Energy Levels in Middle-Age

Reply Sun 12 May, 2019 07:12 pm
Hi folks.

At age 65 (nearly 66) I have a fairly good energy level when one considers my daily schedule. My day starts at 4:30am with multiple animals to care for, teaching a full day of school which means 3 to 6 classes per day and no sitting down for 50 minutes per class, shopping after school, teaching karate dojo in the evenings and more, and bed at 10pm.

I have several middle-age students (ages 50+) who seem to be, well, not quite as energetic, though they certainly want to be.

Some of them seem to think I am on some special Okinawan diet (I'm not, other than I am vegetarian), or taking a mysterious "Oriental" herb (I'm not), or have found some secret "energy medicine" (I haven't)...

My advice is "Energy begets energy", meaning if they exercise regularly, their energy levels increase and they will eventually feel that their "work" is less "work" than it used to be.

But as people will, some keep trying to find the easy way, the convenient way, the "One-Pill Solution"... A few tried energy drinks ("Guaranteed 4 to 6 hours of incredibly increased energy!") only to find that their energy doesn't really increase, they are just loaded with sugar (or substitutes) and caffeine (from 100 to 200 mg., less than their own average cup of dark roast morning coffee). A few heard that Viagra gives older folks more energy (besides the much-touted sexual potency) but it can also give headaches, blurred vision, muscles aches, etc. A few are trying diet pills that are supposed to reduce hunger pangs (they don't) and increase carbohydrate burning (they don't) to give what is usually advertised as an incredible energy burst that lasts all day (there isn't, and it doesn't). Some are trying zinc, magnesium, potassium, and other supplements, enough to stock a small chemistry lab...

Some have run through the whole gauntlet of the above and are still looking for ... something.

Advising them to see their family doctor about low energy levels just doesn't seem to seep into their list of priorities if there is a new pill or "safe" drink they can try.

Keeping in mind that they are ages 50 to 75 already, and that energy levels decrease with age quite naturally, I wondered if any of you have actually found something that helps with the slow mornings they feel, when they wake up and after the first few minutes, they say they can automatically tell that it is going to be a day of just plodding along, with high-energy days becoming fewer and further-between each year...

I told them that my own energy levels have decreased a percentage in the past decade or less, but that my feelings of obligation and responsibility just seem to override any "weariness", and I quite suddenly don't feel all that tired, after all. It's called "ikigai" on Okinawa, and it means an overriding feeling of excitement to begin and accomplish things during the day.

As long as I eat good balanced meals, get plenty of rest and exercise, and maintain a positive outlook on life in general, I seem to feel all the energy I need. Even being tired after a day of hard work is a good feeling, knowing that I have accomplished something that no one else can or will do.

So, I have been asked by these students who feel older than the Methuselah Tree if there really is something that will naturally supplement their energy levels without nasty or otherwise undesirable side effects...?

By the way, this puts me in mind of the old Lawrence Welk "Geritol" commercials, when it was thought that an increase of iron intake was beneficial to old folks' energy levels.

Hope to hear some common sense responses soon (I sometimes find that "common sense" is not so common, after all...)
Reply Sun 12 May, 2019 07:52 pm
I bet you get out of bed early, too.
Reply Sun 12 May, 2019 09:20 pm
I felt my very best at age 62 - 69. Turning 70 got to me, but I still am quite active. I garden for other people for pay, keep active with Volunteer work, still have frequent sex with a BF, drink a cocktail once in a while, would like to lose 10 pounds, have my own home, and have good relationships with my children and grandkids. I’m getting bursitis in one hip, still have all my own teeth and take a small mg blood pressure medicine daily and vitamin D. I like to cook and eat quite healthy. I like a 3pm fifteen minute nap and must have 7 hours sleep. I am a morning person. My heritage is Scottish father and Irish mother. I notice overcast days bother me more so I go to sunny places Feb/March. Im really quite happy, have less but more devoted friends, and feel blessed about my mental and physical condition. No, there’s no magic pill. But attitude is everything, I believe

Glad I never took up smoking and kept my drinking to a bare minimum.
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Reply Sun 12 May, 2019 10:51 pm
Thanks for the responses. Seems like lifestyle has more to do with it than pills and such...

I believe that every time we take a pill to "improve" or "increase" something in our daily lives, we pay for it in some other way. Outside of a doctor's prescribed medicine, I take nothing more than a chlorophyll capsule now and then (especially during hte summer!), and some glucosamine for a formerly not-so-good right knee.

I don't drink alcohol at all, and I've reduced my sugar intake by about 75% or more. I don't smoke. I did smoke a pipe when I was in my late teens, thinking it made me look older, suave, and sophisticated. I threw it all in the trash when my GF told me that kissing me was like licking an ashtray... Ouch!

Out of bed at 4:30am each day (including weekends and holidays -- animals don't know "days off") and in bed by 10pm, 10:30 at the latest. No foodstuff after 7pm other than maybe some lettuce or a carrot (which I feel to be heavy). I drink tea but not coffee often (it makes me feel too full and just sloshes around uncomfortably inside).

Nothing to spend my energy on except "doing stuff" all day and evening...!
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Reply Mon 13 May, 2019 02:59 am
I'm 64. Have tried getting back into martial arts, but my hands no longer can take doing punches on mats and boards They get very sore. I practice with the katana, archery, and throwing knives. I eat a lot of sugar stuff and do not have diabetes. Blood pressure is on the high side and taking meds. Going on two hour hikes in mountain terrain helps with keeping stamina up, but I cannot do marathon runs. I used to climb a 3000 foot 60 degree mountain often in my 40s and 50s, was good workout, cannot do that now.
Tai Chi
Reply Mon 13 May, 2019 05:54 am
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Reply Mon 13 May, 2019 07:02 pm
I can't remember the last time I was attacked by a mat or a board...


I recommend push-ups on tatami mats instead of punching things. Straighten the wrist for good all-round tendon and joint alignment, and do push-ups using the business knuckles.

Your "slow-down" probably leaves you with greater stamina than most kids half your age or less...

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Reply Thu 16 May, 2019 11:05 pm
I bet you get out of bed early too.

The early bird catches the worm.

Besides, sometimes a person just forgets to put up guard rails and rolls out to the floor at 3am.
Reply Thu 16 May, 2019 11:31 pm
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Reply Sat 18 May, 2019 07:51 am
Dropped off some thumbs up. You guys are inspirational. I agree—energy begets energy.
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