Tuesday, 11. March 2014

Spring Fatigue - Nature Awakes, Man Falls Asleep

This year's winter was particularly long and cold. We've been longing for spring, for the deep green of the plants, the warmth of the sun and the rush of spring fever. Now, spring is finally here but many of us are having a hard time enjoying it because we are plagued by constant fatigue, circulation problems, and the exhaustion our bodies feel with the changing seasons. Frühjahrsmüdigkeit

Scientifically, there is no detailed research supporting the idea of spring fatigue. However, there are a variety of likely causes. The main culprit could be the hormonal changes your body experiences during this season. The hormone melatonin plays an important role in how our bodies recognize serotonin. The "sleep hormone" melatonin is only produced by the pituitary gland at night. Production is increased during the winter months, leading to feelings of peace and relaxation. After the long winter months, there is a surplus of melatonin in the body. In addition, our reserves of the "happiness hormone" serotonin, which is supplied to the body through the sun, are exhausted. The brighter daylight of the spring helps to distribute serotonin. This boosts circulation and also brings you to life. These hormonal changes demand a lot from our body and therefore also make you feel tired.

Other causes include a lack of vitamins, trace elements or oxygen to the blood flow. During the dark winter months we tend toward unbalanced diets of greasy food. Vegetables and fruit are often neglected as they are not quite as readily available. In particular, an iron deficiency is partly responsible for feelings of fatigue and exhausted. A vitamin D deficiency often noticed during the winter, due to the lack of sunlight. In the spring this also changes. 

Here are a few simple tips and tricks to beat spring fatigue:

Get sufficient exercise in the fresh air
Many find it difficult to get going, especially in the morning. Even doing 5 minutes of calisthenics in front of an open window is enough to get your blood moving though. Instead of taking public transport or driving, ride your bike or walk to work.  This stimulates the circulation and provides a better supply of oxygen to the body.

In addition, endurance sports are such as jogging, nordic walking, swimming, skating or biking are highly recommended. In this case, the immune system and the circulation will be strengthened. In addition, the happiness hormone serotonin is released during exercise.

Vitamin-rich diet
The body needs an extra dose of vitamins after the winter. Particularly suitable are whole grains, potatoes, legumes and lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and salads. Several small meals provide the body with even energy and protect against food cravings. In addition, your intestinal and circulation tracks is less stressed by smaller meals.

Liquid for recycling
At higher temperatures and physical activity, the body needs more fluid.The best thing to do in the morning is to start your day with a big glass of water. This gets the circulation going. Throughout the day you should drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters of fluids. Do avoid alcohol though, it is a depressent which makes you feel tired and robs you of energy. 

Energy through proper breathing
If you feel that you are once again tired, then pay attention to proper breathing. To get your strength back, breathe deeply a few times, hold your breath for a minute and then breathe out again slowly. Slow, shallow breaths limit the amount of oxygen in your blood, making you feel sluggish.

Strong colors brighten up the mood
The lush green of our environment elevates our moods, as does the fresh colors of our spring clothes!

Wake up with cold showers
If you have trouble waking up in the morning, you should try a cold showers once in a while. Follow the shower interval of: 30 seconds of  body temperature water and 3 seconds of cold water. You'll be awake after that!

Get a good night's sleep
As the days get longer, you will be tempted to take advantage of the balmy evenings. This is counterproductive though, since sleep is your best ally at the moment. Sleep can help you renew your tired cells. Make sure that you not only get the adequate amount of sleep, but also that your quality of sleep is correspondingly good.