Some of us would like to blame our reduced energy on the fact that we are aging, but if we take an honest look around us at other older adults, we must admit that it’s not just “because I’m old!” We all eventually think about ourselves getting older and whether we can do it with grace and ease. Our thoughts may be triggered by the notice of our body’s changes that we were able to ignore or brush aside at one time. Then one day when our denial finally crumbles, we know for sure we have to take some time to consider if we’re truly doing all that we can to age well.
Here are some tips for positive aging if you’re thinking about recharging your energy reserves. Dr. Beth Frates says that we all need to pay attention to what might be really draining and sapping the energy from us.
- Who Do You Spend Time Around? Hopefully, the people in your life are fantastic people to be around. Have you made an effort to spend ample amounts of time with the friends and family you are most comfortable with? Are they encouraging? Do they accept and respect you for who you are and what you want to do yet in life? Or, do you have people around you who make you feel like you need to hide or conceal a piece of yourself? If spending time with the latter group leaves you drained with feelings of low energy, consider limiting or even eliminating your time with them! Use your time with the people who make you feel good.
- Take a 5-Minute Walk Have you ever noticed how fatigue seems to waken the craving monster? That’s a perfect time to take a five-minute walk. Just five minutes – really! Just walk outside, stroll around the block to stretch your legs and get your body moving. It’s amazing how a short walk can really help you feel invigorated! Dr. Frates says deep breathing can revive our parasympathetic system, also, so try a breathing pattern of 4-7-8: take four breaths in, hold it for seven counts, then exhale for eight.
- Drink Ample Amounts of Water. It’s important to monitor how much water we’re drinking, especially as we get older. We need to be more mindful of the quantity of fluids we’re drinking in order to maintain proper hydration. Staying fully hydrated boosts our metabolism, and keeps us as healthy as possible. Water is a high priority when it comes to recovery from exercise, too. An initial sign of dehydration is sleepiness, so try grabbing a glass of water if you’re feeling like your energy reserves are zapped.
- Resistance Training. Lift weights or use another type of resistance exercise to increase energy levels. As we build muscle mass, especially over 60 years old, we are able to maintain strength from our earlier years. When we are stronger, our bodies work more efficiently, and this brings us increased overall energy.
- Take Your Vitamins. Take good care of your energy with high-quality vitamins and supplements and you’ll probably feel better all over, mentally and physically. The correct supplements that meet your needs can add to your quality of life and wellbeing. Work with your doctor or healthcare professional to figure out which nutrients you may be lacking and will be best for you at this time in your life.
- Didn’t we sleep so much better when we were younger? We’d lie down and fall asleep quite rapidly, remember? As we get older, we’re often deprived of a good night’s sleep. Although good-intentioned advice abounds, one of the best recommendations you could adhere to is to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up each morning at the same time. This next recommendation may seem too easy, but recommendations for sleep-deprived people include getting less sleep. Certainly, that might seem strange, but it’s suggested that the amount of sleep you truly need might be reduced by the amount of time spent in bed worrying about not being able to sleep.
Some people find their restful sleep when they:
- Don’t allow themselves to nap during the daytime.
- Go to bed later than normal and get just four hours of sleep on the first night.
- Add 15 – 30 minutes more sleep the next night, and each one after until ample.
- If you’re sleeping soundly the whole time you’re in bed, just keep adding additional sleep on successive nights until you’ve found your sweet spot.
Any of these tips may be likely to improve energy levels. Make an experiment out of your sleep and track how you feel when you try these tips. By embracing your own self-care, you can learn, and feel energized, too!