Energy—a word that’s more elusive than your teenage grandkids. It’s also an essential component to living strong and living long, but as you age it’s difficult to find and even harder to keep.
Do you exercise? Eat right? Sleep through the night? Of course you do! Your doctor and every over-50 magazine at the cash register reminds you that it’s important for healthy aging.
But did you know those energy-boosters could also be energy-zappers? We found 3 of the most common energy-boosting tips seniors use but are doing wrong. While there’s no magic recipe for regaining the energy you had in your 20’s, these changes will leave you refreshed and ready to seize the day, all day.
Exercise, but not too much
Fitness–most people don’t push hard enough, but others push too hard. It’s no secret that exercising helps you lose weight, combat health conditions, improve your mood, and boost your energy.
But if you don’t let your body recover, you can feel exhausted yet unable to sleep. Studies also show it weakens your immune system, which makes recovering from winter colds more difficult.
As your age increases, your strength and energy decrease. So you might not be able to work out as hard as you once did. Listen to your body. If you feel moody, tired, or sick after working out, cut back and give yourself a break.
Eat high protein foods, but watch your cholesterol
Protein aids digestion, balances hormones, gives you an upbeat mood, and helps you maintain muscle and bone health. The Institute of Medicine recommends men over 50 eat at least 56 grams of protein, and women over 50 should eat at least 46 grams of protein every day.
But, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death for women over 65 is heart disease and cholesterol is a significant factor in that.
Often people eat meats to get their extra protein, but these also contain saturated fats which can elevate cholesterol levels (LDL).
Stick to lean meats, like chicken, turkey without skin, and healthy fish. You can also substitute nuts, soy, and legumes. If you insist on having a fatty steak, skip the fried egg for breakfast and eat an extra serving of vegetables.
Sleep well, but don’t sleep in
You understand the dangers of too little sleep, but sleeping too much can have a negative effect on your life too.
Oversleeping can cause depression, cognitive impairment, and increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
The National Sleep Foundation states that between 7 to 9 hours is normal and healthy for most adults between 18 and 64 years of age. But to find your sweet spot, set your alarm clock to wake you in 7.5 hours. After a few days, you can increase or decrease that time depending on if you wake up before your alarm or if you find it difficult to get out of bed.
Increasing your energy won’t happen overnight. It takes dedication, a willingness to change, and a drive to gain knowledge about what works and what doesn’t. Want to learn more? Check out our other post on boosting energy.