Guide to Exercise & Diet Monitoring Services
The truth is: It doesn’t matter if your 16 or 65 years old, maintaining a balanced diet and performing regular exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle.
When we receive the proper nutrition and physical activity our bodies require, our vitality and overall well-being is enhanced. With that, we get the reward of living a happier and more enjoyable life. On the other hand, a lack of proper nutrition can leave our bodies feeling weak and vulnerable to illness and disease.
In this guide, we will cover the importance of a healthy lifestyle for seniors to increase longevity, how to maintain proper nutrition, and how in home caregivers can help ensure that both diet and exercise are encouraged and monitored for overall well-being.
The Connection Between Eating Habits & Signs of Aging
It’s common knowledge: As we age, our bodies change. Well, other changes come with aging as well, such as our dietary needs.
Dental problems, having a difficult time chewing with dentures, the effects of loneliness and depression, or financial concerns all play a part in the fact that many seniors have a difficult time practicing healthy eating habits. Our bodies slow down physically as we age, and that includes the natural decline of our metabolism and a lack of daily exercise. The body does not burn as many calories on its own as a result of slower metabolic rates – leading seniors to eat less in order to maintain a healthy weight.
On the other hand, some seniors do not watch what they eat on a regular basis. This may result in the development of obesity and/or other health issues, like type 2 diabetes.
Maintaining the Proper Weight
For seniors, particularly those who cannot exercise or choose not to, should be consuming a diet rich in fresh foods with a high nutritional value. This is the only way they can get all of the health benefits from their diet, while still eating a reduced (recommended) amount of calories per day.
The recommended caloric intake for an active woman is, on average, 1,800 per day. For active men, the recommendation is an average of 2,300 calories per day. Seniors and older adults who do not participate in regular exercise require fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight.
Heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and even cancer are all health risks associated with being overweight as an older adult. On the other hand, seniors who are underweight are at risk for memory loss, decreased immunity, muscle loss and osteoporosis. All of which carry unpleasant side effects.
Caregivers Assist with Exercise and Diet Monitoring
A home health caregiver can monitor the eating habits of the aging senior to make sure they are eating the right foods, especially if there are medical dietary requirements.
A Healthy Diet
The National Institute on Aging, part of the NIH, recommends that people over the age of 50 watch their calories, limit sugar and solid fat, and eat a healthy diet with food from the five main food groups. A mix of whole grains, veggies, fruits, dairy products and protein are recommended. It is suggested that seniors choose lean or low fat foods and eat seafood a couple of times per week for protein. Low fat and fat free dairy products provide vitamins and minerals for heart health. When it comes to vegetables, a rainbow of deep colors in tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes and beans is recommended.
What a Caregiver Can Do for You
Seniors may find themselves in a position where they have to do all the meal planning, shopping, cooking and cleaning up in the kitchen, which can be overwhelming.
Caregivers can help promote healthy eating for seniors by doing the following:
- Check the refrigerator to make sure there is an ample food supply
- Get rid of expired or old food
- Shop for healthy ingredients
- Prepare nutritious meals
- Encourage eating foods that are high in nutritional value
- Discourage eating empty calories in cookies, cake, soda, etc.
- Transport the senior to a favorite restaurant
- Provide companionship at mealtime
When it comes to health and your body, just remember that you only get “one”. By maintaining the proper nutrition, through both diet and exercise, you can live a prosperous and happy life. If you’re struggling to keep up with a daily workout regimen, or need assistance with planning healthy and wholesome meals, consider hiring a caregiver who can monitor your diet and ensure that you are getting enough exercise each day.