6 Everyday Habits To Increase Your Stamina After 60, Expert Says
It's not uncommon to have less energy as you age. You may feel extra tired after completing an aggressive workout at the gym, or your power walk may be a total struggle one day. You might also feel like recovery takes a bit longer after your workout, according to A Healthier Michigan. Just because you're feeling older, that doesn't mean you can't make improvements to your routine to help you feel your absolute best. We have you covered with six everyday habits to increase stamina after 60, according to an expert.
We've all heard the expression, "You're not getting older, you're getting better." Well, the fact is, we're all aging, and your body changes by losing muscle. This can compromise your strength, balance, and stamina to various degrees, according to Harvard Health Publishing. The great news is, you can make lifestyle improvements to help get back on track. We spoke with Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM, the Director of Medical Content & Education at Ro, who sits on our Medical Expert Board, and have the steps you need to take to increase stamina after 60.
Dr. Bohl tells Eat This, Not That!, "As part of the aging process and secondary to certain chronic diseases (like high blood pressure and high cholesterol), the body goes through changes when you get older that can reduce stamina. The body loses muscle mass and replaces some of it with fat, and the blood vessels become less flexible (and potentially more narrow), making blood flow and oxygen delivery less efficient. Therefore, to give yourself the best chance of living healthily into older age, it's important to continue challenging your body and not give up the things you love doing." So let's get started with a few important improvements. And next up, don't miss 5 Daily Exercises To Improve Muscular Endurance as You Age.
1. Evaluate your diet, and eat healthier.
In order to rev up your stamina, it's imperative that you maintain a nutritious diet. Most commonly when referring to consuming a healthy diet, the end game is to lose a few pounds. In order to do so, Dr. Bohl suggests eating at a calorie deficit, lowering your processed food and carbohydrate consumption, and eating mostly plant-based foods.
Dr. Bohl explains, "While these are still important tips to follow, if your main goal is to increase your stamina, it's important to focus on eating a balanced diet that has a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients. You also may not want to hold back on carbohydrates too much—carbs are the fuel your brain runs on and are also easy sources of energy for your muscles to use at the beginning of a workout, so grabbing a carb-heavy snack before a challenging physical or mental task may help you power through it."
2. Get in cardio every single day.
Another lifestyle habit to improve your stamina is to add cardio fitness to your routine. "Cardio is great for your heart and lungs and improves blood flow and oxygen delivery around the body, which can make any physical activity easier to do for longer periods of time," says Dr. Bohl.
3. Do some weightlifting.
Step out of your normal habits, and include a variety of exercises that you can consistently challenge yourself with. "If you just do the same exercise at the same intensity for the same length of time every day, you might be maintaining your functionality, but you aren't improving it. Instead, pick exercises that you can gradually make more difficult day by day. This can be weightlifting (gradually increase the weight or increase the sets/reps), jogging (gradually increase the speed or the distance), or playing a game like tennis (start out with just a few games and then add on to the amount of time you're playing)," Dr. Bohl tells us.
4. Feed your mind on a consistent basis.
Stamina isn't simply your physical capabilities. It includes your mental abilities, too. Dr. Bohl says, "Improving mental stamina can come from doing brain exercises that require focus and discipline. This includes doing mindfulness exercises or engaging in meditation."
5. Give your body ample time to recharge.
Your body needs to rest properly in order to have good stamina. "Make sure you get enough sleep each night (seven to eight hours for those over the age of 65, although every individual is different), and give yourself a break between activities or days of activities that are particularly strenuous," Dr. Bohl advises.
6. Enjoy caffeinated beverages and supplements to get a boost of energy.
Last but not least in our everyday habits to increase stamina after 60, coffee or any caffeinated beverage is an easy energy booster you can consider adding to your routine. "Caffeine isn't only useful for alertness, it's also been shown to improve endurance. There are some other supplements, such as ashwagandha, that may also be linked to improved stamina," Dr. Bohl says.