Losing Weight the Healthy Way When You Are A Senior

Good evening to all of you, my beloved Regency family!

Our good friend of Regency, Hazel Bridges of www.agingwellness.org, wrote this exclusive healthcare article, just for all of you!

Diet and exercise, the two pillars of weight loss, tend to change as you grow older. However, they do so in different ways. Your diet may need more of certain nutrients or vitamins, but the tenets of a healthy weight-loss diet remain the same for everyone: a balance of lean protein, fiber and healthy fats, eaten in reasonable portions.

Exercise, on the other hand, tends to become more complicated with age. Your muscles and bones deteriorate and make it harder for you to move, let alone do an intense workout. However, a healthy exercise plan is crucial to weight loss, so it is important to learn to tailor your workouts to your needs if you are looking to shed some pounds.

 Healthy and Unhealthy Weight Loss

 Being older doesn’t significantly affect the rules of weight loss. You need to exercise more, eat less, and make nutritious choices. As an older adult, your main consideration will be mobility and maintain an active lifestyle despite your body having a harder time getting around.

Many seniors start experiencing unintentional weight loss when they get older. If this happens to you, even if you were overweight before, do not let it go unchecked. Unintentional weight loss can be a sign of illness, both physical and mental, and is not something to be ignored. If this happens to you, consult your doctor about it. They will be able to work with you toward a treatment that allows you to control your weight loss while keeping yourself healthy.

Building Muscle

 Perhaps the best exercise regimen to lose weight in a healthy way as a senior is weight training. This allows you to lose weight while preserving and building muscle mass. This is important, as the loss of muscle mass in old age, known as sarcopenia, is linked with increased frailty and an overall loss of mobility and independence.

According to Harvard Health, the key when doing weight training is to focus on power, not just strength. Unlike strength, which simply increases the weight you can lift, power defines how easily or effectively you are able to move. The best way to improve power is to focus on the areas that are most crucial to mobility, like the legs.

Traditional weight rooms can be expensive, not to mention intimidating for older people. You can reap the benefits of weight training at home by investing in a small home gym. A few dumbbells or kettlebells, a set of resistance bands, and an exercise ball can get you quite far, covering a variety of upper body, leg, and core strengthening workouts.

 If you choose to do this, make sure you are being safe at all times. Learn the correct form of the movement you are doing, keep your back and neck straight and do not lift more than feels comfortable. Stretch before and cool down after every workout and keep hydrated throughout.

 Cardio

Most effective fitness plans are a combination of cardio and muscle exercises. While building muscle will do wonders for your strength and mobility, cardio is what will make most of the difference when it comes to weight loss.

According to Livestrong, people over 65 should be doing 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio, 75 minutes of vigorous intensity cardio, or a combination of both every week. You can spread this out, for example going for a 30-minute brisk walk (moderate intensity) every weekday.

If you have problems with your joints, look for something low-impact like swimming, cycling, or yoga. Most exercises can be done at various levels of intensity, so it’s up to you to pick the pace that works best for you.

Weight loss during old age can seem particularly challenging, especially as your body starts feeling less capable of intense exercise. However, it is possible to develop and stick to a healthy exercise regime when you are over 65. The key is to know your limits and commit to working slowly towards improvement. Ultimately, you will not only lose weight, but you will also improve your long-term mobility, independence, and quality of life.

About Judah Gutwein, L.N.H.A.

As a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, with additional years of experience as an Admissions and Marketing Director, I am intimately familiar with the challenges of building and maintaining a vibrant census in nursing and rehab facilities. Regency Nursing Centers has a well deserved reputation for excellence in healthcare and I'm extremely proud of our achievements! Thanks for reading our Regency Blog!
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