As adults get older, reduced levels of physical activity increases the likelihood of gaining weight. Body fat decreases in the arms and legs while accumulating in the abdominal area. However, there are a few ways seniors can manage their weight.
1. Engage in Daily Physical Activity
Engaging in physical activity every day is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Seniors should start with a 30-minute walk three times a week, then increase the time to five days a week. Other forms of activity include cleaning the house, gardening, or engaging in low-impact exercises such as cycling, swimming, and tai chi. Exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system, lowers cholesterol levels, and enhances cognitive ability by increasing the levels of oxygen and nutrients circulating throughout the body.
Seniors who need help exercising should consider professional home care. Coral Gables senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
2. Follow a Nutritious Diet
Some seniors have vitamin and mineral deficiencies, while others consume too many high-fat, high-sugar foods. The National Council on Aging recommends that seniors add more fruits and vegetables to their daily diets along with lean protein, low-fat or fat-free dairy, and whole grains. Eating nutritious meals helps seniors maintain an ideal weight, reduce cholesterol levels, and prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Older adults often need assistance preparing healthy meals. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Coral Gables seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
3. Monitor Sodium Intake
Many older adults become sensitive to salt, which can lead to abnormal fluid retention. Extra fluid also causes excessive weight gain and puts undue stress on the cardiovascular system and other organs. Seniors should consider seasoning foods with herbs and spices and reducing or eliminating their salt intake.
4. Resist Processed Foods
Canned, frozen, and processed baked goods, meals, and snacks tend to be high in fat, sugar, or salt. When grocery shopping, seniors should carefully read the labels to avoid unhealthy foods. Cured luncheon meats, bacon, and bagged snacks are particularly high in fat and salt.
5. Increase Fluid Intake
Older adults often do not get enough fluids during the day. The possibility of becoming dehydrated is especially a concern for seniors who take daily diuretic medications. Consuming caffeinated beverages also causes fluid loss. Drinking six to eight glasses of water can keep body fluids balanced, curb the appetite, and reduce calorie consumption.
6. Get Sufficient Sleep
Seniors need seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night. The body needs sufficient sleep to relax, unwind, repair, and re-energize. A lack of sleep leads to daytime fatigue, which prevents people from being physically active. Not getting enough sleep also contributes to cardiovascular and other medical conditions.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to help your senior loved one maintain a healthy weight. In Coral Gables, FL, in-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn about our premier in-home care options, give us a call at 1 (305) 964-5636 today.