Activity, diet key to fighting exhaustion
By Heather Regan White
Stonebridge Place assisted living facility Events Coordinator Kelly Thomas and Angela Bell, director of the Special Care Unit, spoke to the Sulphur Senior Center about ways to overcome fatigue.
Exhaustion is often a companion of aging. Prolonged and severe exhaustion is associated with the medical condition chronic fatigue. But for seniors suffering from occasional exhaustion, steps can be taken to combat it.
Stonebridge Place assisted living facility Events Coordinator Kelly Thomas, and Angela Bell, director of the Special Care Unit, spoke at the Sulphur Senior Center Thursday about ways to overcome feeling tired.
Bell said the seniors in attendance were already using one of the tools to fight exhaustion. “I know that y’all are dedicated, because most people would’ve stayed inside,” she said, with a nod to the chilly weather. “So that is commendable. Y’all on your way to being healthier, because you are out and are participating with other seniors.” She said activity and fellowship are both important components of mental and physical health.
Bell said that exhaustion and obesity often go hand in hand. “In America, all age groups are obese,” she said. She said that there are a variety of reasons seniors gain weight. “Some are retired, and they want to rest because they’ve worked all their lives,” she said. “So they kind of sit in a chair and eat.”
According to Bell, many seniors continue to consume the same calories they did when they were employed and more active. “Our bodies don’t need as much food anymore,” she said.
Bell said portion control and the types of food seniors eat have a big impact in their wellbeing. She recommended avoiding processed meats which are high in sodium and limiting sugar. “You want to eat more lean meats,” she said. “Stay away from favorites like cakes and sugars.”
Thomas added that, “Sugar is like an enemy. It brings you down. I’ve read it’s one of the most addictive things.” Bell said eating something sour like a dill pickle can help counteract strong sugar cravings.
Another contributor to exhaustion is medication. Bell said activity can help shake off the effects of medicine. “Get moving,” she said. “Open the curtains and let the light in.”
Bell stressed that a healthy diet, drinking water, and physical activity can help ward off exhaustion.
Thomas said Stonebridge Place has started the Stonebridge Road Runners, a group of seniors who walked, with or without walkers, or wheel themselves up and down the halls beginning at 9:30 every morning. “Exercise also helps fend off anxiety,” she said. “But be sure to take your time and hydrate.”