As we age, our metabolism goes on a merciless strike, and our level of activity tends to go right along with it. As a result, everything seems to come to a screeching halt. Our body no longer effectively burns the calories it once did as our body loses muscle mass. Oftentimes aching joints, associated with aging, lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. All of this equals weight gain.
If you’re a senior and you’re experiencing trouble losing weight, here are seven slim-down tips to get your scale moving in the right direction.
Decide If You Need To See A Doctor Before Starting Your Fitness Plan
Not everyone is in the condition needed to jump into a fitness routine. Before you begin, take this Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire. This tool, developed in Canada and recommended by Harvard Health, is designed to determine if you should meet with your doctor before you begin your exercise program.
Drink More H2O
Our bodies tend to mistake thirst for hunger, which leads to eating more than we need. Consider setting alarms at various intervals throughout the day to remind yourself that it’s time to hydrate. There’s a link between dehydration and obesity, so make sure to start with this simple step.
Improve Your Strength
According to Harvard Medical School, we lose an average of 3 to 5 percent of muscle mass per decade after age 30. Muscles, of course, are responsible for burning fat. As the American Journal of Preventive Medicine points out, when you add strength training exercises to your daily routine, you can rebuild your muscles. There are some great and inexpensive ways you can do this right in your own home gym. Having these handy items on hand will help give you motivation, as you can work comfortably in your own space. You can even practice strength training while watching your favorite television program.
Use resistance bands for training.
Use traditional dumbbells to build up arm, shoulder, and back muscles.
Get a great chair workout.
Manage Your Portion Size
Every decade of your life, you will need to consume around 100 fewer calories to compensate for your body’s slowing metabolism, and this means you’ll need to practice better portion control.
Use smaller plates.
Purchase single-serving foods.
Fill up on bulky stomach-filling fruits and veggies first.
Use the palm of your hand to measure portions.
Protein Serving: Palm of hand
Grains, Starches, Fruits, and Veggies: Fist of hand
Fat: Thumb of hand
Check in with your Emotions
Anger, boredom, stress, and other emotions can lead to overeating, so you’ll need to get a good handle on these emotions to become successful. When you’re bored, get moving on some chair exercises or focus on a good book. If you’re stressed, try yoga or meditation.
And if you’re angry, head outside for some fresh air and a brisk walk. On sunny days, you get the double benefit of exercise while taking in plenty of sunlight. Natural light provides a powerful mood lift, so, when you’re indoors, be sure you’re letting as much light in as possible by trimming back overhanging branches and cleaning your windows. If these tasks are too much for you, you can always hire someone. Begin your search-and-find mission for a pro by Googling “window cleaners near me residential” and using Angi to filter through customer ratings and reviews.
Play Tricks with Your Metabolism
When you go more than three hours without food, your body starts to shut down and burn less fat. So instead of long periods without food, eat smaller meals and snacks.
You’ll need to get busy and abandon that sedentary lifestyle if you’re going to be successful in your weight loss efforts, and you don’t have to run a marathon to do it. Try changing habits like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking in the farthest spot instead of circling for hours for the nearest.
You can use a fitness tracker or smartwatch to monitor how much extra activity you’re getting every day. There are a wide variety of these devices available, so research which one suits your needs.
By utilizing these tips, you’ll see real results in no time. And getting off the extra weight will be worth it as you improve not just your physical health but also your mental health too. Be sure to talk to your doctor before you get started if you have any health concerns.
Written by Jason Lewis
Soul Health Chronicles LLC is a health and fitness business that develops fitness programs, events, personal training, coaching and more. Learn how to become part of SHC at www.soulhealthchronicles.com