Feeling fed up? Wondering if real weight changes are even possible at your age?
Don’t let yourself get down. Just because you’re a bit older, it doesn’t mean things are hopeless. You can still lose weight!
A recent study published in Clinical Endocrinology kept track of 242 obese patients and followed their weight loss over time. Researchers found that both the group of patients over the age of 60, and the group under the age of 60 had very similar weight loss results.
In fact, the older group cut their average body weight by 7.3%. It was more than the younger group, which had a body weight decrease of 6.9%. And, the older group even lost weight faster than the younger group – about 7 months faster! (1)
According to this study, age is no barrier to weight loss. People over the age of 60 can lose just as much weight as younger people if they make changes in their lifestyle. Dr. Thomas Barber, the author of the study, said “age should be no barrier to lifestyle management of obesity.” (1)
He continues to say that society’s myth that it’s harder (or even almost impossible) for older people to lose weight neglects older people and puts up a barrier for them to lose weight.
Any time is a good time to start living a healthy lifestyle – simple changes like taking the stairs, adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, and drinking more water are beneficial whether you’re 16 or 60.
Weight loss is important no matter how old you are – but it might be even more important as you get older. Dr. Barber says “as we get older, we’re more likely to develop the weight-related co-morbidities of obesity.” (1) Heart problems, respiratory issues, diabetes, and arthritis are more common in older people that are overweight.
That makes it even more important to maintain a healthy lifestyle as you age. No matter how old you are, you can make lifestyle changes to keep your body healthy and happy.
There’s a lot of myths out there about exercise and aging. Is it true that the older you get, the more fragile you become?
Well, according to Dr. Belinda Beck, age isn’t the main reason we become more fragile. She says: “There is an unfortunate and prevailing belief that the older you get, the more fragile you become and therefore you have to take it easy. But the truth is the other way around. The more you take it easy, the more fragile you become. Age will just speed up that process.” (2)
Dr. Beck has studied exercise and age and discovered that when older participants do high-impact exercise like jumping and running, their bone density improves, and even continues to improve after they stop exercising.
Getting more activity is a fundamental part of weight loss and healthy living. Dr. Beck suggests one simple way to get started today – “just start walking.” (2) Getting into the habit of moving and walking every day is an important first step. Get outside and go on a walk today. Then do it again tomorrow.
Walking is a great way to incorporate LISS cardio into your lifestyle. LISS is “low-intensity, steady-state” exercise that gets your blood pumping, but doesn’t leave you exhausted. And, it’s super great for weight loss!
LISS workouts are fat burning and they set your body up for an easier workout next time, because your body gets used to using fat as fuel. It’s also a great way to get into a regular workout routine. Just 30 minutes a day can make a world of difference.
Motivating yourself to go on a run every morning or lift weights might be difficult, but getting outside and going for a walk – that’s a little easier. It’s a simple way that you can get started today.
The most important part about weight loss is creating lifestyle changes that are long-term. One great way to do that is to create a long-term fitness plan. Dr. Nicole Avena suggests “focus on making healthy changes that can give you a range of benefits.” (2)
Adding more foods with important vitamins like Vitamins A, C, and B-12 can be a simple but long-term plan. Eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats can lower inflammation, increase energy, improve sleep, and boost heart health. (2)
Diet is super important for weight loss. After planning and starting your new healthier eating habits, it’s important to add more activity and movement to your lifestyle.
There’s five basic parts of a solid workout routine that will lead to lasting change. First, warm-up and cool-down. This is especially important because it prepares your body for a higher level of activity, and it helps your muscles. Start and end each workout with 5-10 minutes of low-intensity activity and stretching.
Second, aerobic exercise to get your heart pumping. A healthy heart doesn’t just improve your fitness, it’s also proven to reduce Alzheimer’s risk. Exercises like bicycling, swimming, hiking, walking, and jogging are all great options.
Third, strength-building activities like weight lifting, squats, or push-ups. These are great for increasing the strength and endurance in your muscles. Make sure to add some crunches too – core strength can “correct your posture and make everyday tasks easier.” (3)
Fourth, balance. Things like tai chi and yoga are great for improving balance. It’s a great way for older individuals to prevent falls and strengthen their bodies.
Lastly, stretching. Flexibility can “reduce risk of injury, improve posture, and even reduce stress.” (3) Add some stretches to your daily workout routine and you’ll notice the difference.
Whether your 26 or 62, today you can make lifestyle changes to be healthier, happier, and more fit. Getting started is as simple as getting outside and going on a walk. Take that first step today, and tomorrow, and the day after, and pretty soon you’ll start seeing (and feeling) the difference.
So, dust off your workout equipment, buy some fruits and vegetables, and start preparing today for a healthier future.