Have you been finding it increasingly difficult to wake up at your usual time in the morning as the years roll by? Even when you do wake up, you do not feel fully awake until you devour a cup or two of your favorite beverage. Even in the night you feel like hitting the bed before your usual timing. Not only this, during the day too you do not have the energy to work longer hours and consequently feel drowsy by the afternoon. There is a craving of another round of coffee or tea to hold ground and even afterwards, the general state of affairs does not improve much. There is an all pervasive feeling of tiredness and languor that keeps you encumbered. You might have started reading a book, but never got around to finishing it even after a month, probably because there is some lack of concentration. You have tried almost all the things that you could think of, from rejuvenation therapies to spa visits, from exotic breakfast to elaborate shopping trips. Nothing seems to help you relieve your fatigue. When someone asks you ‘How you are doing’, you want to break down and tell him the truth about your failing physical endurance levels. You just generally feel tired all day and you need constant boosters to make you feel normal and that too with dismal results. Hope it has nothing to do with lower motivation levels.
Living through your 20s and 30s is marked by rapid and vigorous activities and events such as physical workouts, active and adventurous sports, start of a job and streak of professional achievements, partying hard, globe-trotting, visiting resorts and hotels, marriage, childbirths etc. You have worked with fire like alacrity on the professional, personal and home fronts. Taking major buying decisions that of home, car and other assets by taking huge loans and paying mortgages. Rearing children and taking care of their schooling needs is a tiring exercise. In a nutshell, you have lived life in the fast lane.
What defines the 40s or how is this particular life stage different from the others gone by? While in your 40’s you have ageing parents who need constant attention and care, teenage children who need your guidance more than ever and your professional demands are still high as you might be heading your department, SBU or the company. The career of your adolescent children is in the works and you are quite concerned how it will shape up in the near future. Deliberating on options such as choosing a school or a college, the country, the university, the stream of study and the financial requirement dominate your thoughts. When it comes to your own professional front, it remains as shaky as ever. You would be putting in much less physical work now, than what you put in years back, even then the work load seems unbearable. In your younger years, you would surely have spent sleepless and anxious nights at home as well as office, but the prospect of doing that again seems to send jitters down your spine just as the thought of having another biological baby. You simply feel run down and weary from all the rigmarole and hardships that you have faced up till now.
Also, during the 40s there are hormonal changes in the body that affect most people in a lot many ways. Women are more prone to these changes than men. There comes about deficiencies of varied constituents and nutrients that cause imbalances in the body. One possible reason for your perennial tiredness could be connected with the process of metabolism occurring inside your body. You might have heard the term Metabolism, if not, I will help you understand it in some detail. Metabolism is generally understood to be the rate at which your body burns food to produce energy or calories. The food that you eat is digested that leads to production of energy which is utilized in performing day to day tasks. There are enough studies that point at reduced rate of metabolism as you age. So, by the time you reach your 40s the metabolism rate would have dropped by approximately 20% over what it was when you were 25. As a result, your body produces less energy which might not be sufficient for performing all the day to day tasks. This is the reason why you feel generally tired, actually for no apparent reason. After reaching its highest rate at 25, metabolism starts declining at a substantial rate every year. This is essentially what we call as ageing. But why does the metabolism rate decline? In the old age the muscle mass as well as its relative mass in the overall body mass declines. And when there is a reduction in muscles, their ability to do any physical work or exercise also decreases. This is the reason why metabolism rate keeps diminishing with age. Some signs of old age set in at around this age.
There are ways to stem declining muscle mass as well as metabolism. One way to stop the decline is by gaining muscle mass through proper exercise. For this purpose anaerobic exercise will help you more than aerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise is characterized by vigorous high intensity workouts for a short duration while aerobic exercise is characterized by low intensity workouts and longer duration. You can effectively maintain good metabolism by building consistent anaerobic workouts into your daily schedule. The best anaerobic exercise is a 4 to 5 minute run. There is a vigorous demand of energy and so the body burns more nutrients in a short span of time and hence the metabolism gets a boost. Daily schedule of high demand workouts does the trick in inhibiting the fall in the metabolism rate. A high intensity longer interval exercise which is essentially aerobic in nature like cycling or jogging, effectively becomes anaerobic when an elevated heartbeat of over 85 to 90% of the maximum heartbeat is maintained. Eating more does not lead to production of more energy as the metabolism is slow. Therefore, the only remedy is to do some vigorous exercise just for 4 to 5 minutes a day.
[ Also Read : 5 Daily Foods for a Healthy Heart ]
The 40s are the decider years whether your health remains as robust as ever or goes downhill from here. Your body weight is an important indicator of your overall health therefore you must maintain a healthy body weight pretty much what most charts tell you. Keep it under regular observation and watch out even for a kilogram increase or decrease in it. The importance of food that you eat cannot be overstressed more. Consume more of fresh green vegetables like spinach, bitter, bottle, ridge and round gourds etc. radish, carrot, beetroot etc. which pack you with enough minerals and vitamins. Free radicals are known to hasten the ageing process. Therefore, increase your intake of antioxidants like vitamin A, C and E, polyphenols, selenium and bioflavonoids that eat up free radicals thus slowing down ageing effects. Vitamin A is found in the vegetables such as carrot, sweet potato, apricot and cantaloupe etc. Vitamin C is found in all citrus fruits such as kiwi, orange, guava, lemon, grapefruit, capsicum, cantaloupe and strawberry. Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, nuts like almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts sunflower seeds and green vegetables especially spinach and broccoli.
[ Also Read : Nuts and seeds that promote good health ]
Health is what will remain with you forever, take good care of it
Useful tips to maintain the energy levels in your 40’s..superb article!