A Beginner's Guide to Excercise & Healthy Diet for seniors

How Should Seniors Begin Exercising and Healthy Diets?

A senior has to face many health challenges with age, and regular exercise is the best solution to cope with them. A workout is one of your best options if you want a healthy life and to slow down ageing. According to a study, a senior of 65 needs moderate physical activity of 150 minutes and high-intensity activity like running and jogging for 75 minutes per week. Since your physical health balance gets reduced with age, you should work out to improve your health balance. However, you should always take your doctor’s advice before starting physical activity if you have any complications. Apart from exercising, a simultaneous healthy diet plan is also essential.

 

Types of Exercise Seniors Should Undertake

Many workouts are suitable for seniors to solve problems related to their physical health. If you have no habit of exercising in your younger life, starting training in your advancing years is terrible. Start simple.

 

Many exercise types are beneficial in different ways. Some of these workouts and exercise benefits have been mentioned below:

1. Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic workout is associated with cardiovascular conditioning. It includes brisk walking, swimming, cycling, and running. Your heart and lungs stay healthy if you practise at least one aerobic training. Seniors can perform aerobic workouts at home – walking, jogging, and running. Walking can be an excellent physical activity that helps to improve your digestive function, strengthen your muscle and improve blood circulation. Fresh oxygen enters your body and relaxes your mind when you walk in the morning. Walking also keeps your weight under control and reduces the level of sugar and blood pressure. Jogging and running are also effective in improving your heart, burning fat, and keeping you free from depression and stress

 

2. Balance Exercises

Many seniors start losing their physical balance as they age, and there is always a high risk of falling. Balance workouts impart flexibility, strength, and better mobility to seniors and help prevent injuries.

Some balance training workouts for seniors include trying to stand on one leg, stretching the arm with one leg standing, and distributing weight in both feet. The balance workouts involve weight shifts, a tightrope walk, a flamingo stand, raising the back leg, the position of a tree, walking heel to toe, and maintaining balance with a single foot.

  • Weight shifts are shifting the weight from one foot to another and raising another foot.
  • The flamingo position is lifting one foot, extending it forward, and reaching your hand to the extended leg.
  • Tree position is shifting your weight onto one foot, placing the sole against your ankle, and placing your hands comfortably.

 

3. Exercise for belly fat

Belly fat often appears to be a common problem amongst seniors. Significantly, few seniors can control their belly fat. However, doing some particular workouts can reduce your belly fat. These are:

  • Lie down on a mat and raise your leg toward the ceiling at a 90-degree angle.
  • Lie down and place your palm under your hips. Lift your head upper back, raise one leg from the floor, and lower another. Repeat the process.
  • Lie on the floor, bend your knees, raise your head and shoulders from the floor and come to the sitting position, then again go back to the previous position.
  • After lying down on the floor, lift your hands and extend them over your head, then keep your back and neck in the same line and lift your upper body part. Repeat the process after lying back again on the floor.

 

4. Pilates

Pilates can be a popular training for seniors, forming a low-impact workout. Pilates training helps to improve balance, develop strength, and improve flexibility. Some popular Pilates workouts include side circles, movement of a mermaid, circle of legs, slides of food, etc.

 

Types of Exercises that Seniors Should Avoid

Although exercise immensely benefits seniors, some activities may harm them rather than provide benefits. Seniors should avoid workouts and practices that may cause injury or harm their health. Therefore, seniors over the age of 65 years should avoid the following workouts:

  • Deadlift
  • High-intensity abdominal workouts
  • Bench press
  • Climbing rock
  • Running at high speed covering long distance

 

Exercise Benefits for Seniors

Although exercising is essential for everyone, it is more important for seniors to exercise regularly. Some main benefits of exercise are:

 

1. Boosts Immune System

Our immune system is responsible for the prevention of diseases. When you do regular physical training, your immune system becomes more powerful. A healthy immune system prevents many diseases, including diabetes and heart disease, which are common amongst seniors.

 

2. Reduces Stress

When you exercise, a hormone called endorphin helps you feel relaxed and improves your mood. Since most seniors suffer from stress due to many reasons, a workout reduces stress to a great extent.

 

3. Improves Social Engagement

When you go out of your home for working out and join a yoga club or walking group, your social engagement gets better. You feel relaxed when you talk to other people, and your stress decreases.

 

4. Improvement in Cognitive function

Regular physical activity improves your cognitive functions and reduces the risk of problems associated with your brain. Working out prevents diseases including dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, etc.

 

5. Improves Sleep

A good night’s sleep reduces many problems, including stress, depression, and other issues related to mental health. When you work out, you become tired, which helps you sleep deeply at night.

 

Healthy Diet Plan for seniors

With growing age, people undergo a lot of physical health deterioration. The body’s vitamins and minerals get depleted as the digestive system weakens. These changes affect daily chores, and other health-related challenges appear. The structural changes in the body also become apparent. As a result, the risk of getting diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and many other dangerous diseases heightens. Therefore, a healthy diet plan is essential for seniors, along with regular physical training. While preparing the diet, you should focus on covering foods including all types of vitamins and minerals. A healthy diet helps to prevent many health-related problems. Always include the following elements in your diet:

 

1. Proteins

Since body composition changes with age, the elements of our food should be available according to the composition of our body. Younger adults can have 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. But the protein decreases by 20% in seniors. Therefore, seniors require 1 gram of protein per kilogram. It means that the protein requirement for seniors is vital and cannot be avoided. The lack of proteins in seniors results in a weak immune system, poor healing, fragile skin, and causes longer recovery from illness.

 

2. Vitamin B12

Seniors need to combat neurological defects. According to research, seniors find it difficult to absorb vitamin B12, which leads to vitamin B12 deficiencies in seniors. Lack of Vitamin B12 causes neuropathies, cognitive impairment, and memory loss. These problems are often seen in seniors. Therefore, seniors should consume foods that are enriched with Vitamin B12. Some foods containing Vitamin B12 are poultry, shellfish, eggs, milk, and other dairy products.

 

3. Vitamin D

Lack of vitamin D may cause severe physical and mental health problems. Earlier, it was believed that vitamin D is necessary for skeletal health. But it has been proved recently that vitamin D is also important for treating chronic diseases. Deficiency of vitamin D may cause problems including cardiovascular conditions, hypertension, diabetes, depression, cancer, and many other health conditions. Foods like eggs, salmon, cod, and tuna contain vitamin D. Our skin and cells are also protected by vitamin D.

 

4. Reduce Sodium in Your Diet

The presence of sodium in excessive amounts in the food may cause high blood pressure that may lead to proteinuria, ventricular hypertrophy, and stroke. If you are suffering from high blood pressure, reduce the amount of sodium in your food. It is recommended that people between the ages of 51 – 69 require 1300 mg per day, while other individuals above 70 years need 1200 mg per day. You should avoid fast foods, including pizza, burgers, frozen meat dishes, processed meats, canned meals, etc.

 

5. Drink Plenty of Water

To combat dehydration, focus on drinking plenty of water. A senior should drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Since seniors are more susceptible to viruses, diarrhoea may lead to dehydration, and drinking plenty of water will help you keep hydrated.

 

What is Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet includes plant foods like vegetables, nuts, pulses, seasonal fresh fruits, olive oil, natural honey, dairy products, eggs, etc. This type of diet also decreases mortality and morbidity amongst seniors. Maintaining a Mediterranean diet can improve mental depression, Alzheimer’s disease, age-related cognitive problems, etc.

 

What should be considered in the Diet of Seniors?

You should include more foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Fruits, vegetables, grain, oatmeal, and brown rice are some foods that are rich in nutrients beneficial for health. You should consume fewer foods, including sugar drinks, foods that contain high sodium, fast foods, refined carbohydrates, etc.

 

While consuming food, you should keep in mind the following things:

  • Take food on the same plate or the plate of the same size every day. It will help you to take the same amount of food required for your body.
  • Consult a health care consultant or nutritionist to know the calories you require for your body.

 

If you are looking for a one-stop solution to enhance your senior health, look no further. The Emoha app helps seniors improve their health and safety, all in the comfort of their own homes. With the app, you get access to a host of live-interactive shows, ranging from daily yoga classes to healthy cooking shows. Additionally, you can avail of facilities like 24/7 emergency support (medical & nonmedical), daily convenience help desk, daily care calls, medicine reminders, health counselling, one-tap access to all medical documents, special discounts on medicines, and much more. Download the app on Google Play Store and iOS App Store.

 

Conclusion

During the golden years, the risk of getting disease increases. The more you invest in your health, the more you will stay active and strong. A healthy diet and workouts are essential things to slow down ageing. You must take care of these things if you want a joyful life free from diseases. But, before planning any diet or starting workouts, you must consult with a health expert to prevent unwanted situations. Since many medical conditions appear during this stage, advice from a health expert should be sought. Death is inevitable. But we should focus on living a joyful and active life. We should enjoy every moment and spend life happily.

 

FAQs

How can I get fit at home?

You can maintain a healthy life and stay fit by exercising at home.

 

What are the ten benefits of exercise?

Exercise boosts the immune system, improves brain function, reduces stress, improves sleep quality, reduces depression, reduces weight, improves cognitive function, improves social engagement, reduces pain in the body, and strengthens muscle.

 

What are the types of exercise?

There are many types of exercises, and some of these are aerobic exercise, balance exercise, and flexibility exercise.

 

How do you stay fit and healthy?

To stay fit and healthy, you must maintain a healthy diet and do regular physical exercises.

 

What food should I eat to get fit?

To stay fit, you should consume more vegetables, fruits, milk, water, and other food rich in abundant vitamins and minerals.

 

How can exercise reduce stress?

Exercise helps to release the endorphin hormone in the brain, which helps to improve your mood.

 

How do beginners get fit?

Beginners can be fit by doing mild exercises like walking, jogging, hiking, etc.

 

How do exercises increase energy?

When you exercise, your muscle strengthens, and your body becomes active. Thus, regular workouts help you to increase energy.

 

What are examples of aerobic exercise?

Examples of aerobic workouts are swimming, cycling, walking, running or jogging, hiking, etc.

 

What are aerobic exercise and its benefits?

Aerobic exercise helps improve the heart rate and supply oxygen to the body.

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