Do you find yourself a bit overweight after 60? Obesity is common for some seniors, and it’s easy to see why. Limited budgets for healthy foods, mobility issues that hinder exercise and a sedentary lifestyle can all contribute to weight gain for seniors. However, healthy weight loss can be a huge benefit to your health and wellness over 60. Here are 10 tips for healthy weight loss for seniors.
Chair yoga – For seniors who have lost some of the balance and flexibility of his or her youth, yoga can be a great way to get it back. Chair yoga, which modifies some of the moves from tradition yoga, but allows participants to sit down, is the perfect option for a low-impact exercise for seniors to not only strengthen their bodies, but calm their minds.
Water aerobics – Running, walking or exercises like jumping jacks can be hard on joints, which isn’t ideal for seniors who may already experience arthritis. Water aerobics uses the resistance of water to get your heart rate up, while the water creates less friction on your joints. As an added benefit, the water will keep you cooler, so seniors can work out longer. It feels like fun, but water aerobics is actually increasing heart rate and toning muscle!
Resistance training – Resistance training can help seniors in a variety of ways. First, it can build strengthen major muscle groups; because muscle burns more calories than fat, resistance training can help seniors lose weight. Second, resistance training can help seniors do everyday tasks more easily, including walking stairs or fixing dinner. Small free weights (start out with three to five pound weights) and resistance bands are perfect for seniors.
Whole grains – Small changes in diet can make a big difference. Seniors can switch white bread and pasta for the whole grain varieties for a start, and experiment with brown rice or quinoa as part of meals. Whole grains can help stabilize blood sugar, so you will feel fuller for longer and be able to resist snacking.
Healthy snacking – For the days when you just have to have a snack, healthy snacking is the way to go. Fruits, like blueberries, strawberries and bananas, can give you vitamin C, fiber and potassium. Nuts, like almonds, walnuts or pecans, are a great source of protein and can stabilize blood sugar. Vegetables, like carrots or green peppers, are loaded with vitamins and nutrients and can provide a crunch (especially if you’re craving potato chips!)
Proteins – Eating a high-protein diet die can help reduce blood fat, maintain lean tissue (and burning fat for fuel) and keep hunger pangs at bay. Seniors should choose lean proteins like chicken or fish, or replace high carb side dishes with different kids of beans.
Water – Drinking enough water is extremely important to weight loss. In fact, those who don’t drink enough water can come to a weight-loss standstill. The process of burning calories requires water to function efficiency, and dehydration can slow fat burn. Water can also help maintain muscle tone and lubricate joints. Strive to drink about 64 oz of water daily.
Calorie cutting – If you burn more than you take in, you’ll lose weight; that’s simple math! Counting calories is one of the best ways to lose extra pounds, but be wary of how deep your calorie cut is. Seniors should eat no less than 1500 calories per day.
Using technology – For the senior who is a tech junkie, using technology can be a fun way to track your fitness. FitBit or Nike Fuel Band are two gadgets that track your steps and heart rate. My Fitness Pal is a social app that helps count calories while providing motivation from others.
Shut eye – That’s right – a good night’s sleep is as important to weight loss as exercise! When a person doesn’t get enough sleep, the body secretes the hormone cortisol, a stress hormone that can cause weight gain and anxiety. Aim for seven to nine hours of rest every night, and take 20 minute cat naps to give you more energy.
Author Bio: Julia Dennis writes about Eco Friendly Assisted living communities and other assisted living topics for Friendship Village. When she’s not writing she enjoys running and spending time with her children.
[toggle title=”Featured images”]