Happy New Year! Have you made your resolution yet? As the holidays come to a close, I wanted to take some time to discuss a resolution that’s on the top of many peoples’ list: staying fit. It’s very important especially for seniors to take care of themselves as they get older. Many don’t realize, however, that this can be done with a few simple adjustments to one’s diet and daily routine. Below are some fitness and nutrition tips that fit the unique needs of the seniors in our lives.
Talk To A Doctor
Before starting your loved one on an exercise program, consult a doctor. He or she may have limitations and your doctor can provide suggestions as to how to work around those.
Don’t let your loved one jump into a strenuous workout right away. There are benefits to simple exercises such as stretching and walking. Overdoing it in the beginning may cause soreness and prevent you from making it part of your daily routine. It’s also important that seniors wear comfortable clothing and footwear appropriate for the temperature, humidity and activity.
Join An Organized Sport
Many sports, ranging from bowling to tennis, have added competitive sectors for seniors. Ask around and find a sport that fits your interests, lifestyle and ability-level. Water exercises are also great because they promote strength without stressing your joints.
Switch It Up
Turn meal planning into a fun experience by planning one new meal, trying one new food item each week or looking for new ways to prepare your favorite dishes. Be sure it’s a well-balanced meal—complete with fruits, vegetables, grain, meat and dairy. Also to avoid dehydration, seniors should aim to drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Drinking water can help combat ailments and reduce hunger.
Try spreading nut butters on toast and crackers or adding cheese, lean meats and extra veggies to sandwiches, soups and rice. Also try spicing up bland foods by using lemon juice, herbs and spices.
Though everyone likes a treat once in a while, it is important to choose the right snacks. Limit indulgence in sweets in favor of cheese and crackers, fruit or meal replacement drinks like Ensure® or Boost®, as they are higher in nutrients than cookies or candy.
*Before making any dietary changes, be sure to check with your physician first