It’s been called the age of the “Silver Tsunami.” That is because since around 2014, the a continuous wave of baby boomers has been reaching retirement age.
But those riding the crest of that wave are not last generation’s retirees. No way! These folks are not hitting the “golden years” lounging around on the beach in Florida in ill-fitting Bermuda shorts and black knee socks! Quite the contrary, today’s seniors are the most active and health-conscious of any group before them.
Mentally, “65” may be the new “50”, but the fact of the matter is, it is harder to lose weight and stay in shape the older you get.
The simple truth of biology — as we age, metabolism slows down. But that does not mean you can’t fight Mother Nature and that weight gain is inevitable. It does mean however that you will have to change your diet and activity level. So here are some tips for weight loss and staying your best at any age.
Here is the thing – when trying to get in shape or stay in shape, seniors cannot merely reduce calories, without also increasing exercise and activity. This is not only because of the slower metabolism that comes with aging, but seniors cannot afford to lose bone density and muscle mass that can accompany simply lowering caloric intake.
So, to be a “Super Senior” you need to reduce your calories and do regular exercise. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, adults over 65 should have a weekly exercise regimen that includes aerobic exercises, resistance training, and flexibility exercises. As you have heard me say time and time again, “exercise” however, does not mean you need to go join a gym.
Just be sure to be active every day. Take a walk, go for a swim, ride a bike, wash the car, etc. In no time at all, “exercise” will become easy and an enjoyable part of your daily routine. As far as flexibility exercises go, many seniors enjoy Tai-chi, Yoga, and Qigong. You should be able to find classes in your area, which can also be a great way to meet people if you have recently retired and moved into a new area.
As you might imagine what you eat as you get older is just as important as how much.
You need to choose foods that are fiber-rich such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Cut out the red meat and fats, and instead go for fish, lean chicken and turkey without the skin. Eat only fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Leave the fast-food to the young-uns, and also limit or try to completely eliminate your salt intake. And of course, you should drink lots of water. Everyone needs to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
It’s never too late to begin a weight-control and exercise program. Along with a healthy diet, staying active within the limit of your physical ability can add years to your life, and life to your years.