Doctor in Human Movement Sciences, Mélanie and Jérôme Vaulerin from Monaco Care Concept give you their tips for limiting spring fatigue.
The change of season involves physiological changes. When spring arrives, it is common to experience temporary fatigue. Indeed, the change from a cold season to a warm season could lead to a drop in energy and disturb sleep. There are two plausible explanations for this: rising temperatures, and vegetation in full alertness. Not only has the immune system struggled against some of the winter viruses, but with the vegetation awakening, the risk of developing an allergy would weaken immunity considerably. The body must constantly readjust to its environment, in winter the metabolism tends to "hibernate" and the body has secreted more melatonin (sleep hormone) whereas in spring with the lengthening of the days it is less and more serotonin (good mood hormone stimulated by daylight). Thus, in spring the body needs to rebalance the secretion of melatonin and serotonin, and this adjustment phase may last a few weeks. This fatigue is due to a depletion of the immune system during the winter months.
What is fatigue?
Fatigue is a symptom often resulting from the difficulty of performing a task. There are two types of fatigue, physical and mental, both of which result in the limitation of an activity. Physical fatigue is the lack of energy to move or make a muscular effort. Mental fatigue, on the other hand, is expressed by a feeling of weariness through typical phrases such as "I can't take it anymore", which is mental exhaustion. Many people with chronic, autoimmune (polyarthritis) or infectious (covid) diseases suffer from chronic fatigue. Indeed, these individuals suffer from neurobiochemical changes and the release of cytokines in the bloodstream (defence mechanism) generates fatigue. These mechanisms have a direct impact on the brain, preventing individuals from carrying out their usual tasks.
How to fight against fatigue?
Before anything else, it is important to carry out a blood test to detect a possible vitamin and mineral deficiency, such as iron deficiency, which is characterised by anaemia, or hypothyroidism (inability of the thyroid gland to produce sufficient thyroid hormones), both of which are responsible for chronic fatigue. In the majority of cases, this examination does not reveal a deficiency, so it is important to maintain one's form throughout the seasons by eating a balanced diet, remaining active regularly and outdoors if possible in order to favour the synthesis of vitamin D and by keeping good sleeping habits.
Some natural remedies exist to boost energy, the super foods whose nutritional value is exceptional, they are condensed vitamins, minerals and trace elements. They are classified in 4 categories:
- Green superfoods: kale, spinach, algae (spirulina, chlorella), matcha, broccoli have a high concentration of chlorophyll which is a powerful antioxidant. For example, spirulina is consumed in powder form and is rich in iron, beta-carotene, vitamin B12 and E. It also contains vegetable proteins, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and copper. This algae has antiviral, anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties,
- Super berries and seeds: chia seeds, almonds, acai berries, goji berries, acerola, cocoa beans, blueberries are also powerful antioxidants. For example, acai berries are small tropical fruits whose active ingredient anthocyanin has antioxidant properties (rich in vitamin E, C and B1),
- Super herbs and roots: nettles, parsley, ginseng, ginger, turmeric, maca, aloe vera are powerful anti-inflammatories, rich in vitamins, they delay the effects of aging. For example, turmeric is a healthy spice, its active ingredient curcumin acts as an anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory agent,
- other supers: products of the hive (honey, royal jelly, propolis). Honey has antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Consuming a teaspoonful every day helps to protect against viruses. Royal jelly stimulates the immune system by fighting infections. A course of treatment once or twice a year is recommended, especially one month before the change of season to boost the body. Finally, propolis has a targeted action on bacteria and viruses. It is a very powerful antioxidant. It is recommended to do two preventive cures per year of 3 to 4 weeks.