You’ve probably seen charts and statistics over the last decade showing the United States as one of the world’s most obese countries. You’ll frequently see news coverage on this “national epidemic.” Despite valiant attempts in the U.S. to educate the public about proper nutrition and exercise, the same issue remains, and the sad fact is that about one-third of adults are obese. The reporting of obesity as reaching “epidemic” levels could be slightly exaggerated, but regardless, obesity warrants our concern at this point.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of an individual’s body fat based on weight in relation to height. The desired BMI is in the range of 19 – 25, indicating what is typically considered healthy weight, but those scoring 30 or above are generally considered as obese.
As a person’s BMI levels increase, so does the risk of developing certain chronic diseases, such as hypertension and heart disease, or even leading to a stroke. Extra weight gain can also add additional stress to the knees and other joints, which creates diminished mobility with declined physical ability. As studies show, there may even be a connection between obesity and early cognitive impairment or decline.
Of course, obesity can be a concern for adults as they age since they are already in a higher risk category for the diseases and conditions mentioned above. Fortunately, lifestyle changes can be adopted for eliminating excess weight and preventing obesity. At any age, it’s best to consult a doctor before starting any of the following weight loss tips.
Eat Healthy Foods – Besides controlling food portions and caloric intake, it’s just as valuable to provide the proper nourishment to our bodies. Skip the salty and sugary snacks and trade up for whole fruits and vegetables instead.
Exercise – High-intensity exercise isn’t necessary for health benefits. Just make an elevated heart rate your goal with low impact activities (e.g. walking and swimming) for the prescribed amount of time per age. This will also assist in burning calories. A half hour per day can be perfect as a successful exercise regimen.
Strength Training – Even at rest, the body’s muscle tissue burns calories more efficiently than fat tissue so it’s important to strengthen the muscle groups using free weights or other weight-bearing exercises for a minimum of 20 minutes, 2-3 times per week. If you don’t know how to get started, sign up for a class at your local gym or YMCA.
The health and well-being of our aging loved ones is a priority. Encourage them to follow the above tips and to reduce any excess weight in order to prevent obesity. This will keep them looking forward to a happier, healthier future.
At Comfort Keepers®, we understand how challenging it can be for you to provide loved ones with everything they need, and at all times. Our kind and compassionate caregivers are professionally trained to provide in-home care that makes a real difference. When a loved one needs help with keeping an exercise routine or preparing healthy meals, give us a call!
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