You’ve heard it numerous times, we’re sure. “Change your diet,” “You need to eat healthily,” or other statements from loved ones that have reiterated the same message. It’s true that everyone’s physical structure is unique, and that different foods affect individuals in distinct ways.
However, there is no substitute for a healthier diet and its benefits to your daily energy. This is especially true when it comes to older adults.
To begin, you’ll want to cut out less fatty or sugar-loaded foods from your everyday diet. Red meat such as beef, pork, and lamb, on average, contains more fat than meat such as chicken or fish, which still has the necessary protein that you need in your daily nutrition. Salmon, in particular, has omega-3 fatty acids, which help with heart health. Beans are a good source of protein as well. And more vegetables, nuts, and grains are always a plus.
In terms of less sugar, you’ll want to limit the amount of candy and other dessert-based foods you consume, as they can increase the risk of kidney disease. Butter and salt-heavy foods are also a no-no. If you’re looking for a sweet alternative, then Greek yogurt is a great option. It has protein, as well as high levels of calcium, which can prevent osteoporosis.
We recommend steadily cutting out your less healthy food cravings while implementing these more positive food items into your daily nutritional schedule. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your energy level might rise with these healthier options.
Stable, Easy Exercise
Wind sprints or marathon running might be something that you’re more likely to watch your grandchild do these days. We’re not talking about any extreme physical activity that would cause back or joint pain. Instead, moderate physical exercise is highly recommended for older adults, as it has excellent health and wellness benefits.
You can begin by doing a walk or a steady stroll for 30 minutes a day. This physical activity aids a senior adult’s body structure in numerous ways, including:
- Preventing bone mass loss
- Strengthening core muscles
- Lessening joint pain
- Reducing the risk of hip fractures
- Improving mood
- Lowers blood sugar
- Improving cardiovascular health
Most importantly, daily and stable physical exercise leads to a boosted immune system, which is more important than ever. A heightened level of steady physical activity also aids in reducing arthritic pain and enables you to lead a more active overall lifestyle.
If walking isn’t your particular style or if you prefer a different form of exercise, there are other ways to ensure you get your daily dose of physical activity. You can bike, swim, or participate in low-impact aerobic exercise. This last option stimulates your heart rate and relieves back pain while putting minimal weight on your joints.
Enrich Your Nutrition
Adding certain nutrients into your daily nutritional intake in the form of vitamins can also aid your health and energy level. Make sure that you talk to your doctor before adding any of these vitamins to your diet, especially if you’re taking prescription drugs.
One of the most important nutrients to mention is vitamin B12. In particular, older adults are at more of a risk of their bodies absorbing less vitamin B12. A lack of it in older adults may lead to an increased risk for dementia. The National Institute of Medicine also indicates additional issues caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, including:
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
Adding more vitamin B12 to your diet may help with your body’s brain functions. It may also help produce red blood cells, support bone health, and maintain a higher energy level.
Vitamin D is also a critical nutrient to consider. Whether you have a skin condition or just aren’t spending as much time out in the sun these days, our body still needs vitamin D to help absorb the ever-important substance of calcium. Vitamin D also helps to strengthen our teeth and bones and improve our immune system functions.
Our body’s natural ability to create vitamin D from sunlight gets less strong as we get older. Because of this, we may need to consider additional options, such as extra vitamins, to add to our diet. Ensure that you first speak to your doctor to see if this fits in with your overall health structure. It just might be a step in the right direction.
Communication is Key
We’ve talked up to this point about ways you can physically energize yourself. But maintaining your mental pathways is just as crucial in creating an energetic lifestyle for yourself moving forward. And it all comes down to communication.
The simple fact is this: no one enjoys the feeling of loneliness. As we get older, our social circle perhaps gets smaller, leading to increased feelings of solitariness. Isolation can have harmful health effects, including increased risks of dementia. Added factors such as sight and hearing loss make the aspect of loneliness weigh more heavily on the mind.
So what can you do?
These days, numerous digital apps add an extra level of communication that connects senior adults to their loved ones. Videoconferencing apps such as Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet help older adults connect and chat with their relatives from remote locations, letting them see their faces on camera. This enables them to have an active conversation with their loved ones or engage in a group activity such as a new artistic project.
There are also numerous apps available that allow you to better connect to your local environment. The AARP Now app, a well-known digital application, informs its group members about nearby events by providing a digital calendar. It also lets them know about local discounts to nearby shops and restaurants.
There are even apps that can help you in times of need. Be My Eyes is a free digital app that aids vision-impaired users with a global community of volunteers and company representatives. This assistance is done through a live call based on language and timezone and helps the user complete individual tasks ranging from reading food labels to seeing which time the bus will arrive.
By expanding your communication platforms, you not only increase the network of people you can talk to but also enhance your ability to complete day-to-day duties. You may even save a buck or two!
At a senior age, your energy levels may be getting lower. Fortunately, there are multiple adjustments you can make to your diet, exercise, and mental health that can benefit your daily wellness. You may find that, in a short time, you’re feeling more active and enthusiastic with these four adjustments. Every older adult indeed deserves an extra bit of energetic vitality.
About the Author
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey. She frequently works with Illuminated Hearts, trusted service for home health care in West Philadelphia, PA.