Fitness & Health Goals for Older Adults
August 20, 2022 at 5:48 p.m.
Dr. Secor advises that fitness resolutions for older adults should target becoming healthier and should focus less on dramatic weight loss or an unrealistic exercise schedule. It’s all about making healthy choices and developing healthy habits.
Here are some of Dr. Secor’s recommendations:
- Make healthier food choices. Minimize alcohol and excessive “junk” carbs. Focus on lean protein, veggies, fruit and whole grains/legumes, and small amounts of healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts.
- Get regular exercise. An exercise program or older adults should include cardio 150 mins a week, and strength training twice a week. This regime is not overwhelming and following it will reduce muscle loss that occurs with aging. It will also increase strength, coordination and improve your balance.
- Get adequate sleep. Sleep is essential to health, immunity, and even weight maintenance.
- Drink adequate water (8 x eight ounces a day). Fatigue, hunger, mental confusion may be related to inadequate hydration, especially in older adults. Thirst diminishes over time, so hydration must be emphasized.
- Reduce stress. This can reduce cortisol levels which may facilitate weight loss. Consider meditation, breathing exercises, mindful practices such as yoga.
- Stretch at least 3–5 times a week. Stretching reduces stiffness and joint pain, importantly, stretching increases mobility.
- Minimize injuries and work around chronic health challenges such as past injuries, stiffness, and medical problems.
- Consider working with a PT or trainer to learn proper techniques for your specific health conditions, to prevent injuries, and increase motivation/accountability.
- Seek medical clearance before starting any exercise program.
In addition to these recommendations, Dr. Secor believes having the right mindset and support can help older adults achieve all their health and fitness goals.
Dr. Mimi Secor is a Nurse Practitioner specializing in Women’s Health for over 40 years. For more information, visit Dr. Mimi Secor
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