Why women might have low energy in midlife and beyond?
3 reasons you might have lower levels of energy as you get older
Did you know that older women are more likely than men to have chronic, or ongoing, health conditions – such as arthritis, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Women are also more likely to develop multiple health problems and older women are also more likely to have memory or other “cognitive” problems, and difficulty carrying out daily activities such as dressing, walking, or bathing without help.
But some issues we face are less clinical but often just at debilitating. Words I hear regularly from clients in midlife and beyond are:
Not much fun, right!
And all this at a time of life when perhaps retirement is on the horizon, children leaving home, grandchildren appear.
Or you might be embarking on a new career (like me at 50) and need more energy, want to travel more, or were looking to take up new active hobbies.
And bang – tired all the time.
Clients are always confused. 9 times out of 10 they'll say:
But nothing’s changed
I’m not doing anything differently
There’s no more stress than there always was
What’s different now?
And even considering the menopause, they still can’t understand this low energy, often accompanied by a low mood or lack of motivation. Don't despair, I've got you.
Here’s 3 Reasons Why You Might Have No Energy
There are more, but in my experience with clients, when there is no pre-existing or clinical cause, addressing these 3 reasons ALWAYS results in higher energy levels.
Fatigue, tiredness, lack of energy, no motivation in older women (I’m talking 50+ here) is multi-factoral. There’s rarely one single reason, and certainly for most of us, the mix mash of reasons will be different. So even though so many of us suffer from this malaise or low energy, there is no one single reason or solution.
However, there are a few common reasons, that affect different women to different degrees. You might recognise your WHY in the some of the pointers below.
Blood Sugar Imbalance
This is a massive energy drain. And so underrated and often misunderstood. Spikes and dips in the amount of sugar in the blood can translate directly as energy highs and lows. We start the blood sugar roller coaster with breads and cereals in the morning, and off we go, up and down, fuelled by sandwiches at lunch, snacks and biscuits in between and pasta, potatoes or rice heavy meals for dinner..
Everyone kind of gets the blood sugar high thing, hence the over consumption of energy drinks, and energy bars to give us more energy (big mistake). What is less understood is the corresponding crash of fatigue that comes from the energy high.
Did You Know?
Here's the thing, women, as they get older, are more sensitive to these blood sugar highs and lows. It’s all to do with how our bodies react to insulin, how quickly the body can clear the sugar out of the blood and into the cells, and that’s an issue for most women as they got older.
So, you many never have suffered from blood sugar imbalances before and your diet hasn’t changed but that’s why, just as get a bit older, that same diet is having a different effect and causing low energy. Hint Hint, somethings gotta change.
PS It’s also important to avoid blood sugar spikes and maintain blood glucose levels within a safe range, to either prevent diabetes or manage any pre-existing condition to minimise the impact on your quality of life.
When you are stressed your heart works harder and your immune system may not work as well. Another manifestation of stress is the continual feeling of fatigue. You are simply tired. The impact on your body causes fatigue. So that’s the case for everyone, regardless of age, and there are loads of studies to show that women are more resilient to stress than men.
However, as we get older, we are all less resilient to stress. Your body can't physically handle stress the same way it did when you were younger. That means that the same level of stress we could take with little ill effect in our 30’s, has more of a negative impact in our 60’s. Cue more tiredness and fatigue, less energy, and a host of other health issues that stress is related to. That is unless we proactively do something about it, such as:
· Improve our stress resilience
· Get better at stress management
· Reduce the stress load
· Or a mix of all of the above is best
Easier said than done you might say, but skip to the end for how I'm going to help.
I was going to start his paragraph with “or it could simply be that you’re not getting enough sleep”. Then I thought better of it. Because, as we age, both duration and more importantly quality of sleep is far from simple.
Wether it’s hot flashes, stress, restless legs or adjusting to lifestyle changes that is impacting on sleep, all of this can cause tiredness, low levels of energy, brain fatigue, low mood and loss of motivation during the day as well as frustration at night.
Stress and Blood sugar imbalances can all feed into poor quality sleep and leave you drained in the AM which equals poor food choices (more blood sugar imbalances) and even lower stress resilience.
A few other things
There are so many things that can cause women in midlife and beyond to have low energy, too many to go into here. A few worth a mention though. Gut health, weight, activity level, physical health and mental health can all have an enormous impact. Each one impactful enough for their own blog - watch this space.
What can you do?
First of all, if none of this is ringing any bells, or your gut tells you something more may be at play, it's definitely worth chatting with your doctor who can run some simple tests to explore things like B12 or iron deficiency, thyroid hormone imbalance, sleep apnea or a few other conditions that can cause fatigue or tiredness.
Secondly, there is so much you can do day to day. Rarely have I had a client who, regardless of stage of life or pre-existing conditions, has not seen significant improvements in energy levels after working with me. You can read what some clients have said here.
So how does this sound?
"5 Things Stopping You From Ageing Well"
Tuesday 1st November at 8pm
I'm hosting this Free webinar to try to reach as many women as possible. I'm on a mission to help women in midlife and beyond live their best lives, full of energy and vitality.
There'll be loads of tips, some recipe ideas and time for questions. And if you can't make it live, you'll have access to the recording for 7 days.
Make the rest of your life the best of your life.