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photo_2 (1)Forget the energy drinks, and energy bars, and pills. Try some things that, according to a recent report in the Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter, actually do make a difference in boosting your energy.

Sustain nutrition throughout the day.   Calories are meant to provide energy, so spread those calories into smaller, portion-controlled meals during those hours you need your energy. Taper off at the end of your day when it’s time to rest. This takes somewhat of a different mindset for many of us, since it is common to do the reverse, start with few calories and increase throughout the day, consuming most calories after work and before bed.

Combine the right carbohydrates with protein.  Foods whose carbohydrates are digested more slowly can keep you going longer and sustain your energy – these are called “low glycemic index carbs” and include most fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, low fat dairy, and minimally processed grains.  So, try hummus and celery sticks,  or peanut butter and apple slices, or cottage cheese and whole grain crackers, or a cheese stick and carrots.

Stay hydrated.  Avoiding dehydration helps maintain your energy and alertness.  Don’t mistake thirst for hunger. In this cold weather, if cold drinks are not appealing to you, drink hot herbal teas or hot water with fruit slices. Just keep drinking. When I am on a good hydration regimen, it helps me feel fuller too!  With age, some people become less sensitive to thirst, so older adults need to be extra vigilant about staying hydrated.

Make sure you’re getting enough magnesium.     USDA research has shown that women with low magnesium levels had higher heart rates and required more energy to perform physical tasks. Older people are at greater risk of magnesium deficiency, since the body’s ability to absorb magnesium from food tends to decrease, and older people are more likely to take meds that can interact with magnesium, such as certain diuretics and antibiotics.  the recommended daily allowance (rda) of magnesium for women over 30 is 320 milligrams.  To boost your magnesium, choose whole grains, green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.

Get active.   This is my favorite suggestion, because it will give you instantaneous results. Just move..put the arms above the head or bring the thighs up to the chest. Even if you don’t have the motivation to stand up, move body parts while seated – kick those legs out, punch the arms in front of you. Put your favorite inspirational music on and do it.  Almost every recent study shows that sedentary people who began a program of activity reported more energy and less fatigue. Just a few minutes can help energize you and improve your mood.

Get a good night’s sleep.   Create a relaxing bedtime routine that works for you, keep a consistent bedtime and waking schedule, and finish eating at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.  Also, try to avoid disturbing news or toxic encounters while you’re preparing for sleep.

1 Comment
  1. all very helpful info. Thanks Joan for all you do!!
    You are a great influence for everyone!!

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Lawrence Shopping Center
(near Burlington Coat Factory)
2495 Route 1 at Texas Ave.
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Contact info:

phone: 609.882.4500
fax: 609.406.1471