For most seniors, hitting the age of 65 doesn’t mean slowing down. As we age, though, it’s common for our energy levels to dip and many seniors find that, despite wanting to get out and enjoy their golden years, they simply don’t have the energy they once did. This can be a frustrating and discouraging experience.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be a permanent one.
With a few simple tricks, seniors can boost their energy levels and jump back into life once more. Read on.
Get Active! 13 Ways for Seniors to Improve Their Energy Levels
Take a hike
Even if your knees aren’t up for a major climb, a brisk walk along a neighborhood trail or an indoor track is a fantastic way to make you feel alert and focused. For best results, take a walk outside (but don’t forget to wear sunscreen) to enjoy the added boost of Vitamin D. If walking isn’t your thing, you can also consider an energizing morning yoga sequence or a fun Jazzercise class.
Any brisk activity that doesn’t wear you out will work wonders on your energy levels. Research has shown that exercise boosts the efficiency of your cardiovascular system and improves neurotransmitters associated with energy production, like dopamine, so get out there and get active!
Drink plenty of water
Getting dehydrated has a devastating effect on energy levels, especially for seniors. According to Human Kinetics, body dehydration of as little as 2% can result in a 30% decrease in capacity for activity. With that in mind, make it a conscious effort to drink about 2 liters of water each day. If you notice yourself feeling sluggish or tired, drink a glass of water and have a healthy snack. Your energy levels should perk right back up!
While many people believe that smoking increases energy levels, just the opposite is true. While nicotine produces a short burst of energy, the effects are short-lived, and individuals who smoke tend to experience more drastic dips in energy levels than their non-smoking counterparts.
Because smokers have a diminished lung capacity, their lungs aren’t able to supply as much oxygen to the brain and muscles as those systems need to function at their peak capacity. This, in turn, leads to fatigue and declining energy levels. With this in mind, avoid smoking. If you currently smoke and would like help quitting, visit Quitday.org.
Amend your diet
While it’s an often-overlooked factor, diet has a significant impact on our energy levels. Diets that are too rich in carbohydrates, sugars and processed foods will make you feel groggy and listless. On the other hand, foods rich in quality protein, vitamins, and lean fats are ideal for sustained energy and an alert and positive outlook. Turn to whole food sources like chicken, tuna, and turkey as well as eggs, seeds, and leafy greens for optimal energy levels.
Get a good night’s rest
If you’re not sleeping well, you can’t expect to feel rested and active the next morning! Unfortunately, many seniors suffer from sleep problems that impair their ability to wake up feeling refreshed. Consult your doctor if you have ongoing sleep issues. Some things, such as sleep apnea or chronic insomnia, may need medical attention to be adequately resolved.
Once you’ve done this, turn your attention to developing healthy sleep habits, such as banning electronics from your bedroom, making the space as dark as possible, keeping the room cool, developing a bedtime routine, and using a white noise machine if you’re a light sleeper. While these are simple tips, they can go a long way toward making you feel more rested and giving you more energy during the day.
Meditation works wonders for everything from our health and well-being to our energy levels. Multiple studies have proved links between meditation and increased productivity, focus, and energy.
Because meditation allows your brain to “shut off” for a period, it can help you recharge and re-focus, much the same way a mid-day nap would. If you’ve never maintained a meditative practice before, don’t worry.
Today, there are dozens of ways to get into meditation without the requirement of prior experience. Look around your community for a local meditation group or yoga center that offers meditation sessions. If you can’t find one, use an app like Headspace for quick, guided meditations to help you feel more energetic.
Address your stress
When left untreated, stress can balloon into an all-consuming thing that sucks up our energy and makes it difficult to function during the day. Because of this, it’s essential to develop methods for dealing with stress in healthy and positive ways.
Meditation can help, as can getting out for a relaxing walk. Consider talking to a therapist if your stress is rampant, or call up a trusted confidant for a heart-to-heart. When we control our stress, we have more energy left over for the most important things in our lives.
Call a friend
Connecting with other people is critical for feeling engaged, happy, and loved, and it can help ban feelings of sluggishness, as well. If you find yourself feeling sleepy in the middle of the day, call a friend for lunch or coffee. This simple little perk may be all you need to feel active and alert once more.
Play brain games
You’ve heard the saying “use it or lose it,” and it’s just as true for your mind as for your body. When you keep your mind active, you put sluggishness and lethargy at bay. Luckily, it’s easy to do. Play brain-focused games like chess or scrabble or get a subscription to a brain training service like Lumosity to help keep your brain active and engaged. As an added benefit, playing brain games like this can also help prevent dementia and cognitive decline!
Get excited about something
Sometimes, people who aren’t learning anything new or taking in unique experiences will feel lethargic and tired. Luckily, this is a simple fix. If it’s been awhile since you took on a new challenge or learned something new, consider adopting a new hobby or joining a class. Simple things like arts courses or book clubs can go a long way toward making you feel more engaged and giving you something to get excited about each day. Sluggishness be gone!
Supplement your diet
Feelings of excess tiredness are often the result of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. If you’ve made changes to your lifestyle but still notice that your energy levels are lacking, consider supplementing your diet with vitamins like E, C, B, or A. Talk to your doctor about the specifics.
Go on a vacation
Sometimes, feeling lethargic and tired is a result of having been in the same place for too long. If you can, take a small vacation with your friends or family. A change of scenery can go a long way toward shifting your perspective and helping you feel more active and engaged every day.
Be careful with the caffeine
If you’re an avid coffee drinker, it may be wise to cut back. While many people use coffee to wake up, it can actually have the reverse effect if consumed in large quantities. Because coffee is both a vasoconstrictor and a diuretic, it dehydrates the body.
This, in turn, can lead to a boost in blood pressure and feelings of sluggishness and lethargy. With that in mind, limit yourself to one cup of Joe a day and resist the urge to brew yourself another pot in the afternoon since doing so can interrupt sleep patterns.
Nobody likes to feel sluggish and tired. Luckily, these 13 tips can help you ward off sleepiness and participate in your life actively once more!