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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Virginia's Blue Ridge
    Posts
    500

    Question AWOL energy: How to boost at 59?

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    I'm glad the forums continue in spite of the sad loss of Team Estrogen's store! .... Next month I'll turn 59. Until about three years ago, my general energy level had been pretty good. Since then I've noticed that I just don't have the get-up-and-go that I've always had. I've had my thyroid checked and it's fine. I find that I'm falling asleep at my desk or dragging myself through garden and house chores at about 80 percent of what I'm accustomed to. I'm not a serious athlete, but I do hit the gym a couple of times a week for anywhere from 12 to 20 miles of riding on the stationary bike at a shot. Until last year, I was riding outdoors 800-1200 miles annually. Weight is 115 at 5'3". The lack of energy is driving me crazy. I steer clear of junk food, but do have a sweet tooth. :-) I'm not good at drinking enough water, except if I'm riding and use my Camelbak. Might the problem be hydration? Not enough protein? Not enough iron? Any suggestions? Thoughts about things to check, other than thyroid? Thanks!
    "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." (Will Rogers)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,144
    Hydration is important, as are a million other things. Sleep? Stress? Overall health? What about menopause/hormonal changes?
    I find if I am tired during the day, going out for a short, 15-30 minute walk helps. How much do you exercise outside, all year round?
    Rule out the physical first. Then look at nutrition, hydration, amount and type of exercise, and rest. We need more recovery as we age. That doesn't mean being a couch potato, but it does mean good quality sleep and active recovery from hard efforts at sports.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,204
    To help with the diet part perhaps have a good conversation with a dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and see what comes out of that. I’ve had to change my diet to deal with medical issues and working with a clinical dietitian has helped a lot.

    Iron-deficiency can cause fatigue and a loss of endurance. Iron helps to deliver oxygen to cells, and too little has also been shown to decrease immunity. Beans, lentils, spinach, and pumpkin, sesame seeds are some good sources and eating iron rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods can also boost iron absorption. You can get the iron you need from foods instead of using supplements.

    Dehydration can cause your body to conserve energy by decreasing blood circulation. That can deprive your body of oxygenated blood and can cause feelings of fatigue too.

    Exercise, diet, hydration and a good night of sleep all help with energy levels. If doing that doesn’t help I’d talk to a doctor about it.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    I'd also try adding some strength training to your regular exercise. It boosts testosterone levels (not in any amount that is worrisome :-) which is a factor in energy levels. Besides, it's fun, and good for you :-)

    I hit the iron supplements every now and then too, especially if I'm eating a lot of vegetarian food. The way I get enough fluids is by making cups of tea (usually green, white or herbal) a regular habit throughout the day. They taste just good enough that I drink because I want to, not because I have to.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    Quote Originally Posted by lph View Post
    I'd also try adding some strength training to your regular exercise. It boosts testosterone levels (not in any amount that is worrisome :-) which is a factor in energy levels. Besides, it's fun, and good for you :-)

    I hit the iron supplements every now and then too, especially if I'm eating a lot of vegetarian food. The way I get enough fluids is by making cups of tea (usually green, white or herbal) a regular habit throughout the day. They taste just good enough that I drink because I want to, not because I have to.
    Yes when I had to stop drinking diet soda due to acid reflux problems, I found myself not drinking nearly enough during the day even though a full water bottle was within reach. But by filling the bottle with iced tea instead of water, I am drinking enough again. I just make plain black tea and like it straight as long as it's cold. I also have some herbal teas for drinking hot, but seem to prefer the iced tea most days.

    Separate issue -- I have gone through phases in recent years where I was falling asleep on the couch every night before my usual bedtime. It was happening again last fall, until I started to use a light therapy box to try to counteract the winter blahs that I've suffered from during previous winters. Suddenly I was no longer tired in the evening. If your energy level seems to fluctuate with the seasons, a light box might be worth trying later this year.

    Also, has there been any change in your sleep habits or environment? Maybe something is keeping you from sleeping soundly, like outside noise or aches, pain, discomfort? Is sleep apnea possible?

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    Gone but not forgotten:
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