How The Elderly Can Lose Weight safely

seniorsNote: Before commencing any of the physical activities outlined here, please make sure you see your doctor for proper assessment and advice.

I get many weight loss questions from readers and these are genuine concerns of people who want to know what they can do about their weight and their health. Weight loss does not bother only the younger generation but worries the older ones too.
As you age, your metabolism slows down and after menopause (for women), body fat changes its distribution to give you the appearance of a larger belly. Nobody likes this. No matter how old you are, however, you can lose weight, increase your strength and fight disease through diet and exercise.
And it’s just natural to want to remain strong and good looking even in old age. Looking good and healthy in old age is also possible if one maintains a healthy lifestyle and monitors what one consumes.
In this article I want to outline what exercises the elderly can do and what foods they can take and how to do this in order to remain strong and also keep off unwanted weight. Excessive weight in old age contributes to disability, which many of us do not wish as we age.
Why do we gain weight in old age?
Hormonal changes, a high-calorie diet and decreased activity causes weight gain in older people. Weight gain also seems to shift, away from other problem areas, like the hips and legs, and to the midsection. As one age, the level of activity decreases, the muscle mass also decreases and a decrease in muscles mass consequently reduces the metabolic rate which helps in weight loss. It takes longer for the elderly to digest food as compared to the young.
Fortunately, a few lifestyle changes can promote weight loss and help you maintain a healthy weight. And we shall quickly run through what you can do .
Older women in good health need at least 150 minutes of physical activity weekly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another option is one 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly. Not doing any physical activity can be bad for you, no matter your age or health condition. Keep in mind, some physical activity is better than none at all. Your health benefits will also increase with the more physical activity that you do.
You should not expect to transform overnight. Be patient with yourself and steadily improve daily on what you are doing. Overnight transformation does not happen even with younger people.
Here’s What To Do: As always, the two major things to do include diet and exercises.
What You should Eat:
Avoid skipping meals – Especially breakfast. This has always been wrongly accepted- that eating breakfast late or not eating at all will help you to lose weight. This causes your metabolism to slow down, which leads to feeling sluggish and making poorer choices later in the day.
Fruit – Focus on whole fruits rather than juices for more fibre and vitamins and aim to take more each day. Apart from apple and banana try also color-rich pickings like berries or melons.
Fibre-You should eat more foods rich in fiber because they aid your metabolism .Eating foods high in dietary fibre can do so much more than keep you regular. It can lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, improve the health of your skin, help you lose weight, and boost your immune system and overall health. As you age, your digestion becomes less efficient, so it’s important to include enough fiber in your diet.
Veggies – Colour is your credo in this category. Choose antioxidant-rich dark, leafy greens, such as spinach, and broccoli as well as orange and yellow vegetables, such as carrots, squash, and yams. These items are easily available in the open.
Calcium – Maintaining bone health as you age depends on adequate calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. Older adults need 1,200 mg of calcium a day through servings of milk, yogurt, or cheese. Non-dairy sources include, broccoli, almonds, Okra, Collards. Soybeans, White beans.
Grains – Be smart with your carbs and choose whole grains over processed white flour for more nutrients and more fiber. If you’re not sure, look for pasta, breads, and cereals that list “whole” in the ingredient list. This can easily be seen in most shops in the neighbourhood.
Protein – Adults over 50 without kidney disease or diabetes need about 1 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. This translates to 68 to 102g of high-quality protein per day for a person weighing 75kg.Try to divide your protein intake equally among meals. It’s important to vary your sources of protein instead of relying on red meat, including more fish, beans, peas, eggs, nuts, seeds, and low-fat milk and cheese in your diet.
Water – As we age, some of us are prone to dehydration because our bodies lose some of the ability to regulate fluid levels and our sense of thirst is may not be as sharp. Post a note in your kitchen reminding you to sip water every hour and with meals to avoid urinary tract infections, constipation, and even confusion.
What Exercises Should You Do?
1. Why should you even exercise?
2. Before I show you what to do and why you should stick with it lets see the benefits of engaging your body in physical activities.
3. Exercise helps older adults maintain or lose weight.
4. Exercise reduces the impact of illness and chronic disease.
5. Exercise improves your sleep.
6. Exercise boosts mood and self-confidence.
7. Exercise is good for the brain.
8. Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance in older adults.
Committing to a routine of physical activity is one of the healthiest decisions you can make. Before you get moving, though, consider how best to be safe.
Like I said at the outset of this discussion, try and get medical clearance from your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have a preexisting condition. Ask if there are any activities you should avoid.
There are 4 types of exercises recommended for any elderly
Strength exercises: build older adult muscles and increase your metabolism, which helps to keep your weight and blood sugar in check. Strength-training or weight-lifting exercises should be performed two to three days per week with a rest day between sessions. This rest day doesn’t mean to forgo the other types of exercises, just strength training. Strength-training activities should include exercises for all major muscle groups (shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, back, hips, and legs). If an elder chooses to strength train on a daily basis, he or she must alternate the muscle groups to allow for a rest day. Examples of strength-training exercises include lifting or pushing free weights, pulling resistance bands, and using strength-training equipment at a fitness centre or gym.
Balance exercises: build leg muscles, and this helps to prevent falls. According to the NIH, U.S. hospitals have 300,000 admissions for broken hips each year, many of them elderly people, and falling is often the cause of those fractures.We have them here too. If you are an older adult, balance exercises will help you avoid problems as you get older. And if you are a senior, balance exercises can help you stay independent by helping you avoid the disabilities that could result from falling. Some balance exercises build up leg muscles, while other exercises focus on stability.
Balance exercises, therefore, fall into two categories. Strengthening exercises must be performed two or more days per week (but not on any two days in a row), whereas stability exercises can—and in some cases should—be performed daily. Balance exercises include strength exercises for the lower body such as back and side leg raises and toe stands as well as stability exercises such as heel-to-toe walking and the stork pose (standing on one foot with arms held out to the side.)senio
Stretching exercises: can give you more freedom of movement, which will allow you to be more active during your senior years. Stretching exercises alone will not improve your endurance or strength. Stretching exercises improve flexibility but do not improve endurance or strength. Despite this, it is suggested that older adults perform stretching exercises after they have completed endurance and strength exercises. If they do only stretching/flexibility exercises, they must warm up first with gentle movements or slow walking. Stretching exercises can be performed daily and include shoulder, upper arm, calf, and thigh stretches.
Endurance exercises: are any activity—walking, jogging, swimming, biking, even raking leaves—that increase your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time. Build up your endurance gradually, starting with as little as 5 minutes of endurance activities at a time. With the previously stated goal of a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week, it is recommended that older adults strive to increase from the minimum goal of 10 minutes of aerobic increments to longer stretches as well as increasing over time the weekly number of minutes from 150 to 300. Examples of endurance exercises are walking, jogging, dancing, and playing tennis.
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