Uncategorized | July 26, 2018
Have you seen the charts and statistics over the last decade or so showing the U.S. as one of the world’s most obese countries? Frequently, there is news coverage on what is being called our “national epidemic.” Despite so many attempts to educate the public about proper nutrition and promote exercise, the obesity issue remains, and sadly, about one-third of U.S. adults are actually obese. Obesity at “epidemic” levels might be a slight exaggeration, but nonetheless, it’s an issue that warrants our concern at this point.
Body Mass Index (also known as BMI) is the quantifying of body fat based on weight in relation to height, with the desired BMI in the range of 19 – 25. That level would indicate a normal or healthy weight, but people scoring 30 or above are considered overweight or obese.
With a person’s increased BMI level, the risk of developing certain chronic diseases correlates. Hypertension and heart disease, or even stroke, can result. An increase of weight may also add stress to the knees and other joints, as well. This can create mobility problems along with declined physical ability. Research shows there may even be a correlation between obesity and early cognitive impairment or mental decline.
Of course, obesity can be a special concern for older adults since they are inherently already at high risk for the diseases and conditions mentioned above. The good news is that lifestyle changes can be successfully adapted for decreasing excess weight and preventing obesity. The following tips may be helpful, but it’s always best to consult your doctor before starting any weight loss program.
Eat Healthy Foods – Of course, you need to control food portions and caloric intake. Still, it’s at least as important to provide the proper type of nourishment to the body. Skip the salty and sugary snacks. Trade them for naturally delicious whole fruits and vegetables instead.
Exercise – Aging adults don’t require high-intensity exercise for health benefits. An elevated heart rate is a good goal with low impact activities (e.g. walking and swimming) for the prescribed amount of time per age. This also helps to burn calories. A half-hour daily is perfect for your exercise regimen.
Strength Training – Even when the body is at rest, muscle tissue will burn calories much more efficiently than fat tissue does, prioritize your increased strength. Use free weights or practice other weight-bearing exercises for a minimum of 20 minutes, 2-3 times per week. If you don’t feel confident in getting started, sign up for a class at your local gym or YMCA.
Make the health and well-being of aging loved ones the utmost priority and encourage them to follow the above tips to reduce excess weight and prevent obesity. This will keep them looking forward to a happier, healthier future.
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Contact us today. We know how challenging it can be for you to provide your loved ones with everything they need, and at all times. Our caregivers are professionally trained compassionate people who can provide in-home care that makes a big difference. If a loved one needs help with starting or keeping an exercise routine, give us a call. We can help!