It’s important for seniors to maintain a healthy weight. When older adults are under or overweight, it can take a toll on their physical health and lead to osteoporosis, cardiovascular conditions, and other serious health issues. Here are six weight management strategies for seniors who want to optimize their health.
1. Don’t Focus on Weight Loss
Readings on a weighing scale can be misleading for seniors, especially those who are trying to get healthy. Instead of focusing on weight loss, your aging loved one should focus on fat loss, which can be accurately measured using calipers or a measuring tape.
Excessive weight gain or loss is a serious health issue that can impact your loved one’s health, mobility, and independence. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an Anchorage home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
2. Maintain Muscle Mass
As people age, their muscle mass tends to decrease. To combat the loss of muscles, your loved one should follow an exercise regimen and diet that boosts muscle mass. Strength training is an excellent way to strengthen muscles, but seniors who aren’t interested in weight lifting can opt for resistance training instead. For example, yoga and Pilates use the weight of the body as resistance, which promotes the development of lean muscles. Gaining muscle mass increases balance and coordination, boosts metabolism, and helps seniors maintain an ideal weight.
3. Eat Small Meals Throughout the Day
Seniors with slow metabolism should try eating small meals throughout the day. If your loved one goes too long without eating, it could slow his or her metabolism further. Instead of eating three big meals, your loved one should eat something small and healthy every three hours. Choose snacks that boost metabolism, such as protein-rich almonds and antioxidant-filled berries.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Some seniors have a diminished sense of thirst. However, an absence of thirst doesn’t indicate healthy hydration. Your loved one should try to drink eight glasses of water or thirst-quenching liquids every day and supplement his or her diet with water-rich foods like cucumber and watermelon. When your loved one feels hungry, he or she should drink a glass of water first, as it’s easy to misinterpret thirst as hunger. Staying hydrated can prevent the calorie-filled snacking that leads to weight gain.
5. Eat Protein
For seniors looking to maintain a healthy weight, the most important dietary component is lean protein. Your loved one should eat plenty of poultry and fish. If your loved one needs to supplement his or her protein intake, he or she can add protein powder to a breakfast smoothie. When seniors get sufficient protein, they often find it easier to build and sustain muscle mass.
Switching to nutrient-dense meals is just one of the many ways seniors can maintain a healthy weight and enjoy a high quality of life. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Anchorage home care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
6. Stay Limber
Seniors should add flexibility exercises to their strength training workouts. When seniors are limber and flexible, they are more likely to enjoy their workout. If they enjoy their workout, it’s more likely to become a sustainable habit. Flexibility exercises can also diminish the aches and pains that come with aging. While a yoga class is an excellent way to increase range of motion, your loved one doesn’t have to go to the gym to enhance flexibility. If your loved one spends five minutes a day doing routine stretches like toe touches and lunges, he or she may soon start to notice a difference in flexibility. Engaging in flexibility exercises can increase energy levels, make everyday activities easier to manage, and help seniors maintain a healthy weight.
Older adults can maintain optimal weight by making healthy lifestyle changes. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Anchorage families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our revolutionary in-home care plans, call us at (907) 770-0907 today.