3 Tips for Healthy Weight Loss
When you’re young, you always know you should work out and stay on top of your health, but it’s easy to let it slip. By the time you’re a senior, the stakes are higher and you know how much more important it is to really stay aware of your health needs – even if doing so doesn’t become any easier.
Obesity brings with it serious health risks, including a higher incidence of heart disease, stroke, and osteoarthritis. You’re already at a higher risk of many of these health concerns due to your age, why roll the dice any further than that?
You do have to be careful though, because at a certain age becoming underweight becomes as much of a concern as being overweight. What weight you’re at really shouldn’t be the focus anyway; trying to be as healthy as possible is the better goal to have.
Here are a few healthy, safe ways to keep your weight under control and aim for better health.
1. Talk to a dietician.
We could give you the familiar spiel about eating more fruits and vegetables, but you already know that line. It’s more difficult to turn good advice into action in the abstract than it is to follow a clear plan. A dietician can help you work out just which nutrients you need most based on your present health needs and provide specific meal plans you can follow to make sure you get them.
Dieting can actually be dangerous for seniors if you go about it the wrong way – you could end up losing valuable muscle mass that you need. Following the diet craze of the moment could be harmful. An expert can help you make sure you choose a diet that helps you lose weight healthily.
2. Join a water aerobics class.
If you have another favorite form of exercise, that’s fine, go ahead and stick with what works for you. We’re recommending water aerobics because it’s the safest form of exercise for seniors. The risk of injury is minimal – you’re not going to fall down and hit your head in the water, or suffer heat exhaustion, and it’s unlikely you’ll pull any muscles (swimming’s actually the recommended exercise for anyone recovering from a strained muscle). Plus, water exercise just tends to be more fun for most people than other types of exercise. So join a gym or a class and go get in the water.
3. Go for walks.
Focused bouts of exercise are recommended in the United States because we’re such a sedentary society, but research on cultures that live the longest seems to suggest that regular movement throughout the day – things like walking a lot, or getting up and down from the floor – may actually be healthier for us than 30 minutes of cardio a day.
Make it a point to fit a walk into every day. Pick a time of day you like most. Put it on the calendar. If you have a dog, bring them along! Head to pretty areas of town to keep it interesting. Just make sure you do it. It may not contribute as much to weight loss as focused cardio or strength training, but it will help and it’s just a really healthy habit all around to have. As a bonus, you get to spend some time with your thoughts and enjoy nature.
Weight loss is often a good goal to have. In most cases, it puts people on a path to being healthier. Just make sure you don’t take it too far or go about it in a way that can be dangerous. Looking skinnier is not worth putting your health at risk. But if the number you see on your scale in the morning is a good incentive to get you out for those daily walks, then stay on top of it.