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The fatigue cycle: What it is and how to beat it

(ARA) - When your schedule is packed full of things to do from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, it's not surprising that you feel tired now and again. But for many people, the feeling goes beyond just "tired" - it's something stronger and harder to shake, and it feels continuous. They're stuck in the fatigue cycle.

It can sneak up on you. Miss a few hours of sleep here, overdo a workout there, skip meals and you might find yourself in this cycle that can be very hard to break.

Physical fatigue is often how you'll feel it first; your body drags and simple tasks feel like a far greater effort than they actually are. When your body is tired, your mind is, too, and a mental fog becomes part of the bargain. When you can't perform at your best, it often leads to stress. And, naturally, that stress leads to poor sleeping patterns, and more mental and physical tiredness - and the fatigue cycle starts all over again.

Changing your behaviors can certainly have some effect, but many people need to maintain their hectic schedule, simply because that's what is necessary to get everything accomplished.

Finding ways to reduce stress and improve energy levels is possible, even if you are always on the go. Some people turn to nutritional supplements, like an energy shot, to help them feel energized during the day. But many energy drinks that might seem able to help curb fatigue can actually be counterproductive to fighting it.

Because they are often packed with caffeine and sugar, some energy drinks can offer an initial boost but end up leaving you feeling more drained in the end. What's worse, they might also cause jitters and a spike in your heart rate.

As an alternative to sugary or caffeinated energy drinks, Reliv 24K energy shot relies on 24 active ingredients - including omega-3 fatty acids, resveratrol, B vitamins and others - that provide natural, healthy energy, mental clarity and stress relief.

"With no caffeine and only five calories, 24K is a better way to fight the fatigue cycle," says Dr. Carl W. Hastings, chief scientific officer at Reliv International.

In addition to introducing nutritional supplements, look for other ways to break the cycle. Since eating is a part of your everyday routine, no matter how busy you are, choose healthy foods that support energy levels over the long term, instead of salty or sugary junk food.

Take a note from your childhood and give yourself a designated bedtime. You might not be able to meet it every night, but making the effort to get enough sleep is certain to help reduce fatigue. And if it's possible, squeeze in a daily walk or a bit of exercise - as little as 10 minutes a day can help - to get your mind and body back on track.

If you feel the fatigue cycle setting in, or if it's already part of your life, you can suffer at home, at school or at work. By taking small steps to combat each step of the cycle, you'll be able to find your way out of it.

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