One of the most consistent complaints of aging is the lack of energy. Age and fatigue seem to be synonymous – so what is the connection? Is there anything we can do about it?
One recent report that’s good news about aging and energy indicates we can do things to boost our energy levels as we age. The Harvard Medical School Special Health Report, “Boosting Your Energy,” presents a plan to regulate your energy levels at any age.
Some of the steps on the plan include:
- Get stress under control. Stress is the most common reason for chronic fatigue. If you have trouble controlling stress, try seeing a therapist or chatting with a trusted friend. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, tai chi, and meditation also work wonders.
- Say “no” to more obligations. Some of us are stressed because we have too much on our plates. Learning to say “no” rather than “yes” to every volunteer job, social activity, or work project is one of the best ways to restore your energy levels.
- Exercise regularly. When we exercise, we inundate our bodies with fuel for energy to do more. You’ll also be building capillaries, the blood vessels which carry oxygen to the cells. Exercise also creates stress hormones, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, that help us feel more energized.
- Get enough sleep. The aging population often complains of lack of sleep as part of the lack of energy during the day. It’s best to use natural methods rather than sleeping pills. Making changes in your lifestyle, such as drinking less alcohol during the evening hours and avoiding heavy meals before bedtime, can enhance your sleep experience.
- Spend your energy wisely. Spend some time setting goals that will bring enjoyment to your life and fill your mind with determination to meet the goals. Prioritize your days so that you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when the day is over.
Adopt an energy-inducing diet. Diet becomes even more important as you age. Energy foods such as fruits and vegetables are paramount to maintaining energy and keeping your body healthy, so it’s ready to meet the challenges of aging.
Sometimes aging is more a state-of-mind than the state of our bodies. Find something you enjoy doing, and make sure you prioritize those activities into your daily plans. Surround yourself with positive people who enjoy doing some of the things you love, and you’ll be more energetic and ready to meet life head-on.
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