Aging brings about many changes in the body, one of which is a decrease in metabolism. After reaching 60, many seniors complain that they’re gaining weight despite consuming the same amount of food they always have.
This happens because their metabolism has slowed down. Nevertheless, this doesn’t have to be a cause for concern since there are many natural ways to increase metabolism and promote a healthier life. Maintaining a nutritious diet, getting enough physical activity, and sleeping well can support a stable metabolism as you age. In assisted living, well-rounded chef-prepared meals can help your loved one meet their target nutrient intake for health and well-being.
Be Conscious of What You Eat
The food your loved one consumes can either help or hinder their metabolism. It’s best to opt for foods with plenty of nutrients, including:
- Protein-rich foods
- B vitamins
Eating lean protein is particularly good for increasing your loved one’s metabolism since it supports muscle-mass buildup, vital in burning calories. Avoiding overly processed foods, sugary foods and drinks, and alcohol can help keep their weight consistent. Furthermore, drinking adequate amounts of water to stay hydrated can help flush out toxins that may have accumulated in the body.
Regular physical activity is one of the most effective methods to accelerate your loved one’s metabolism. Regardless of their mobility level, exercises can raise their heart rate to burn calories, which translates to fat burning.
Some popular forms of exercise among seniors include:
- Tai chi
Aerobic activity is essential, but flexibility and balance exercises are excellent for improving mobility and reinforcing proper posture, which helps resolve digestion issues that may hinder metabolism.
Quality Sleep Is Key
Sleeping is crucial for overall health, including metabolism. When your loved one sleeps, the body heals, and the metabolism slows down to burn calories. Sleeping less than recommended can impact the body’s hormone balance and is closely related to metabolism reduction.
It is recommended that you get between 7–8 hours of sleep each day. Quality sleep can also affect appetite, which could cause the body to crave high-calorie foods which aren’t on the menu when they’re looking to increase their metabolism.
Resistance training is known to help build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. Resistance training enables this by increasing muscle mass, which can, in turn, burn more calories than simple aerobic workouts would.
Dumbbells and complex gym equipment aren’t always the best choice for seniors. However, your loved one can still work on resistance training with lightweight and versatile resistance bands—elastic strips or loops that use opposition resistance to build their muscles. These exercises may reduce the risk of injury from lifting weights too heavy or awkwardly.
Nutritious Foods for Seniors
Nutrient-dense foods are crucial in maintaining health, well-being, and metabolism. However, determining which foods are nutritious can be challenging, especially when older adults face specific health needs and limitations. Certain foods packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals should be part of your loved one’s diet.
Green vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals that can boost cognitive function, improve eyesight, and support bone health. Leafy greens to add to your diet include:
- Collard greens
- Bok choy
These are particularly valuable sources of nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K. A diet rich in dark leafy greens may help prevent age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and osteoporosis.
Fatty fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats can reduce inflammation, protect against age-related cognitive decline, support heart health, and help manage metabolism. Omega-3 fatty acids can also play a crucial role in maintaining healthy eyesight and promoting joint mobility.
Fatty acids can be found in common fish, including:
If you don’t eat animal products, you can find omega-3 from other sources, including:
- Chia seeds
- Canola oil
- Soybean oil
Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, are rich in antioxidants, which may help protect the body against oxidative stress. Berries are full of several essential vitamins, such as vitamin C, folate, and fiber, helping to support immune function and digestive health.
Berries are versatile, can fit in almost any diet, are easy to snack on, and can benefit your health in a variety of ways, including:
- Managing diabetes
- Reducing inflammation
- Maintaining weight
- Lowering blood pressure
- Keeping you mentally sharp
Whole grains, like brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole wheat bread, are excellent sources of fiber, minerals, and vitamins, offering several health benefits. They help to regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
Greek yogurt provides several essential nutrients, such as calcium, protein, and potassium, which are particularly valuable for maintaining bone and muscle health and electrolyte balance. Additionally, it can support the immune system and promote digestive health, contributing to a stable metabolism.
Support a Healthy Metabolism with Chef-Prepared Meals
Simple lifestyle changes can greatly increase your loved one’s metabolism after reaching 60. While you may not see immediate results, practicing these habits regularly can help you live a healthy and happy life for years to come.
The Legacy at Long Meadow’s chefs design well-rounded menus to keep your loved one nourished, alert, physically strong, and healthy. Schedule a visit to our community to meet our dedicated staff, learn about our amenities, and discover a welcoming place for your loved one to call home.