Keeping yourself healthy should always be a priority. But, it’s easier said than done. Eating well, staying fit, and maintaining a comfortable weight can be hard – especially with age. Although you may not be as active as you used to be, there are still plenty of ways you can maintain your physical health. Keep in mind that these suggestions do not substitute for professional medical advice. When it comes to retirement, healthy living can extend your quality of life.
When you’re trying to eat well and maintain a healthy weight, there are three basic ways to approach your goal:
- Burn more calories than you eat and drink.
- Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, beans, low-fat or fat-free dairy, and keep your meat or poultry lean.
- Limit your intake of empty calories, such as sugars and foods with little to no nutritional value.
Tips to Help You Maintain a Healthy Weight
Reaching an ideal weight isn’t as simple as it seems. Everyone’s health situation is different and following these guidelines may not work for everyone. While it may be discouraging if you don’t see immediate results, patience and discipline are key factors in improving your health and fitness. Here are a few tips that may help you succeed:
- Focus on fat loss, not weight loss: For many people, losing weight can also lead to muscle loss. While this may be acceptable when you are younger, you may want to avoid this as you age. Losing muscle mass, organ tissue, and bone mass as you get older can lead to an increase in health problems. So instead of focusing on weight loss, work on building your muscle health while reducing fat.
- Drink plenty of water: While this is a general tip for all people trying to improve their health, staying hydrated is especially important as you get older. Water is essential for digestion and metabolism. On top of that, our bodies can easily mistake thirst for hunger; that could be causing you to eat more than you normally would. In order to prevent this, a general rule of thumb is that you should consume half your body weight in fluid ounces each day.
- Add strength training to your routine: Given the fact that muscle mass decreases as you age, it’s important that you incorporate some sort of strength routine while exercising. This doesn’t mean that you should go to the gym right away and start lifting weights; you need to start light and build up your strength. Plus, strength training is also a great way to burn fat and improve your metabolism.
- Be patient: It may take you a little longer to make physical changes when you are in your 60s. Don’t get frustrated with yourself if the weight isn’t coming off right away. If you work on forming healthy behaviors, the rest should take care of itself.
Top Nutrients to Include in Your Diet
Although exercising is crucial to burning fat and staying healthy, there are some nutrients that can not only help you lose weight but also help prevent major health issues. Some of the common nutrients older people should be incorporating into their diets include:
- Vitamin D: This nutrient helps reduce Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, depression, certain cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Calcium: This mineral protects your bone health while preventing osteoporosis.
- Calcium can be found in broccoli, kale, yogurt, cheese, milk, and sardines.
- Probiotics: These microorganisms help boost immunity, improve digestive and skin health, lower “bad” cholesterol, fight gum disease, and enhance weight control.
- Probiotics are generally found in yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, and capsules found in any drugstore.
- Magnesium: This mineral enhances normal muscle and nerve function, keeps rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, preserves strong bones, and reduces stroke and heart disease risk.
- Magnesium can be found in dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit, and dark chocolate.
All in all, there are many benefits that come from keeping your body healthy; especially as you get older. Not only will you gain self-confidence, but you could also prevent major age-related health issues. Working out can be a tough thing to do, especially with age, but if you follow these tips, you can start making positive changes for yourself.