How to Lose Weight Safely as a Senior Citizen

food for seniors

As a senior citizen, you have a unique set of needs in an array of categories. When it comes to your weight, you may have recently put on some extra pounds, or you may have had a lifelong struggle with the number of the scale. While losing weight is certainly a possibility, you also don’t want to do other damage to your body. As a result, you should take these considerations into mind.

1. Consult with your doctor.

Before you engage in any sort of weight-loss regimen, you must speak with your doctor. While your age may play a role in the amount of physical activity that you can pursue, your own individual body is often the biggest determining factor. You may have certain diseases or conditions that preclude you from participating in specified activities, or your doctor may warn against any sports that could lead to a dangerous fall. On the other hand, you may learn that you are in great shape and can participate in activities that you would have sought out a decade ago. Regardless of which other suggestions you take, you must speak with your doctor.

2. Review your medications.

At this point in your life, you may have a host of pills that you need to take each day, or you may just need one or two. In any case, you also need to check your medications and speak with your doctor about what is healthy for your body. For example, you may automatically assume that loading up on leafy green vegetables is perfectly fine in order to replacement some of the meat that you eat. However, some medications for certain conditions might actually make it dangerous for you to have green vegetables. In some cases when people take blood thinners, they cannot have too much Vitamin K, which is found in such vegetables.

3. Look for senior athletics.

Your community may offer a host of activities for seniors that you don’t even know about. Some towns and villages send out bulletins at the start of a new season to inform the residents of the activities that are available. However, you may just toss these listings to the side because you assume that nothing is available for you. Keep in mind that many programs are offered during the day when younger adults are at work and children are in school. By browsing through these listings, you may discover that a wealth of athletic activities are open specifically for seniors.

4. Try water aerobics.

When you want to get in shape, you may worry about the physical toll that working out can take on your body. Even when your doctor has said that these activities are safe for you to participate in, you could fear the pain that can come along with getting in some exercise. Find out if the community pool offers water aerobics. You can still exercise, but you are doing so in an environment that puts less stress on your body. You may ultimately decide to continue with the water aerobics, or you may opt to move on to regular aerobics or other classes once you have built up strength.

5. Work with a trainer.

Another great way to have personal advice about the steps to take is to work with a trainer. You might join a gym and sign up for training sessions there, or you may independently look for a personal trainer. Your doctor might be able to provide you with some recommendations. A good idea is to hire a trainer who has worked with senior citizens before. In addition to receiving personal guidance on how to lose weight, you also have a professional with you in the event that an issue or injury arises.

6. Walk with friends.

Going for walks around the neighborhood is a good way to get in exercise. Also, it allows you to greet your neighbors, socialize and take in plenty of breaths of fresh air. Walking alone might seem peaceful, but when you have concerns about health and safety, doing so is not always the best idea. Chances are that you have some friends or neighbors who are eager to exercise too. They might have been too shy to ask, but you can be the one to inspire the group to start a regular walking club.

7. Know when to stop.

Setting goals for yourself is important. You might want to be able to walk a certain distance at a set pace by a specified point in time. However, you also have to listen to your body. You aren’t doing any good for yourself if you push yourself beyond your limits. Know when it is time to take a rest, and know when it is time to speak with your doctor about any serious concerns that you may have.

Your status as a senior citizen does not preclude you from losing weight in a safe and effective fashion. The first step is to speak with your doctor about what is safe for your unique self. After doing so, you can begin to explore some of the other options.

About author

Carolyn RidlandHello. My name is Carolyn Ridland, and I am the founder of CaregiverConnection.

About 10 years ago, my parents began reaching the point where they could not be self-sufficient anymore. I was just married with two toddlers, so I felt like I couldn’t take them in, yet I wanted to make sure they were taken care of.

I want to share my story, and let you know that you are not alone if you are in a similar position. Children are expected to take care of their elderly parents when the time comes, but it’s not always that easy.

Caregiver Connection emerged from a place of real love and compassion. We understand the struggle that exists when you care deeply about your loved ones, but you’re faced with decisions you never wanted to make. Our main message is that nobody should have to face these times alone.

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