Seniors are concerned about how can they increase their energy throughout the day. Usually, our energy declines because of normal changes over time.
Both genes and environment lead to changes in cells. This causes aging muscles to lose mass and strength and to become less flexible. As a result, strenuous activities become more tiring.
Healthy aging is defined as “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age” from the WHO.
This doesn’t only involve our physical needs, but also with our perception of self, mental status, and our environmental influences. Therefore, it’s important to maintain this to increase our energy over time.
Here are some tips for you to be mindful, and maintain to increase your energy as you age.
Make A Routine.
It is recommended for seniors to have a daily routine. This is to decrease anxiety and stress, increase the feeling of security, and improve sleep.
This is by a pattern for someone to look forward to. Even as adults, we’ve unconsciously made ourselves a routine that works for us. Listing down what you can do in a day will help you determine what’s important for you.
It is also important to have a routine, especially if an elderly is suffering from memory problems, or has physical disabilities.
Like dementia, where one might not be consciously aware of the routine or even of the passing of time, going through a regular routine will make them feel more grounded and secure.
Especially if you enjoy taking long walks in the morning. Environmental factors are needed to be considered as well. You don’t want to take a walk in a harmful environment without the security of your safety.
A successful garden environment is one that satisfies the physical, psychological, and social needs of elderly people.
This means elderly people who are surrounded by greenery, and landscapes have reported reduced stress. That’s why hiking can also be an activity to do.
There’s evidence that simply walking and exercise can help fight stress, depression, and anxiety. You can then take those and bolster them with the stress and anxiety-reducing effects of nature.
Dehydration is common in older adults. This is because of a decline in bodily fluids, lower thirst response, decreased kidney function, and factors of health and medications.
It can affect the person’s over health and can lead to hospitalization if not checked. These are other risk factors, according to the British Nutrition Foundation:
- Older age – as mentioned, a decline in a bodily fluid is affected with age. People with older age, have skins drier than usual.
- Requiring assistance with foods and fluids – being unable to tend for yourself can cause problems of not being able to drink water most of the time. Swallowing problems and inconsistent intake of liquids can be a risk.
- Incontinence – people with urinary incontinence suffer from voiding, whether from a medical condition or due to stress. Avoiding drinking can be a factor in hydration, from not urinating often, or seldomly.
- Cognitive impairment/confusion – people with problems coping with their health status, or who have confusion tend to forget to hydrate.
- Depression – motivation to do any activities, with underlying depression can lead to dehydration.
- Multiple medications, particularly diuretics – taking in diuretics can cause a person to urinate more, thus dehydration can occur.
- Acute illness, diarrhea, and vomiting – extensive duration of diarrhea, and vomiting causes loss of bodily fluids and electrolytes.
This can be lead to health problems like constipation, kidney problems, and electrolyte problems. Be mindful of having a dry mouth, fatigue, decrease in urination, and darker urine color.
Make it a habit to drink lots of water, or drinking herbal tea will help you hydrated during the day. Avoiding soda, and coffee is a must, for they cause dehydration as well.
Elderly people need proper nutrition. Especially if they have no restrictions due to their comorbidities. If not, a balanced diet is still necessary as we age.
A healthy meal should include lean protein (lean meats, seafood, eggs, beans), fruits, and vegetables (think orange, red, green, and purple), whole grains (brown rice, whole-wheat pasta), and low-fat dairy.
Not only that, but it is also important if these are not processed all the time. Always check whether you are eating too much fat, sugar, and salt on the nutritional labels of the products you are buying.
Or if it’s a product, make sure it’s organic as well. It has the same benefits either way, but also supporting your community market for their efforts.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise.
It is not redundancy. Exercising involves your mind and body. Engage in mental activities such as playing chess, reading a book, listening to music, watching documentaries, and having conversations with your family can help you stimulate your mind.
Doing physical activities at home can also keep you active, for as long as you are capable.
For seniors who cannot get up to their chair, or cannot maintain standing for a long period of time, sitting exercises are right for you.
There are also community gatherings that conduct daily aerobic exercises, or joining a senior’s jog club can also be a choice for you. But if you’re worried about being outside, you can do exercises with videos from Youtube to follow.
There is optimal evidence even for strengthening exercises for seniors. It increases their energy, muscle mass, and be more efficient in doing activities.
Supervised strength and balance training once a week may help to prevent age-related decline in mobility and muscle strength. By carrying small weights, doing mini squats, and even lifting boxes can be ways to do it.
Get More Sleep.
Sleeping hours are tricky as we grow older. But that doesn’t mean we cannot take afternoon naps in order to regain energy for the rest of the day.
Sleeping for 7-8 hours at night can help recharge and feel rested for the day ahead. Although, factors like insomnia and physical conditions can alter our quality and hours of sleep.
But if there are no ailments to mind on why you have interrupted sleep, you can avoid the following habits to have a better sleep quality:
- Avoid watching television, or checking your phone at least an hour before sleeping
- Avoid smoking, at all costs.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before sleeping.
- Sleep at the same time of the night, to decrease developing sleep deprivation
- Ask your doctor, what causes you to have trouble sleeping at night. This will give you a heads up if you need pills to sleep, therapy, or alter your routine.
Find New Hobbies.
As we age, we have a tendency to disregard the changes in our lives. Especially in our society. We believe that we’ve learned everything in our prime. Which is not the case.
Often time, there are new things to learn each day. For example, you’ve seen how people are engaged in gardening? Maybe that could be a new hobby you can get into.
Joining a class either online or onsite. If you are allowed to go to a class, you can enroll yourself in subjects that pique your interest. It can also stimulate your mind, to engage in topics you’ve never been into before.
Although, this can be a process. Talking to your family can help you find what might be your next passion, even at your age!
Stay Socially Connected.
Social interactions are part of being human. You can add learning how to communicate on social media, or messaging apps to connect with your loved ones.
Especially during tough times of the pandemic, being online is the best way to connect with them. By communicating, it will give you the assurance that you are all safe.
Not just having a routine, and talking about it to your family members, but to have conversations with the people your age.
Relationships with same-aged people can give you an insight that you are not alone in your journey. That there are people struggling with their lives too, or enjoying their lives.
Being able to relate with someone is important to have a support system that you can rely on. Oftentimes, a community club of seniors has meaningful activities tailored for your capabilities and strength.
Whether that’s a talent show, baking contests, or a support group discussion will benefit you to have a sense of community, and belonging.
Older adults are prone to diseases from a reduced immune system. Especially if they are either smoking or drinking alcohol as a habit.
From a credible study, there is a connection between healthy aging and smoking, with the worst health outcomes as a result. And compared that non-smoker older adults have a better outcome with living healthier.
Although, limited alcohol consumption is a possibility, especially in the said study. Wherein, a reasonable amount of alcoholic drinks negatively affects healthy aging.
And it only depends on their cultural upbringing, and familial habits whether this is part of their custom or an underlying psychological problem. Interventions like counseling, or therapy can lead to the improvement of an older person’s well-being.