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Obesity and Your Senior Loved Ones

Sep 29, 2016 by Comfort Keepers of Fredericksburg

A Sizeable Problem

At some point within the last few years, you may have seen charts and statistics showing the United States as being one of the most obese countries in the world. It seems like any time you turn on the news, there is some kind of coverage about the issue and, more often than not, the media refers to it as a “national epidemic.” While many valiant efforts have been made to promote proper nutrition and exercise, the issue still remains. In fact, it has recently been estimated that one-third of U.S. adults are obese. Referring to the rise of obesity as an “epidemic” may be somewhat hyperbolic, but clearly there’s no denying that it warrants concern. 

Understanding Obesity

Body Mass Index (commonly referred to as BMI) is a measure of an individual’s body fat in relation to weight and height. The average person will want to be within the range of 19-25, which indicates a normal or healthy weight status. Those that are at a BMI of 30, or above, are generally considered obese.

As one’s BMI level continues to increase, the risk of developing certain diseases – such as hypertension, heart disease, and stroke – rises as well. Additionally, excess weight can put stress on joints and  aggravate arthritis pain, resulting in limited mobility and a decline in physical ability. Studies have also shown that there may be a correlation between obesity and the development of cognitive impairment

Ways to Prevent Senior Obesity

As you can imagine, obesity can be especially concerning for aging adults, who are generally at a higher risk for the diseases and conditions mentioned above. However, there are several lifestyle changes that seniors can make to help combat excess weight gain and prevent obesity. As always, it’s important that your loved ones consult with their doctor or physician before starting any weight loss program.

  • Healthy Eating – While portion control and keeping a close eye on caloric intake is important, it’s equally important to give your body proper nourishment. Consider trading in salty or sugary snacks for fresh fruits and veggies.
     
  • Exercise – You don’t have to make an exercise intense for it to be worthwhile. The key is to keep the heart rate elevated and to burn calories as consistently as possible. Engaging in low impact activities – such as walking or swimming – at least half an hour each day is the perfect way to start a successful exercise regimen.  Always check with your physician before embarking on an exercise program.
     
  • Strength Training – Even at rest, muscle tissue burns calories more efficiently than fat tissue. Again, it has more to do with consistency than it does intensity. Use free weights to strengthen different muscle groups for 20 minutes, 2-3 times throughout the week. Also consider joining a class at the local gym or YMCA, after receiving physician approval.
     

There’s nothing more important than the health and well-being of your aging loved ones. By helping them follow the tips above, they can reduce excess weight, prevent obesity, and look forward to a happier, healthier tomorrow.

Let Comfort Keepers® Lend a Helping Hand

At Comfort Keepers® in Fredericksburg, we understand that it can be difficult for you to see that your loved ones have what they need, at all times. That’s why our compassionate, professional, in-home caregivers are trained to provide personalized care that truly makes a difference. If they require assistance with following an exercise routine, or if they need help preparing healthy meals, we can be there for them. Put simply, our senior care services are designed to help your loved ones get the most out of life - as safely and independently as possible.

Contact us today or give us a call at (540) 205-8743 to discover all the ways in which Comfort Keepers can help your aging loved ones today.

 

 

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4237034/

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