You are over 50 and you find that you no longer have the energy you once did? The hormones that gave you strength and drive in your youth and helped you shed extra pounds are disappearing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t defend yourself.
HOW TO BOOST YOUR ENERGY?
If you’re willing to invest in yourself by making simple changes to your behavior and diet, you can reap rewards that can last a lifetime.
EAT WELL :
Eating the right foods gives your body the nutrients it needs and can prevent you from becoming obese or overweight. Unfortunately, much of our diet is made up of ultra-processed, hyper-palatable foods. Manufacturers process food by stripping it of nutrients, then adding chemicals to improve its appearance and taste. Your body is designed to process whole foods primarily. Whole foods are:
- minimally processed
- contain no artificial ingredients
- Closer to their natural state
- Here are some examples of whole foods:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
Most of the foods you prepare at home are minimally processed whole foods. Eating whole foods provides nutrients and vitamins without excess calories. If you’re trying to shed a few extra pounds, a whole-food diet can support your other weight loss efforts. You’ll also notice a boost of energy as your body receives the nutrients it needs to function efficiently and sheds the extra pounds that are weighing it down.
Making a conscious effort to move your body during the day can really pay off. Unfortunately, 29.4% of women and 25.5% of men over the age of 50 are considered inactive, meaning they don’t move enough to perform their daily tasks. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Start slowly. Increasing your activity level too quickly can lead to fatigue and injury. A slow, steady increase in exercise is more sustainable and safer.
- Add resistance exercises. Resistance exercises increase strength and muscle mass, which burns more calories and reduces the risk of injury. Do bodyweight exercises (there are tons of videos on YouTube to show you how). Climb stairs or an incline.
- Add aerobic exercises. Experts recommend adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise during the week. Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and lung muscles. They increase your endurance and reduce your fatigue.
- Find an activity you enjoy. It’s totally unrealistic to ask yourself to do something you don’t like doing day after day. Instead, choose an activity that you enjoy and that involves movement. Pacing around the room watching a movie is so much healthier than watching that same movie from the couch with a packet of crisps.
ENGAGE YOUR MIND:
Your brain prefers that you do the same activities, talk about the same topics, and follow the same routine every day. For your brain’s connections to work well, you need to get it out of its comfort zone. Mental stimulation is necessary to keep your mind fresh and invigorated.
- Choose an activity you do today and do it differently.
- Drive in a different way to do your shopping.
- Solve puzzles or play word games.
- Learn a new language.
- Stay social. Plan social events in your calendar, whether you prefer to spend time with a few friends or with larger groups.
- Read new kinds of books. Whether you pick up a random book from the library or consciously choose a book from a different genre, your brain will appreciate this change of pace.
SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM:
It takes a lot of energy to defend against infections, day after day. Most of the proteins that control the functioning of immune cells need vitamins and minerals as cofactors to carry out important chemical reactions. The main micronutrients that support the immune system are:
- Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 plays a key role in immune function. It is a cofactor for methionine synthase, an enzyme that helps make DNA in all cells, including immune cells.
- Vitamin D: When we think of vitamin D, we usually think of bone health, but vitamin D is just as important for immune function. It helps to modulate adaptive and immune responses.
- Vitamin C: When your body is stressed by an infection, it produces free radicals, which are unpaired electrons that can bind to structures in the cell and cause damage. Vitamin C helps modulate the inflammatory process.