Senior Living: Weight management tips


senior exercise

Men and women of all ages should focus on living healthful lifestyles, and many do.

This is especially crucial for a senior living in sunny West Palm Beach.

As we age, our bodies change.

While we usually tend to require fewer calories, we still require the same nutritional intake. Therefore, in order to maintain a healthful weight, we must plan/alter our diets accordingly. Proper diet is even more essential for seniors (especially those in senior living communities), as their physical activity is, more than likely, limited.

To offer some perspective, the recommended daily caloric intake (depending on size and body type) for middle-aged women is 1,800-2,200, and for men, 2,400-3,000. For seniors, those numbers dip to 1,600-2,000 and 2,000-2,400, respectively.

senior weight management

Thus, seniors should try to reduce the amount of food they eat but be sure that what they are consuming is nutrient-dense. Some examples of “good” food are fruits and vegetables; lean meats such as seafood and poultry; beans and nuts; and whole-grain carbohydrates such as brown rice, oatmeal and wheat bread. These foods are key to healthful senior living.

Seniors also need to be mindful that they are getting enough protein (meats and low-fat dairy are good options). Frailty and loss of bone density is common as we age, and protein will help provide strength if you’re not maintaining your muscle mass. Iron is also important for seniors; excellent sources include moderate amounts of lean red meat and all the leafy greens (like spinach) that you want.

And don’t forget fiber.

Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, as are beans and whole-grain breads, pastas and cereals. Fiber will make you feel full faster and longer, which will help you avoid feeling hungry throughout the day. Also, be sure to eat breakfast every day. It provides energy and also helps set your metabolism at a good rate. This is good advice regardless of age, but certainly important for healthful senior living.

It’s not only what you eat that affects your weight, but also what you drink.

Avoid sweet and sugary drinks, as well as alcohol. Instead, drink water. It not only helps prevent overeating, but also keeps you hydrated. Don’t underestimate the importance of proper hydration, especially in the South Florida heat. Residents at Lourdes Noreen McKeen in West Palm Beach are constantly reminded of this point.

Lastly…exercise!

Physical activity is certainly dependent upon physical condition, but keep in mind that every little bit helps.

senior fitness

If you can’t run, jog or play sports, but are able to walk a reasonable distance, do so. A one-mile walk can burn 75-100 calories, depending on your pace. If distance is an issue, take several short walks throughout the day.

If that is too strenuous, simple things such as stretching or raising and lowering your arms and legs while seated or standing are beneficial. Again…every little bit helps when trying to maintain a healthful weight and lifestyle.

These are a few basic tips for good weight management and for healthful senior living, but it is always wise to consult with your physician prior to beginning a new diet or exercise program.

Senior Living

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