Spring is here and the weather is changing. Everyone is excited to throw on their shorts and t-shirts and get outside to enjoy all the many outdoor activities Missoula has to offer. But, do you feel less than motivated? When the sun is shining, do you still have a hard time getting off the couch? There may be an easy fix to what is causing your lack of motivation. Here are some hidden culprits, and what you can do to keep them from draining your energy.

  • Dehydration - If you are like me, then you might know that even moderate dehydration can make you feel mentally sluggish and mess with your concentration. So, the next time you’re light-headed or groggy, don’t reach for the snacks, try some good old H20 instead.

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  • Cell phones – Did you know that checking your cell before bed amps up brain activity and makes it harder to fall asleep? The blue light from electronic gadgets can suppress the sleep hormone melatonin. 20 percent of people ages 19 to 29 are awakened by a call, text, or email at least a couple nights a week. So, if you want that restful night sleep, it’s best to power your phone down well before bedtime.

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  • Medications - Many drugs contain hidden energy-zapping side effects. Some of the most common culprits are antidepressants and beta-blockers used to prevent migraines or treat high blood pressure. If you start a new med and feel more lethargic than usual or if you have been on a med for a while but have noticed a change in your energy level, see if your doctor can prescribe an alternative med or take your dose right before bed.

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  • Over Training - Can you have too much of a good thing? The answer is yes. Working out is great for zapping cortisol, the stress hormone. But, did you know that prolonged sweat sessions, like regularly running for more than 30 minutes at a steady rate, can actually rev cortisol production? Interval training (bursts of intense activity) combined with strength training (free-weight and body-weight moves) is the best way to keep cortisol balanced.

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  • Low iron - Iron is an amazing little mineral whose job it is to shuttle oxygen around your body and remove waste from your cells. But, if you're not getting around 18 milligrams a day then your body will have a hard time functioning properly and you will start to feel worn out. If you have low iron levels then you may also have iron deficiency anemia. If you feel sluggish, you should ask your doctor for a simple blood test to see if you need an iron supplement. For more information go to http://health.yahoo.net/articles/womens-health/photos/5-sneaky-energy-suckers#0.

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