Age is not an excuse to avoid physical activity. Well, it doesn’t have to be, anyway. The natural changes your body goes through as you age—slower metabolism, more wrinkles, a dip in energy levels—don’t have to sideline you from being active or kicking ass in the gymOpens a New Window., at the office, and in the bedroom.
Slow Down and Hit the Mat
We know, you love the gym. So do we. But consider leaving the dumbbells on the rack at least one day a week (more if possible) and take yoga class or meditate instead. Yes, we’re serious. Doing so for just 25 minutes per day was shown to boost brain function and energy levels, according to a 2017 University of Waterloo Manhattan study.
Take It Outside
Vitamin D from sunlight helps keep energy levels optimized. Experts at the Harvard University School of Public Health recommend spending a minimum of 15 minutes in the sun per day. So take a walk, hike, bike ride, jog, or dust off your Rollerblades. And don’t give us the old, “It’s December and 15 degrees outside!” Back in the day, all winter long, we used to walk 15 miles to school—uphill both ways! All you have to do is layer up and take a stroll. Easy.
Lack of sleep can do more than make you the hands-down winner for crankiest co-worker of the year. Sleep deprivation can also lead to lower testosterone levels, according to a 2011 study published by the University of Chicago Medicine. Low T levels can translate to lethargy, low sex drive, and loss of muscle. To help your sleep and your mood, prioritize your sleep hygiene: Keep the room cool and dark, turn phones and tablets off an hour before you turn in, and use your bed only for sleep or sex. Your co-workers will thank you.
Simple carbohydrates are high-sugar foods such as white rice, baked goods, and candy that are low in both fiber and nutrients. They can provide a quick energy boost (and insulin spike) and are useful before long races because the glycogen gets converted to energy. That said, eating too many of those carbs too often can lead to energy crashes and weight gain. So stick with “quality carbohydrates that provide the energy you need to fuel your workouts,” says nutritionist Chris Mohr. Keep your carbs—such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, berries, and spinach—to about a quarter of your plate.
BY M&F EDITORS