Getting older doesn’t mean that you have to slow down, but keeping your energy levels high as you enter your golden years can be challenging. Experiencing a little tiredness and fatigue throughout the day is common as you age. However, creating a routine of healthy habits can help you combat such feelings. By incorporating the following ten tips into your daily routine, you can help yourself maintain a feeling of vitality and invigoration this winter.
Practice Energy Boosting Exercises
Exercise is a wonderful way to replenish your energy stores, and choosing activities that are designed to increase your metabolism and get oxygen flowing throughout your body will help you optimize your energy levels. A brisk walk works wonders for a lagging metabolism, while fun aerobic activities like dancing or water aerobics can help boost the oxygen in your blood.
Make High Protein Foods a Cornerstone of Your Diet
While carbohydrate-heavy foods like pasta, bread and sugary treats may give you a short spurt of energy, that feeling quickly wears off as these foods stimulate the production of sleep-inducing serotonin, and you’ll be left feeling tired and sluggish. Instead, try incorporating foods that are high in protein into your day. A high protein diet will help you feel fuller, sleep better and avoid the “sugar crash” associated with a carbohydrate-heavy diet, all of which translate to feeling more alert and energetic.
Seniors are prone to dehydration due to lowered levels of thirst, an overall reduction in daily food and water intake, and medications and medical conditions that cause greater fluid requirements. Unfortunately, dehydration often leads to fatigue as well as other serious health effects. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water or decaffeinated herbal tea daily; eating water-dense produce like cucumber and watermelon can also help keep your hydration levels up.
Smoking is responsible for a myriad of negative health conditions, and a loss of energy is often one of this habit’s destructive side effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that smoking is the leading cause of avoidable illnesses and death in the United States. When you quit, you’ll notice that your breathing is easier, improving both your health and your energy level. If you need help quitting, don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor.
Take Steps to Manage Your Stress
Many adults find that their stress levels increase as they age. whether due to declining health, mental and physical changes or unexpected external challenges. In turn, stress can cause a number of mental and physical side effects, including lower energy. You can combat stress by seeking out positive coping strategies such as mindful meditation, painting, knitting or gardening.
Get Plenty of Rest
According to the National Institutes of Health, almost half of all adults over 60 experience insomnia or frequent nighttime waking. As you might imagine, insomnia tends to cause daytime sleepiness and low energy levels. The key to overcoming insomnia and increasing your daytime energy is to practice good sleep hygiene. A few easy ways to do this includes avoiding bright lights or screens in the hour before bed, developing a consistent bedtime ritual, avoiding caffeine or sugar late in the day and keeping your bedroom quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature.
Maintain Your Social Connections
Studies have shown that remaining social and closely connected with family and friends as you age can help keep stress, loneliness and depression at bay and make you feel more upbeat and spirited. However, many senior citizens find it more difficult to keep up their social life as they get older. Combat isolation and its side effects by working to maintain your existing friendships as well as building new ones through volunteering, taking classes or becoming part of a senior community.
Get the Right Amount of Important Vitamins and Nutrients
Sometimes the key to feeling more energetic is as simple as including certain vitamins and other nutrients in your diet. The Mayo Clinic advises senior citizens to make sure that the foods they eat include plenty of calcium and vitamin D in order to improve muscle, bone and joint health and to reap the accompanying flexibility, strength and energy benefits. Similarly, getting enough niacin, folic acid and vitamins A, B, C and E can help you avoid vitamin deficiencies that cause chronic disease and fatigue.
Stay Mentally Active
Mental energy is just as critical as physical vitality; as with physical exercise, mental activity can help boost your mental energy levels. Staying sharp can also help you avoid memory loss and some cognitive impairments. Luckily, almost anything that challenges your brain can help keep you mentally fit, so pick what you enjoy: solving brain teasers, reading an interesting book, doing crossword puzzles, taking up an instrument or learning a new language.
Find Purpose by Engaging in Meaningful Pursuits
Ultimately, finding joy and deriving meaning from life are key to staying healthy and energetic as you age. The additional free time that retirement gives you provides the perfect opportunity to start up a hobby, join a social club, take an interesting class, pursue a volunteering endeavor or embark on new travel adventures. Doing what you love–and discovering new and unexpected pursuits to delight in and derive meaning from–is fundamental to motivating and energizing yourself.
Are you looking for more ways to remain socially, mentally and physically active in retirement? Contact Gull Creek to arrange a personal tour of our vibrant senior living community located on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore.