As we age, we burn fewer calories and become less mobile and our lifestyles change. Good nutrition and staying physically active go with good health, so it’s important for the elderly to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle for as long as they can. Those extra kilos can accumulate gradually until one day you realise that you do indeed have a weight problem! Just because we age, does not have to mean excess weight is inevitable! We share some tips on winning the battle of the bulge!
- Resist temptation! Easier said than done sometimes, but resist purchasing unhealthy snacks and junk food. Don’t shop whilst hungry and stick to your shopping list.
- Portion control. Half your meal should be vegetables. The other half should be divided into protein and grains. Protein such as chicken breast or fish and whole grains such as brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.
- Everything in moderation! Don’t deny yourself treats, but make sure you keep a good balance.
- Prepare! Keep healthy snacks at hand so you are not temped to open those biscuits!
- Cook extra and freeze portions for later. Check out our blog here (link) on Meal Planning & Bulk Cooking for the elderly.
- Drink plenty of water as well as eating foods high in dietary fibre.
Exercise is imperative for our mental health as well as our physical well-being. Many elderly people think that they can’t or shouldn’t risk exercise. The benefits of exercise are well documented, exercise lowers your risk for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Try these tips:
- Start small. A 10-minute walk will burn 100 calories and will seem do-able.
- Lack of mobility, disability or injury does not mean you cannot exercise! Even in a wheelchair you can lift weights or stretch.
- Try water aerobics if possible. Water exercises are gentle on joints and a great exercise for those with compromised balance.
- Regular exercise will help to improve balance and agility.
- Try Yoga or Tai Chi as it focuses on strength, balance and flexibility.
- There are a number of places that offer senior fitness classes specifically geared towards the abilities of older people.
No matter your age, health is a priority as is taking steps to keep obesity at bay. This way you’ll be on track to living a longer and more enjoyable life. At Homestyle our Lifestyle Co-ordinators run programs to help keep our residents fit and active. To find out more contact us here.