Happy New Year! This is the time of the year when many make resolutions to improve their health and wellness. For seniors, this often includes goals to lose weight and become more physically active. While these goals can be challenging at any age, they can be particularly difficult for those over 65 due to factors such as declining metabolism, reduced mobility and chronic health conditions. However, with the right mindset and strategies, you can successfully lose weight and improve your overall health.
First and foremost, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any wellness journey. This is especially important if you have chronic health conditions or taking medications that may be affected by changes in diet or exercise. A healthcare provider can provide guidance and support to help you develop a safe and effective weight loss plan.
One key strategy to consider is to focus on making lifestyle changes rather than trying to achieve quick fixes or drastic changes. While fad diets and extreme workouts may work in the short term, they are often not sustainable in the long run and can lead to frustration and disappointment. Instead, aim to make small, sustainable changes to your diet and exercise routine that you can stick to over the long term.
One way to do this is to focus on increasing physical activity rather than trying to restrict calories too severely. This can be as simple as taking a daily walk or participating in low-impact exercises such as yoga or tai chi. Consider joining a fitness program specifically designed for older adults, which can provide structure and support to help you stay motivated.
In terms of diet, aim for a balanced, nutrient-dense diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources. Be mindful of portion sizes and aim to avoid added sugars and unhealthy fats. Instead of cutting out entire food groups or following a strict meal plan, focus on making healthier choices within your current diet. For example, switch to whole grain bread instead of white bread or opt for grilled chicken instead of fried. Try fruit for dessert rather than a bowl of ice cream.
It’s also important to be mindful of your hydration status, as many older adults are at risk of dehydration due to decreased thirst perception and other factors. Seniors should aim to drink at least eight cups of water per day and can also include hydrating beverages such as herbal tea or low-sugar fruit juice.
Another key factor in successful weight loss is social support. Many seniors may feel isolated or have limited access to healthy food and fitness resources, making it difficult for them to stick to their weight loss goals. To combat this, seniors can seek out support from friends, family, or online communities of like-minded individuals. They can also consider joining a weight loss group –virtual or in-person-- or work with a nutritionist who can provide guidance and accountability.
It’s also important to be patient and kind to yourself as you work towards your weight loss goals. Weight loss can be a slow and challenging process, and it’s important to celebrate progress and give yourself credit for the small steps you take towards better health.
While weight loss can be a difficult goal for seniors, it’s not impossible. By focusing on sustainable lifestyle changes, being mindful of diet and hydration, and seeking out social support, you can successfully lose weight and improve your overall health at any age. As the New Year begins, take this opportunity to set realistic and achievable weight loss goals, and with determination and perseverance, you can work towards a healthier and happier future.
Elixir Insurance is a Prescription Drug Plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Elixir Insurance depends on contract renewal. For more information, please call our customer service number at 833-684-7267. TTY users call 711. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. ATTENTION: If you speak Spanish, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 833-684-7267 (TTY: 711). ATENCIÓN: si habla Español, los servicios de asistencia lingüística, sin cargo, están disponibles para usted. Llamada 833-684-7267 (TTY: 711).
S7694_22-7186_enewsletter 2023_C Reviewed 01/13/23
Elixir Insurance, 7835 Freedom Avenue NW, North Canton, OH 44720, United States