For Sameer Oberoi, a 38 year old engineer, life became a constant struggle. He used to be very energetic till a few years back. Every weekend he used to take his family out for a movie, dinner or for shopping. At work he was recognized as the best employee of the year. But for the past few years his life has changed. He has started feeling tired more often than usual.
"I have been feeling so tired. Tasks which were earlier a cakewalk for me became almost unmanageable. I love going out with my family but now, I just did not seem to have enough energy. Simple things like climbing up the stairs, playing with my kids seemed to be very difficult", says Sameer
Life at forty can be tough for both men and women. You suddenly find it difficult to do many things you effortlessly did in your twenties or early thirties. This is an accepted part of the ageing process. But in today’s stressful times, most of us have lifestyles that give may give us little or no time to focus on ways of coping with reduced stamina. That is why most men and women in this age-group complain of fatigue that can be both physical and mental in nature.
What exactly is fatigue? Is it a serious concern?
Fatigue is an unpleasant feeling of weakness or tiredness caused by working, by stress or by a lack of sleep. Fatigue may be typically the result of nutritional deficiencies, long working hours, mental stress or lack of sleep. It can also be caused by invisible cell damage taking place inside your body. If fatigue goes unattended, it is bound to impact your performance at work.
Mechanism of cell damage - Blame it on free radicals!
Dr. L.M.Srivastva says, “Till the age of 30 our bodies are in high gear running fairly efficiently. Each day 300 billion cells, qualitatively better, are made that replace the worn out cells. This ensures good cellular health. But as we approach mid-thirties our cellular metabolism starts to alter due to free radicals and our vital energy reserves start to decline. Free radicals, causing cell damage, are produced in our body because of modern lifestyle, stress, environmental pollution, orientation towards fast food and lack of exercise.”
Free radicals interfere with the normal functioning of cells, leaving them weak and defenseless. As a result, premature ageing, inflammation and degenerative diseases set in. The loss of vigour and vitality with time is best described as the origin of what is known as the “ageing process.” Ageing is associated with an overall loss of function of the whole organism, which starts with cellular deterioration. It is the sensitive stage where the “wear and tear” of life takes its toll on the body cells.
For healthy cells and their repair we need enough of proteins, essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (that fights free radicals). Modern diets and lifestyle may not be enough to fulfill this requirement Unhealthy dietary habits which include highly refined and processed foods can cause fatigue and build toxicity in the blood leading to lower energy levels and low cellular oxygen levels.
Combating tiredness and fatigue
A combination of balanced nutrition, supplementation and exercise is enough to break down ageing barriers and at the same time power pack us with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants necessary to keep us active and healthy.
7 steps for managing fatigue and tiredness
Fatigue management is all about making some minor but sustainable changes in the way we live our lives both on the professional and personal fronts. Except for chronic fatigue which requires treatment all other forms of fatigue can be readily remedied employing measures that are anything but drastic. These include:
MANAGING WORKPLACE TENSION
EATING BALANCED DIET
SUPPLEMENTING DIET WITH ANTIOXIDANTS
PRACTICING GOOD SLEEP HABITS
PRACTICING YOGA, MEDITATION OR RELAXATION TECHNIQUES
Dr. Lalit Mohan Srivastava
Genetic Expert (Biochemistry)
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi.