Our bodies change as we grow older. One of the more common alterations can be weight. You may find yourself gaining or losing weight without making any changes to your eating habits.
Although weight can travel in both directions, obesity affects around 40% of adults in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For many seniors, maintaining the same diet will actually result in adding pounds as their metabolism and activity levels decrease.
The good news? There are steps you can take to maintain your weight.
A common way to assess whether you are within a normal weight range is to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health:
BMI estimates your body fat using a BMI calculator or table to obtain your score. You are considered:
The circumference can alert you to increased health risks such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes. The risk increases if your waist size is generally greater than 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men.
There is also a Risks of Obesity-Associated Diseases by BMI and Waist Circumference table. This provides information regarding whether your BMI combined with your waist circumference increases your risk for developing certain weight related diseases or conditions.
Common reasons for weight loss after the age of 65 can include:
Common causes for weight gain after the age of 65 can include:
It can be confusing for older adults to gain weight when they are still eating the same type and amount of food. The problem is that you may be less active and are burning fewer calories. The key is to move more and guard against being sedentary.
If you’re just beginning, strive for moderate exercise for 30 to 45 minutes, at least 3 to 5 days a week. Set a goal to eventually exercise or be physically active at least 30 minutes a day for every day of the week.
If you’re moving less but eating the same amount of calories, you’ll gain weight. This often catches people by surprise. As your metabolism slows down, you’ll begin burning fewer calories. Pay attention to your portion sizes and your activity levels.
A great way to satisfy your hunger without gaining weight is to eat foods that naturally are lower in calories such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only will they provide the nutrients that you need, you’ll feel fuller.
Greatly reduce foods that contain added sugar, often discovered in juices, desserts and processed food. The American Heart Association generally recommends limiting the amount of added sugars daily to no more than 100 calories for women and 150 calories for men.
Older adults who make an independent living community home soon discover many benefits that can help them control and maintain their weight. Consider these advantages:
You’ll enjoy a full-sized kitchen in your new home but you can also take advantage of the community’s dining options. You’ll find chef-prepared meals that are nutritious and delicious. Special diets can also be accommodated.
It’s easy to get your work-out in when all you need to do is walk out your door to the fitness center. You’ll discover weights, equipment and classes so you can safely get into the right routine. Joining your friends can also help you stay motivated.
Staying active and physically fit is no problem if you live in an independent living community. You’ll find a monthly calendar full of planned programs to choose from as well as sporting games, swimming and other amenities.
One of the best motivators for staying in good physical shape are friends. It’s been discovered that we often are positively influenced by our friendships who are there for support and encouragement. It’s also more fun to exercise with others.
Maintaining a healthy weight can occur with the right diet, exercise and physical activity and an independent living community can help. Along with being supported in your efforts to age well and live life to the fullest, you’ll appreciate the ease in keeping active, eating healthy, staying in good physical condition and creating strong social relationships.
If you’re considering whether independent living could be right for you, we think you’ll be glad to discover how beneficial our community at Ingleside at Rock Creek can be.
You’ll have the choice of a spacious one, two or three bedroom floor plan with a full sized kitchen, large windows that flood your living space with natural light, safety features and underground parking.
You’ll also enjoy the opportunities to engage and improve your physical and emotional health as well as your quality of life, where you’ll discover:
Please visit our website for more information. Call (202) 846-2651 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.