Energy levels as you age

Topic for older horses and older riders
LindaJ
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Energy levels as you age

Postby LindaJ » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:53 pm

Hi all :) I’ll be 50 this coming August. I’ve noticed the last year or two my energy levels, compared to before, are going down the drain. TMI, but for reference for the ladies...yes, I entered menopause in 2018. I’m trying to get back on taking my vitamins regularly as the past year or two kind of threw it askew a bit.

What kind of experiences have you all had with your energy as you’re aging? It’s really making it hard to involve myself with any kind of riding :cry:

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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby Tanga » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:46 am

I've got about 7 years on you. Oh yeah, it's gotten harder and harder. I have to work harder and harder. I have to keep DOING things or I'd just stop and turn into a big blob. That's one reason why I need to show. I also now do a heavy exercise class four days a week.

Find something that can at least get you out and moving and make it a habit.

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Chisamba
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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby Chisamba » Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:49 am

just don't sit down.

when I leave night shift and get home if I " sit down for half an hour" I'm done for. I get changed immediately and head our back. After I have fed and watered sheep, checked on the poultry, I change my boots and go directly to the barn.

again, don't sit. get out of truck and immediately start, check all horses, turn in turn out stalls etc. then comes the danger time, if I sit to take a break, starting riding is difficult.

Groom, ride my scheduled horses, 6 or 7 depending on the day, but it is planned in advance so I don't give myself the option to skip a ride. evening barn chores.

then head home, shower eat and dive into bed by 5.30 pm my alarm is already set to get up at ten to eat and be ready to work at 11.

I am 60 this month. and yes I do eat, cook, wash dishes and clean house , I just try to start on my next task without giving myself the option to be lazy in-between

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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby demi » Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:41 pm

I’ll be 68 in a month. I don’t have half the energy I had when I was 50 but on the other hand, even when I was 20 I didn’t have half the energy Chisamba does right now!! So what I’m saying is it’s relative.

I got an green broke 3 yr old when I was 57. She took a lot of energy for several years but now that we have a good bond, instead of my having to put a lot of energy into her, most of the time I get a lot of energy from her. In the early years I had to often push myself over the hump to ride her as much as a young horse needs to be ridden. There are still times when I don’t feel that I have the energy to ride but I tell myself “just saddle up, get on, and see what happens”. Almost all of the time I end up having a good, satisfying ride and feel energized afterward!

I am also carrying extra weight and had been eating the wrong foods for me. About 6 weeks ago I started intermittent fasting 3 days a week and trying to cut out sugary desert type foods. I am losing weight painfully slowly but I already feel more energetic. The increased energy at this point is just from eating better.

My experience is also that a positive attitude is a big help. I try not to talk much (or even think much) about stiff joints, slower reflexes, or general old age related problems.

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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby Tanga » Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:29 am

Oh man, I feel like a slug compared to Chisamba!

Agreed on the keep going thing. If I keep going, I can keep going. If I stop, I'm pretty much done.

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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby Srhorselady » Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:11 am

Chisamba definitely has twice as much energy (maybe three times) as I have! But she is right about the “keep going”. It’s stopping to take a break that leads to everything ending. I’m 70 and I have less energy every year. However, I find that Vitamin B complex helps. It doesn’t absorb well in the stomach so I take a tablet under my tongue and it definitely makes a difference in keeping my stamina up. The other secret, as well as not stopping, is just getting started. Once started it is easier to keep going.

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Chisamba
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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby Chisamba » Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:18 am

honestly, I was just trying to explain that if I keep going I have energy and if I stop, I really lose all desire to start again. I also drink a few cups of coffee a day.

yes having lost weight helps. when I pick.up a bag of grain or shavings snd I realize i.literally carried that work me everywhere, what an energy drain that was

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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby Hayburner » Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:34 pm

Chi samba, that’s my major problem, I sit more than I should. I’m 63, retired last year and my basic routine hasn’t changed much. When I worked, I scrambled to get things done on the weekends, now that I have a bit more time, I let things go. I still go to the barn at 4:00 just like I did when I worked and when I get home at 6 or 7, I have a quick din er and hit the couch. :(

The main thing that changed is since my mom passed I have to take my dad to all his appts, do his grocery shopping, do some things around his house and this is 2 to 3 times a week. I am exhausted when I get home from there, it’s an all day event.

I find I have very little strength as I’m aging. I can’t lift items like I use too. That makes me mad and working out with weights would help, but I detest exercise :twisted: .

My doctor put me on the DASH diet to lower my blood pressure and I have followed it pretty well and lost a few pounds. I’m not over weight, but eating right and shedding 5 lbs has made me feel better. I do think I have a bit more energy by cutting out all the sugar I was eating and I think it also helped with my back pain.

Chisamba, you are an inspiration!

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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby Tanga » Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:58 pm

Chisamba--I am totally with you on losing the desire if I stop.

I drink a cup of coffee in the morning and added a second because I was getting tired, but that seemed to work against me and make me more tired. I have caffeine pills that seem to work better. After a certain point, coffee puts me to sleep.

Hayburner, I totally get you. Lucky for me since basically retiring and Covid my wonderful fitness class trainer now does her classes on Zoom for $25 a month for as many as you want. So now instead of 2 or 3 hour long classes a week I do 3 or 4. She's very good about never being the same twice and always working things in a new way, so just when I think I have finally gotten strong, she finds where we are weak and does it that way. Even though there are 10 to 25 of us in class, she's always watching and correcting. I detest "exercise" too, so I HAVE to have classes or I would never do it. My core is like iron under the protective layer of fat I have.

I wish I could cut out sugar, but I am an addict, and I don't really have any other addictions, so I have to have one! I know it would be much better if I did.

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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby Sue B » Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:17 pm

I was doing great until my back injury a few years ago, but I think that's also because it coincided with my mom needing more care, my son being very active in high school and 4H, and work going crazy. So now at 60, I do seem to lack ambition lately, and enjoy couch surfing/game playing far more than I should. I do take a brisk 2.5-3.5 mile walk most every morning to get me going and clear the cobwebs out and I always work on my core, given that nerves were damaged when I got hurt. By next fall, however, ds will be in college, mom passed away last week, so it'll be interesting to see if I up my game with all the added free time I'll have. Btw, one thing that helped was insisting that the doctor do a complete thyroid profile. Turns out my suspicions were correct, I am hypothyroid and on thyroid meds now, so at least I'm not always too cold or too hot. :lol:

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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby goldhorse » Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:25 am

I noticed that when I was in my mid 50's, I had to pay more attention to my diet or I was lagging every afternoon. I've never been a big fan of vitamins/supplements but for the last 8-10 years, I have been taking B complex, B12, coenzyme Q10, and magnesium glycinate. That with lots of water and regular exercise has kept my energy levels stable. Also I try not to eat white carbs since I am pre-diabetic and carbs will cause me to have an insulin crash, especially late afternoon.
To keep on a regular exercise program, I write it into my calendar and make it as much of a priority as anything else in my life.

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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby demi » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:01 pm

Better diet is definitely helping me. But also, I am trying to work smarter not harder. As Hayburner mentioned, I too can’t lift stuff like I use to. Changing implements on the tractor requires some heavy lifting so I have figured out ways to avoid most of it. DH always says just call him and he’ll do it, but then I have to wait for him and I’m too impatient. Anyway, I rigged up a way to put the 84 lb chain harrow on the three point lift and now I can don’t have to lift it. Also where I park the shredder now makes it so I can back right up to it vs having to yank it into position. that saves a lot of energy and frustration.

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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby Kyra's Mom » Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:50 am

Right there with everyone else. I am 65 and man have I noticed decreased strength and lack of energy to do more than one major thing a day (i.e. clean the house, clean the horse's pen and ride, etc.). The last time I felt truly fit was late 2012 before my surgery cascade started. I have never been able to get back to that level. I am afraid to hurt something else and need more surgery :roll: . I try not to sit too much but since moving my Mother in with me, I must admit, I sit a lot more to keep her company. Since my back kicked up after shoveling nearly 10 inches of heavy wet snow :P , I have tried not to lift much...keeping things at 20lbs or less.

I have improved my diet but still need to work on the added sugar. My Mother (91 y.o.---I don't think I am going to change her much) is a very picky...and very meat and potatoes eater so if I really want to clean things up, I would need to cook separately for both of us. I do make some modifications for me (lots of vegetables) but I think I need to work in intermittent fasting. I know that works but just haven't gotten really serious. I usually get at least 12 hrs of fasting but need to kick that up to at least 14hrs if not 16hrs.

Last year, I did complain to my Dr. about being tired all the time despite sleeping 7-8hrs per night. In fact waking up tired and usually with a headache. I did not feel like I was getting adequate deep sleep. He had me do an at home sleep study and I had at least mild sleep apnea (the home test isn't as sensitive). I went to the sleep pulmonologist who had me try a CPAP machine and it has made a big difference in my energy. The headaches are mostly gone and I can wake up and be much more productive. I still get tired by evening though and I attribute it mostly to my lack of fitness. Too much fat and too little muscle and I have to work on that.

All the surgeries haven't helped either. Hysterectomy in 2012 was a breeze although later found out it was totally unnecessary. Next (2013) was to repair the torn tendons in my right foot. That was successful but while rehabbing the foot, my right hip crapped out so that was replaced with a shiny metal one (2014). Next was tail bone removal (2017). That was why I had the hysterectomy as they thought a rather large fibroid unfortunately located was causing the tail bone pain. No...I had a large spur on the end of it which was finally found like 5 years later which led to removal as by that time, I was lucky if I could sit for ten minutes and riding the horse had become way too painful. The next year, I twisted to catch a bale of shavings that was falling off the tailgate. So what...it was just a freaking bale of shavings :roll: . Ended up with a bulging disc that I could not get to heal conservatively so had a microdiscectomy about 9 months later (2018). While rehabbing the back and dutifully walking like the surgeon said, I aggravated the same tendons in the other foot. After trying conservative stuff for most of a year, I had surgery on that foot (2019). He couldn't really do anything with the tendons. There were some partial tears and lots of inflammation so he reconstructed the bones to take the strain off of the tendons. Unfortunately, that hasn't seemed to help greatly. Two years out and I am having lots of pain on the side of my foot again and walking on uneven ground is getting to be difficult again :evil: . Foot surgery sucks big time and I will wear a cam boot all the time (except for riding :D ) before I will have foot surgery again. Anyway, my long list of sadness but what can you do? Like Chisamba said...don't sit. Keep going and as Demi said, work smarter, not harder for some of those things that we used to be able to do and now find difficult strength wise.

Susan
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texsuze
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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby texsuze » Fri Apr 23, 2021 6:08 pm

My motivation to get things done is still pretty much intact, but when I hit 60 last year, BOOM, it just tanked me in terms of energy. I know that being out of the saddle for several years now (ok, there, I've put it in writing...) has been a detriment to my overall health. So try to keep riding as long as you are safe and satisfied with it!

Barn chores for one oldster retiree gelding and (now down to) 4 hens takes me an extra hour each morning. I do have a special needs hen, and lots of food prep for my oldster, but if the humidity and/or heat are bad, which is most of summer, I end up taking breaks to get through. My energy just vaporizes. Very frustrating.

I do a personal training session once a week which is essential and helpful. And in the course of routine critter care I'm always lifting, schlepping, loading/unloading mostly heavy items. Since The Big Freeze of 2021, I've been cutting and moving large limbs that froze and broke and landed on the ground, plus stacking firewood. So body strength, especially upper body, has never been an issue for me. But that's not the same as having energy.

I find that if I'm 'energetic' enough to sweep out the garage and the walkway to the house, I should do it then and there, even if I was heading to the garage for some other reason. I'll get the other intended task done, but I seem to accomplish more if I'm flexible with my "To Do" list, depending upon my energy level and other factors at that moment. I'm sure there's probably a medical name for that type of thinking... ;).

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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby demi » Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:44 pm

Texsuze, flexibility in the “to do” list is a big deal! I’ve learned that if I do something that was important, but it wasn’t on my to do list, I’ll go ahead and add it after the fact, and then check it off! Quite satisfying :lol:

So maybe I’m a little quiffy at the moment but it IS Friday. I laughed out loud at “special needs hen”. I can say this because my hens have their own wading pool in the summer.

I was thinking about Kyra’s mom’s post on the training forum and wondering if I should start a thread on this forum about training. So much good dressage can be done at the walk and I even wonder if maybe people are putting too much energy into dressage training because they think that’s the only way to do it. I know dressage requires energy, and that it’s hard work, but just pouring energy and hard work into it doesn’t necessarily get the results we are looking for. There is some sort of balance that we have to find between working hard and and realizing that unless we have a horse that is a natural at dressage, we will have to carefully train them and then wait for them to be able to perform the way we want.... and it is so dependent on each individual horse/rider combination. I don’t know, just thinking aloud on a Friday evening......

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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby texsuze » Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:40 pm

Demi, the final paragraph of your post speaks volumes. Maybe open a thread on the training forum to get a conversation going, especially touching on natural ability (or lack thereof) in both horse and rider and how that translates to desired results. The balance of things and how to recognize that. When I was taking lessons with a BHS trainer (here in a desert wasteland of dressage, of all things!) some of my most meaningful, and difficult lessons were at the walk.

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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby piedmontfields » Mon May 24, 2021 4:28 pm

I agree with texsuze---lots of important perspective in Demi's comments. And like suz, I've had some incredible breakthroughs working slowly and at the walk.

demi
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Re: Energy levels as you age

Postby demi » Tue May 25, 2021 8:49 pm

For the last few weeks I’d been gearing up to putting Emma back to work and that was what rekindled my interest in walk work. Ive decided not to put her back to work, but after reading several articles on dressage at the walk, I think it will be a good thing to include a day of walk only work for Rocky. I’ll start the thread on the training forum.

thanks for the encouragement :)


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