Youthful days are filled with vibrant energy. Dashing to win races with playmates and simply causing a stir at home are common activities that dominate childhood. As people advance in years, energy levels naturally dwindle. Being 60 or over, however, can still be filled with some of the exuberance of youth—even if somewhat curbed.
Why Do Seniors Have Less Energy?
Energy normally decreases as people age. Bodily cells alter as a consequence of both the environment and genes. Cell changes in aging bodies cause muscle mass to lose strength and flexibility. The end result is that vigorous activities become exhausting all too soon.
Changes in seniors’ cells lead to a decrease in the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body as efficiently as it once did. Consequently, cells have a reduced capacity to receive the oxygen-rich blood necessary to energize them and allow the body to function as optimally as in youth.
The elixir of life is yet to be discovered, meaning no one will stay as energetic after 60 as they did in their childhood. Fortunately, seniors have plenty of opportunities to boost their energy levels:
1. Strengthen the heart
The pumping machine known as the heart is a key player in energy levels. Elderly individuals can strengthen the heart muscle by engaging in regular aerobic activity. Raising the heart rate through aerobic exercise delivers a rich source of oxygen to muscles and improves the heart’s capabilities.
Seniors may start with brisk walking to rev up the heart muscle. Gradually incorporate moderate intensity cardiovascular exercises, such as swimming, bicycling or similar activities. Two and a half hours per week of aerobic exercises will improve an aging person’s heart health significantly.
2. Build muscle
Arnold Schwarzenegger, even in his 70’s, remains a powerhouse of strength and vitality. Take a cue from this legend and build strong muscles. Endurance and quick reaction times are results of muscle strength. Older people naturally lose muscle mass and strength, making building muscle an important factor.
Rather than jump into an intense weightlifting regimen, start small. Lift a can of vegetables to start. Once pumping cans becomes easy, move on to heavier items. Gradually begin to use weight machines with light weights. Reduce injury by stretching first and working with a trainer during exercise sessions.
Physical activity of any capacity will dehydrate anyone who does not consume sufficient liquids. While engaging in hiking, brisk walks or other exercise, generously hydrate the body with H2O. Without water, an individual’s ability to stay active drops significantly—with up to a 30 percent decrease.
Experts recommend people of all ages, especially over the age of 60, should consume at least two liters of water per day. Drink a glass of water to counteract feelings of sluggishness or tiredness. Water effectively balances the body’s electrolytes and boosts energy almost instantaneously.
4. Reduce stress
Stress rapidly depletes energy. Seniors who are overwhelmed with stressful emotions should take care to manage and reduce their stress levels. Proven ways to eliminate stress include talking with a trusted friend or licensed therapist or participating in a support group.
Well-respected stress busters also include relaxation methodologies. Older adults who regularly engage in meditation practices, yoga, and tai chi experience a significant reduction in stress levels. Additionally, self-hypnosis is a proven tactic for wiping out the difficult emotions of stress.
5. Consume healthy foods
A careful approach to eating is essential to maintaining optimum energy levels. Those who consume several small meals per day, as opposed to three large meals, are more apt to experience greater energy. When the brain receives a regular supply of nutrients, the body naturally performs at its best.
Choose low-carbohydrate foods where sugars are absorbed at a slow rate. These foods, which are considered to have a low glycemic index, include olive oil, nuts, whole grains and vegetables with a high fiber content. Avoid foods loaded with high carbs, such as pasta and breads—which lead to sluggishness.
6. Stimulate the mind
Challenging one’s mind is an excellent way for people over the age of 60 to ward off the mental laziness that saps energy levels. Sharpen the mind’s flexibility and memory by playing chess or reading. Tech-savvy seniors can subscribe to online mind exercise programs, like Luminosity, for daily brain games.
7. Engage in new hobbies
One of the easiest ways to get energized is to start a hobby that offers intrigue. Older individuals who join a cooking class, for instance, experience a burst of vitality as they learn about new ingredients and unique preparation methods. The excitement that results from new life experiences is refreshing.
8. Sleep well
Quality sleep is more important that the quantity of hours slept. Seniors who avoid midday naps ensure a proper night’s sleep and an energized day. Additional methods to promote sound rest include removing electronics from the bedroom, maintaining darkness and sustaining a cool sleep environment.
Get the Help of a Caregiver
Feeling young at heart can be best expressed when seniors make efforts to stay physically energized. Professional caregivers from reputable home care agencies, like Assisting Hands Home Care, make it possible for aging adults to boost energy levels and live their lives to the fullest.
Assisting Hands Home Care professionals provide compassionate senior home care. Our caregivers accompany the elderly on leisurely walks to ensure they receive exercise. If care recipients require a lift to yoga classes, our dedicated caregivers provide the transportation. We even encourage mental stimulation by playing challenging card games or engaging in meaningful conversation with the seniors in our care.
The comprehensive services provided by Assisting Hands Home Care include help with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, meal preparation and light housekeeping. Our home care services are specifically tailored to meet the individual needs of seniors.
Families and their senior loved ones rely on Assisting Hands Home Care, which serves the elder populations of Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Elk Grove Village, IL and the surrounding areas.