Maintaining muscle tone is one of the most important things we can do to burn more calories. For those in the senior’s club, starting or maintaining a strength-training program can help increase their basal metabolic rate. Strength training is also good for losing the belly. Research has shown that weight loss for seniors has the most significant positive impact on health if it comes from the abdominal region. And the fat loss from strength training, even if the exercises aren’t specifically focused on your abs, is often from this area.
Plus, strength training doesn’t have to be intimidating or time-consuming. If you’re not currently lifting weights or doing other strength-building exercises, such as yoga, talk to your doctor about creating a plan that works for you. There are several excellent guides online showing some simple exercises for seniors that can act as a good starting point.
You can reap the benefits of physical activity without heading to the gym, which can be far away and expensive. As we get older, we tend to be more sedentary throughout the day. That’s unfortunate because even light amounts of activity can help your metabolism and cardiovascular health.
However, in today’s automated world, we have fewer opportunities for this kind of movement. So look for every chance you can to get some extra light movement. For example, gardening, doing the dishes by hand, and putting away all of the laundry are the kinds of tasks that keep your body moving.
Walking is most often considered one of the best exercises for everyone, including seniors. You don’t have to take on the touted 10,000 steps a day to benefit. Just small increases in the number of steps you take per day can help.
One dilemma that comes with growing older is that your body requires the same nutrients per day, but fewer calories. Healthy eating, for seniors in particular, can sometimes seem difficult because we tend to think of natural and healthy foods as more expensive, and many seniors are on tight budgets. But good food for seniors doesn’t have to cost a lot. Studies have shown that the difference between the healthiest diets and very unhealthy diets is about $1.50 a day, on average. Although that adds up to about $550 a year, the medical costs resulting from an unhealthy diet can be much higher.
When you’re under chronic pressure, your body can interpret your stressed-out state as a sign that you need to conserve energy. And the “flight or fight” response created by stress hormones like cortisol can trigger glucose production because our bodies think we need an energy boost. The results can impact your metabolism, in addition to triggering cravings for sweets. Although more conclusive research is needed, some studies suggest that relaxation activities, such as meditation, can help your metabolism.
Yes, fat can have a place in your weight-loss plan. You just have to choose the right foods with the good fats. We tend to think of “fat” as a bad thing, but it’s actually an essential nutrient that gives your body energy and helps with many of its functions. Additionally, eating higher-fat foods can help you feel more satisfied than lower fat foods.
“Healthy” fats are polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats. In contrast to saturated fats, which can damage your heart health, these fats can help lower your cholesterol levels and protect you from developing heart disease.
Good sources of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat include:
● Extra virgin olive oil
● Chia seeds
● Ground flax
● Egg yolks
As a senior, you may have noticed that your sense of thirst isn’t as strong as it used to be. But that doesn’t mean you need less fluid. In addition, some medications can be dehydrating. So pay attention to your fluid consumption. Try carrying a reusable water bottle throughout the day, and drink some water before meals. Drinking before a meal can also help prevent you from overeating.
It’s extremely important to know and understand that one individual senior’s overall health condition, physical abilities and time flexibility may not be the same as yours. As it goes for any diet or lifestyle change, it’s never cookie cutter or one size fits all.
This is why you need to be careful and get checked by your doctor and dietician before choosing to undertake a dietary and/or lifestyle change.