While childhood and adulthood obesity has consistentlymade health news in recent decades, a new and concerninggroup joining the obese community is the elderly.
Obesity in elders can’t be ignored. Not only do we feel lethargic when we are carrying around excess pounds, numerous studies have proven that obesity can even lower our cognitive function, and make the elderly more prone to falls, accidents, and other serious injuries. This makes obesity a serious concern for friends, family, medical teams, caregivers, and other home health care supporters of our elderly population.
It is understandable why some people become obese after retirement: usually they have more free time and less physical activities. Other elderly adults have to work due to unavoidable and difficult financial situations.Sometimes they’re forced into rigorous and busy schedules leaving little time for an active and healthy lifestyle.
As our age progresses, there are also certain unavoidable physical changes. As we age we tend to lose lean body mass which creates a lowered metabolism. However, there are ways to stay healthy and counter obesity in old age. They start with reviewing and controlling our diets and adding or adjusting our physical workouts.
Here are some ways to counter obesity:
While planning work out methods, older people have to be very careful. It is important to focus on minimizing muscle and bone loss while ensuring proper balance and coordination.One study found that yoga, in particular, is a great workout for seniors.
In a new study appearing in the International Journal of Yoga, yoga proved a promising therapy for improving both balance and coordination in the elderly. It’s recommended to consult with a physical therapist and/or personal trainer to ensure that exercises are both appropriate to the needs of the individual and being completed in proper form.
Walking to curb obesity is a simple and relatively easy activity for the elderly. It’s easier on bones and joints due to the activity’s low impact while still being effective in controlling weight. The most important aspect in walking to reduce obesity is how long and how far you walk – not how fast. The good news for starters is they can even start up walking at a leisurely pace, it will still be beneficial.
As we grow old, the two things in our bodies become more and more vulnerable – bones and muscles. If elders want to start weight trainingthey should consult with a weight trainer, and their physician, to determine the best weight and routine to start with.
The more lean body mass we have, the higher our metabolic rate is and the more efficiently we burn calories. The American Heart Association explains that even moderate weight training can have very positive health effects – especially for the elderly.
Weight training is really good in so many ways, therefore those who can do it, must do it. One article from Len Kravitz, Ph.D writing for the University of New Mexico, found that there were numerous benefits to resistance training including gained strength, glucose and lipid metabolism changes, and increased cardiovascular health.
Under certain obesity conditions, it is advisable and effective for the elderly to participate inphysical therapy.Targeted workouts, with an understanding of physical limitations and health conditions, can be very helpful in achieving desired results and avoiding injuries.
Calorie counting is important to curb obesity as well. The imbalance of calories in and calories out doesn’t need to be significant – it adds up quickly. In the elderly, even as little as 50 extra calories in a day may cause them to gain weight.
Obesity in the elderly may lead to serious health issues related to the strength of their bones, breathing problems, back pain, knee pain, joint pain, and cardiovascular diseases. It’s important to seek medical guidance and consult with physicians, nutritionists, and personal trainers, to address this growing health problem.
Ask for your diet options in consultation with your physician and a dietician to know what would be an adequate diet. A good amount of daily protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, along with a low fat, low carbohydrate diet is recommended to make sure you are getting the calories, vitamins, and nutrients your body needs to heal and thrive.
Another of the seemingly inevitable factors of aging is bone density loss. It is highly recommended to consume the right amount of calcium to counter this problem. The elderly are normally advised to take low-fat milk or calcium supplements in addition to eating a diet rich in leafy greens.
An in-home meal planner and home helper can be an invaluable addition for elderly homeowners who need extra help preparing healthy, nutritious, meals.
The takeaway – it’s never too late
For elderly obese people, losing weight is all about disease prevention. It also ensures good health and an overall“feel-good” life. Weight loss can improve mood, concentration, and even curb feelings of loneliness and depression.
Elderly obese people must know that even shedding off small amount of weight can give significant improvements. With the proper support they can maintain a disciplined, healthy, lifestyle and enjoy better quality of life for many years to come.
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