Tipping the Scales in Favor of a Long and Healthy Life
As people age, they often stop worrying about their weight. But evidence suggests that a person’s weight directly relates to their quality of life regardless of age. Unfortunately, due to a naturally waning metabolism, it can be more difficult to shred unwanted pounds once a person reaches their 50th birthday. Difficult, but not impossible. Here are a few tips on healthy weight loss and management.
Understand BMI. BMI, or body mass index, is the unit of measure used to denote the amount of fat on a person’s body. A healthy BMI is somewhere between 18.5 and 24.9. Anything below means the individual is too thin; a number greater than 25 indicates an excess of body fat. The AARP explains that a higher BMI equates to a greater likelihood of developing type II diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and other conditions that affect quality of life and longevity. Maintaining a healthy BMI is one of the most important things an individual can do for their overall health and well-being when facing a waning metabolism.
Find an enjoyable activity. Exercise is one way to keep body fat down. Unfortunately, arthritis, visual issues, and mobility concerns often make it difficult for seniors to properly exercise. Jogging and high-intensity cardiovascular exercises may be out of the question. Seniors should, however, remain active to the best of their ability through physical activities they enjoy that don’t exacerbate joint pain or other health concerns. Senior Lifestyle, an online publication geared toward active seniors, explains that water aerobics is an excellent option for older adults that can help keep the heart rate up, burn calories, and improve balance.
Invest in home equipment. For seniors who don’t drive, a home gym is a viable option. It does not have to be full of expensive equipment to be effective either. A few simple pieces of equipment, including resistance bands, yoga mats, and dumbbells, offers ample opportunities for strength and balance training.
Focus on nutrition. Seniors have special dietary needs and should focus on their nutrition. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics explains that older individuals should make calcium and vitamin D a priority in order to maintain bone health, which will help with mobility and issues such as arthritis. And since digestion tends to slow with age, seniors should also make a point to eat plenty of fiber-rich foods including whole grains and leafy vegetables. Foods high in saturated and trans fats should be largely avoided, although polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are part of a healthy diet, esspecially when facing a waning metabolism.
Supplement with vitamins when necessary. Ideally, most of a senior’s vitamins and minerals will be consumed through food. However, when diet alone doesn’t meet an individual’s needs, there are plenty of supplements that can help. Seniors who can’t get outside as often as they would like should consider taking a high-quality vitamin D supplement that can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, according to U.S. News & World Report. Calcium, iron, and other vitamins may also be supplemented. It is important to note that not all over-the-counter products are alike, and a senior should discuss with their doctor the quality of any nutritional supplements they plan to take. Many won’t absorb properly into the body, while others may lack important nutrients.
Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of living well. While it’s certainly okay to indulge once in a while, seniors who may be facing a waning metabolism should pay close attention to their activity level and nutritional intake. By finding a balance, most seniors can enhance their quality of life and enjoy each and every shining moment of their golden years.