Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Beating Seasonal Fatigue - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Beating Seasonal Fatigue

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Julie Pabst gets in a workout to help fight seasonal fatigue Julie Pabst gets in a workout to help fight seasonal fatigue

The clocks roll back and the days are shorter but is daylight saving time having a negative affect on your health? During the cooler, darker months our biological rhythms tend to get thrown off a bit, but there a few simple ways to beat seasonal fatigue.

Julie Pabst is right at home on the treadmill but once the clocks fall back, she  has to make a conscious effort to push through the struggles of seasonal fatigue.

"Just the sun goes down and we're used to being outdoors and have that energy to burn outdoors, the transition is tough." Said Pabst.

Seasonal fatigue is not an actual medical condition it's more just a group of symptoms that tend to pop up in the fall and winter months.

"Typically it's a combination of fatigue, a little less energy also maybe feeling a little more down, not to the point where we'd diagnose depression but just feeling a little tired and a little more sad." Said Dr. Jean Lageson, an Internal Medicine physician with the Avera MedicalGroup Internal Medicine.

The symptoms can sneak up on you quickly. The best way to avoid seasonal fatigue is through good eating habits and working in a few laps during your day.

"You really have to go out of your way to make sure you're getting plenty of good exercise. A minimum level that's recommended is about 45 minutes 5 days a week." Said Dr. Lageson.

Leaving work when it's already dark can be a major hindrance. Most people want to go home, not the gym.

"I would say the numbers fluctuate everybody has to make a daily commitment and they have to make sure that it's a priority and don't let other things get in the way." Said Jackie Haggar-Tuschen, Executive Director at the Avera McKennan Fitness Center.

"I make myself accountable I give myself 20 minutes and if I'm still not in to it I'll go, but usually I stay here for the duration of the workout. I do a lot of treadmill and Zumba classes and Yoga. So they've got a lot to offer here." Said Pabst.

Making sure you get a good workout is one thing, eating right is another. During the colder months, there's less fresh produce and our choices tend to slack off as well.  

"You really are what you eat and if you're eating more fruits and vegetables, lower fat and lower salt you're going to feel better and be a little lighter on your feet." Said Lageson.

Thanksgiving and the holidays are traps for many diets, so it's important to give yourself limits and keep that heart rate up. Exercise and diet are the cornerstones but don't think it's selfish to also take extra time for you.

"Make sure that you make time for you and you'll be able to balance everybody else too. Take care of yourself first and you're going to feel better through the holidays rather then dropping off and starting over in January or February, keep it going!" Said Haggar-Tuschen.

Whether it's on the treadmill or pumping some iron, a little bit of exercise every day will definitely help keep seasonal fatigue away.  

"Just getting enough physical activity, you sleep better, your energy level is better and you just feel better." Said Dr. Lageson.

Seasonal fatigue is different from Seasonal Affective Disorder which is a recognized depression brought on by the winter months. For more information on seasonal fatigue just call 877-AT-AVERA. 
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