The 3 Best Safe and Healthy Weight-Loss Tips for Seniors
Being overweight at any age is dangerous. However, overweight seniors lose muscle mass that is replaced with fat. They also have a higher risk of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer because of their obesity. Seniors also face more mobility challenges when they are overweight. That’s why seniors need to know safe and healthy ways to lose weight.
1. Talk to Your Doctor First
According to Dr. Robert Huizenga, weight control and fitness for people over the age of 60 is not that different than it is for younger people. The one major difference is that older adults need to talk to their doctor before they start a new exercise routine. Heart disease and metabolic disease are more common after age 60, so seniors should have a medical checkup before they try to shed extra pounds. Seniors also need to know that their oxygen intake may be reduced due to age, so it may be more difficult to take deep breaths while doing moderate to high-intensity workouts.
Seniors also typically have arthritis, which makes running and aerobics more painful and decreases your chances of sticking with regular exercise. It’s better to choose low-impact workouts like swimming and walking when you start losing weight. The most important thing for seniors to remember is that easing into a new exercise routine after talking to a doctor is a must.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
Healthy eating plays a key role in safe weight loss for seniors. When you supply your body with the nutrients it needs, you can stay active and achieve and then maintain a healthy weight. Many seniors who eat a balanced diet find that they feel better and have more energy to start exercising. Eating less sugar, for example, reduces the amount of inflammation in your body and makes it easier to move.
The best way to achieve a balanced diet is to think about what you put on your plate each day. The National Council on Aging recommends that seniors choose bright-colored foods to eat the rainbow each day. For instance, fruits and vegetables provide you with orange, red, green, and purple foods. You also should opt for lean protein such as seafood, eggs, beans, and lean meats like chicken, and you should choose whole grains like brown rice and whole-wheat pasta. Low-fat dairy is better for a balanced diet, too. Also, be sure to eat foods that are high in fiber and low in sodium.
3. Commit to Regular Low-Impact Exercise
If you have a sore back or achy joints, low-impact exercises are perfect for you because they do not strain your joints. Activities such as golf, water aerobics, strength training, walking, and flexibility training are ideal for seniors because they are easy on your body while building your endurance, helping you burn calories, and building your muscle mass.
Another reason to commit to regular exercise is the mental health benefits it delivers to seniors. According to Qunomedical, more than 300 million people live with depression around the world, and the prevalence peaks in older adulthood. Depression in seniors is a serious issue because it often is overlooked and untreated even though “depressive disorders involve sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of tiredness, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, and poor concentration.”
Fortunately, depression is treatable, and seniors can help themselves by committing to exercise since physical activity boosts mental health and combats depression. In fact, research shows that exercise reduces anxiety, depression, and negative mood and improves self-esteem and cognitive function. When people exercise, the body releases endorphins, or the feel-good hormones, that are responsible for calming one’s mind and relaxing the body. Exercise increases blood circulation to improve mood and attention, too.
There are safe and healthy ways for seniors to lose weight.
Begin by talking to your doctor to determine whether exercise is safe for you. Then, eat a balanced diet. Finally, easing into regular, low-impact exercise will boost your physical and mental health while helping you battle the bulge.
Thank You to Our Guest Blog Writer:
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The information expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is provided as a reference for our readers. As with any medical advice, please speak to your physician before begining any new medication, food, exercise or anything that may affect your health. Alternatives for Seniors also suggests additional research for any topic mentioned. The information expressed in our blogs is written by the author unless specified as an Alternatives for Seniors article and may or may not reflect the opinions Alternatives for Seniors.