How to Keep Weight Off as a Senior

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Keeping weight off in general is tough enough, but as we age, our metabolism slows down quite a bit. Maintaining a healthy weight can pose challenging for seniors as they engage in less physical activity. Fortunately, there is plenty seniors can do to ensure the weight stays off.

First let’s take a look at some reasons why senior adults might gain weight:

  • Fat mass increases as muscle mass decreases. Older adults with a high fat mass have a greater likelihood of disability and decreased physical activity.
  • Seniors typically stay on the same diet they were accustomed to when they were younger. Because they are less active, however, they are not burning as many calories.
  • The environment also plays a major factor. When senior citizens do not have gyms, parks, or easy access to walking trails, it can be challenging for them to live an active lifestyle, which in turn leads to weight gain.

 

Below are several diet tips for seniors, although you should always consult your physician before beginning a new nutrition plan:

  • Include seasonal fruits and veggies in your diet, as these are filled with antioxidants.
  • Consider eating egg whites—they are packed with protein, and they repair worn out cells.
  • Prevent high cholesterol by using mustard oil or olive oil to cook.
  • Eat six to seven small meals per day.
  • Enjoy vegetable soups as a meal, but make sure to avoid creamy soups.
  • Avoid eating out by carrying snacks with you.
  • Start your morning off with oats.
  • Drink plenty of water to help with muscle density and dehydration.

 

Exercise advice for senior citizens (seniors should consult their doctor before beginning a new exercise routine):

  • Begin with a 5-minute cardio session for several weeks to increase heart rate.
  • Move on to 30-minute aerobic activities such as a brisk walk or swimming.
  • Include low-impact exercises to increase lower body strength (e.g., squats).
  • Develop upper body strength by using light weights. This includes side arm raises and front arm raises.
  • Do arm curls to strengthen biceps muscles. This exercise will make it easier to lift everyday objects such as water jugs, heavy groceries, backpacks, etc.

 

At New Horizons at Marlborough, we offer aerobics classes, watercise classes, and nature walks throughout the week to keep seniors active. Our gourmet meals are both nutritious and delicious! Give us a call at 508.460.5200 to book a tour of our assisted living and independent living community.

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