.
Giggle, guffaw, chuckle, snicker, chortle – no matter what you call it, laugh for your health. It reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, elevates mood and may boost the immune system. The next time you need a burst of energy, try watching a funny movie or connecting with others who share a great sense of humor.
Acupressure techniques can be natural energy boosters, according to researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Applying pressure to key points on the body stimulates the nerves that regulate attention and alertness. Pulling on your ears is one technique – start by gently tugging on the lobes, then move up the tops of the ears and back down the sides. Research also shows that the acupressure point in the center of the top of your head can have a huge impact on pumping up energy. To find the point, place your thumbs on the tops of your ears, and stretch your hands up until your middle fingertips meet at the top of your head. Tap on this spot lightly while taking deep breaths.
Did you know exercise is an effective way to gain energy? While you should aim for 30 minutes a day, research has found that just 10 minutes of exercise can improve mood, increase energy and reduce feelings of fatigue. The next time you’re dragging, walk around the block, go for a short bike ride or swim a few laps in the pool.
Dehydration is a major cause of fatigue. Water makes up about 80% of the brain and is an essential element in neurologic transmissions. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to avoid feeling sluggish. Water is always the best choice and herbal teas are also a good option for something different. Remember to avoid liquids that contain large amounts of sugar.