Do you tire more quickly than you used too? Experts tell us not be to be too quick to blame our age for this, but despite their reassurances I seem to complain about fatigue more often than I used to. The ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness is important as we grow older, so fatigue is not a welcome symptom.
We are all interested in “quick fixes” so it isn’t surprising that we look to the medical community for answers. This is a good thing. Just knowing whether your complaint is legitimate or not, is a good place to start. Symptoms should never be relegated to the back burner because you think they are a normal sign of aging. It may come as a surprise to learn that thyroid function, hypoglycemia, and anemia are not the culprits as often as you think they are. Excessive fatigue is not a normal part of aging. It is important to examine your lifestyle before begging for “quick fixes” or giving up on yourself.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. If you have always been a “type A” personality you may indeed be tired. We grew up in a time when being a super-mom, macho man, or the perfect employee was a part of who we were. Your body may be asking you reexamine what being normal means to you. If you are still creating a huge to-do list every morning or carrying a calendar around with you so that you can fill every day, you may be doing too much.
If you find yourself dozing in front of the television, turning down social invitations, or refusing to join friends for outdoor activities you need to get at the cause of your fatigue. Failure to exercise, depression, worry, boredom, drug use and side effects, sleeplessness are areas to work on.
- Listen to your body but don’t give in to fatigue
- Rest when you are tired, but alternate rest with periods of activity
- Be mindful of what you put into your mouth which includes excessive caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and/or over medicating yourself.
- Increase your activity
- Adequate nutrition
- Enough Sleep
- Medical work-up
An article by an anonymous author for USA Today (February 2002) pinpointed another culprit. Weight gain and lack of regular exercise can plays a huge role when it comes to energy expenditure, and can limit the amount of activity that you feel comfortable with. The effects of aging in and of itself has only a small effect on what people in their 60s,70s and 80s can do, so look carefully at the total picture. A healthy, fit individual can live well into their 80’s or 90’s before age related decreases become an issue.