Seniors: 5 Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels
Ever feel tired all the time?
It happens. Maybe you wake up tired, need a nap in the middle of the day, or feel like you need coffee and caffeine just to get by.
If your energy levels are low, it’s time to take a closer look at a few things and make some changes. Here are five ways to boost energy for seniors:
Eat more complex carbs
Skip the sugary treats and drinks, white bread, rice, and pasta. And eat more whole foods like whole-grains, pasta, cereal, and crackers.
Foods high in fiber also contain complex carbohydrates like peas, lentils, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
What’s the difference between simple carbs and complex carbs? Simple carbs are digested rapidly, give you a boost of energy....followed by a crash in blood sugar levels (low energy)
But complex carbs take longer to digest. Blood sugar levels remain stable, and you’re less likely to experience a crash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Read to eat more complex carbs for energy? Make a shopping list and head to the grocery store.
Or pick your favorite Senior-Friendly meals from the menu to boost your energy levels with complex carbs. Here’s a few favorites:
- Baked Tilapia, Brown Rice & Minted Carrots
- Vegetable Caponata with Orzo & Spinach
- Beef Lasagna with Peas & Carrots
- Chicken Parmigiana, Rice & Carrots
- Eggplant Parmigiana and Polenta with Spinach & Roasted Peppers
Sit less, move more
You might think you need to save your energy, so lounging around makes sense.
But too much of that, actually keeps your energy levels low.
A quick fix? Get up and go.
Research published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that being more active can actually increase energy levels by up to 65 percent.
No. You don’t have to run a marathon or climb a mountain.
Just 10 minutes of moderate physical activity is enough to elevate your heart rate, pump more oxygen to your brain and body, and give up a boost of energy.
Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Swim. Take a fitness class. And you’ll have more energy.
Drink more water
Here’s another culprit behind feeling low on energy...dehydration.
When you’re dehydrated, it’s harder for all the systems in your body to function, according to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition. There’s the telltale signs like dry lips, parched mouth and tongue.
But dehydration also puts your brain and body in a fog. You feel fatigued, have difficulty concentrating, and even experience muscle weakness.
Make sure you’re drinking enough water. On average that’s around 8 cups a day. But it depends on a variety of factors like your weight, activity level, and climate (hot/cold), you live in.
If you haven’t had to urinate in a couple hours, you probably need to drink more water.
Get your zzz’s
How much sleep do you get? If you stay up late to watch TV, use the Internet, or do other activities, then wake up early, you may not be getting enough sleep.
Poor sleep can take a toll on your health, and your energy levels, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Poor sleep can even raise your risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.
To protect your health and improve your energy levels, aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
Here are some things you can do to get a good night’s sleep:
- Go to bed at the same time every night, even on weekends.
- Turn off all electronics at least an hour before bed.
- Avoid eating spicy foods for dinner. And avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol late in the day or evening.
- Make your room dark and comfortable.
It takes a little practice to reprogram your sleep habits, but a good night’s sleep can boost your energy levels during the day. If you’re still having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor.
Get checked for underlying health conditions
See your doctor at least once a year for an annual wellness check...sooner if you’re always feeling tired and fatigued.
Why? Lack of energy or feeling fatigued all the time can be a sign of an underlying health condition.
Having a conversation with your doctor or some basic blood tests (recommended by your doctor), can help identify possible health conditions that interfere with sleep.
Just because you’re getting a little older, doesn’t mean you should feel tired all the time. Give these suggestions a try to feel better, boost your energy levels, and improve your health.