For many Americans, having the adequate amount of energy to get through the day can be a struggle. We often find ourselves reaching for the coffee refill or wanting to take a nap by the time the afternoon rolls around. This is especially true for older adults and seniors who naturally tend to need more rest or slow down a bit.
The good news is that there are actually some solutions that seniors can add to their routine to help! Most of these are simple and relatively easy to implement with a few minor adjustments. Here at independent living in Rancho Mirage, we have a few suggestions we think you should check out. Keep reading to learn more!
Solution #1: Watch Carb Intake
Despite what you might have heard in the past, there is such a thing as good carbs. In fact, carbohydrates are the top source for fueling the primary functions of your brain, muscles, and organs. Yeah, we’d say that’s pretty vital! Where carbs get a bad wrap comes into play in the form of simple carbs, such as those found in soda, candy, white bread, and other highly processed foods. These are unhealthy and have a tendency to leave us feeling sluggish.
When it comes to eating healthy, opt for foods that are considered ‘complex carbs’. These take some time for the body to break down, allowing you to draw energy from them as the day progresses. A few foods that are great sources of complex carbs include:
- Whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals
- Fiber-rich legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils
- Fresh fruits
- Green vegetables
To give this a try, make a few simple changes around the kitchen. For example, you could swap out white bread for whole grain bread on your next sandwich or switch to cauliflower rice instead of instant white rice. To learn more about healthy meal planning for seniors, head over to our blog!
Solution #2: Regular Exercise
Exercising is great for the body no matter what age you are. Though for seniors, it is essential to keep a few factors in mind, such as mobility and health conditions. While exercising when you are low on energy may seem counterproductive, it is actually a good way to get the blood flowing. Staying sedentary for long periods of time can certainly take its toll.
Don’t worry, though! You don’t have to head out and start training for a triathlon or anything. For seniors, it is best to stick to low impact activities. Try to take a simple walk around the block or spend some time on your feet doing basic chores. Here at independent living in Rancho Mirage, we are proud to offer our residents a wide variety of activities, including tai-chi, yoga, cardio classes, dance classes, and so much more! These are very popular and are a great way to stay healthy.
Solution #3: Stay Hydrated
This particular point is important to note as thirst naturally diminishes as we age. However, just because seniors don’t feel thirsty doesn’t mean that they don’t need water! When we are dehydrated, our bodies feel sluggish and we can even get headaches or have issues with digestion. It is very important to maintain a proper water intake.
For seniors, it is recommended that they drink about 1.7 liters of water a day, especially as warmer temperatures are headed our way. This translates to about 60 ounces of water. Try to start drinking water first thing in the morning to get a jump start and ensure that you stay on top of your intake. Sometimes, having a fun cup or water bottle is good motivation to stay hydrated as well!
Solution #4: Get Enough Rest
Seniors need about 7-8 hours of sleep each and every night. However, this doesn’t always happen. Some medications may cause restlessness. Or every day anxiety can leave you tossing and turning. When this occurs, it can definitely take its toll. Schedule an appointment and talk to your doctor if you have some concerns in this area.
You can also try making some changes at home as well. Of course do your best to cut back on caffeine too late in the day, even if an after dinner cappuccino or tea is tempting! Minimize distractions by turning off the TV and opting to read before bed instead. Create a routine that helps foster a restful sleep environment.
Without adequate sleep, one can certainly begin to feel fatigued and exhausted. Over time, this can compound and lead to long term health issues that can be quite concerning. It is best to nip this in the bud as soon as possible.
Solution #5: Schedule Routine Check-Ups
For seniors, this step cannot be missed. If you suddenly find yourself feeling fatigued and exhausted with no way to get your energy back, this is a huge red flag. Visiting with your doctor is the most important thing. Have an open, honest conversation with them regarding what is going on and how you are feeling.
They will need to run tests to make sure that these issues aren’t being caused by an underlying medical condition. Some of these medical concerns could include:
- Celiac disease
- Autoimmune disease
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Anxiety or depression
This is just a short list to name a few. Especially be aware if you have any family history of these particular medical conditions. Only a doctor can diagnose and treat these conditions.
Being tired and rundown is no fun. These are supposed to be your golden years at our independent living in Rancho Mirage! This is the time to set aside your worries, retire from work, and focus on living your best life. Don’t let something like fatigue stand in your way. Watch what you eat, participate in regular exercise, drink plenty of water, get good sleep, and definitely stay in touch with your physician regarding any changes going on in your body. With these solutions in mind, you are sure to stay happy and healthy for a very long time!