The obesity rate in the United States has reached epidemic proportions across age groups, including senior citizens. That’s concerning for many reasons, not the least of which are the health risks associated with excess weight. If you’re struggling on the scale, use these helpful tips on safe and healthy weight loss for seniors.
The secret to losing weight isn’t in grunting and sweating at the dumbbell rack, but in savoring a delicious meal – that is, the right delicious meal. Fill your plate with lean protein, fruits and veggies, and whole grains, and try to eat slowly so you know when you’re getting full and you won’t overindulge. Also remember that it’s as much about what you don’t eat as what you do – for example, cutting out two 16-ounce sodas a day saves you around 300 calories.
- Seniors can add more vitamins and minerals into their diets by making careful choices focused on nutrient-rich
- Nutritious meals can be easily prepared; check out the recipes here.
- There’s a healthy way to go about gaining weight, too.
Despite those caveats about exercise, keep in mind that working out is crucial to losing weight. Sticking to a fitness regimen may feel overwhelming, but in addition to losing weight, some upsides of regular physical activity include lower stress, a boost in energy, and even a lower risk of Alzheimer’s.
- Exercise is still important and possible for those with limited mobility.
- It’s important to start your exercise program gradually to prevent injury.
- There are many safe indoor exercises for seniors, ranging from stretching to cardio.
Invest in a Home Gym
If you find you’re not working out because you don’t have the willpower to go to the gym, consider creating an exercise area in your home. One of the perks of a home gym is that it can go anywhere. Although you could invest in fancy equipment, a few dumbbells, resistance bands, and a yoga mat are pretty much all you need to create a fully-operational, senior-friendly workout space.
- Inexpensive workout equipment can be found fairly easily.
- Invite a friend to join you for exercise. Having a workout buddy can help you stay motivated and provide support and encouragement.
Pay Attention to Your Mental Health
People who are overworked, sleep-deprived, or chronically stressed tend to pack on the pounds. When stressed, your body releases hormones to steel itself for injury, which often means padding on fat as part of its survival mode. With that in mind, be sure to take care of your mental wellness in your golden years. Your mind and body will benefit from it.
- Mental health can dramatically affect physical health, so it’s important to take care of both.
- Diet and exercise affect mental health, too. So be proactive in selecting healthy foods and sticking with your workouts.
- Getting adequate sleep is important for your mental health and critical for weight loss.
- Know the signs of depression, and if you see them, seek help.
- When you visit a mental health professional, they may recommend medication. Anxiety and depression medication prescribed online can alleviate your symptoms.
Losing weight is rarely an easy journey when you’re a senior. The good news is that by making some relatively minor changes to your diet, exercise routine, and mental healthcare plan, you’ll be on your way to a healthier weight and a happier life.
About the Author
Annabelle Harris is the creator of Elders.Center. Her goal is to help soon-to-be seniors and already-seniors move gracefully into their golden years with less fear and more confidence. The site features a plethora of resources to help answer common and not-so-common questions about aging.