Weight gain is considered as a natural part of the aging process. Your family members and friends probably all believe that, backing the claim by various local paper articles or online blogs.
Everyone considers gaining weight to be just another drawback of aging you can’t do anything about.
But is that really true?
Regardless of whether or not gaining weight is a part of the aging process, the worst thing seniors can do is just completely give up on any form of physical activity the whole “it’s unavoidable” speech as an excuse.
Exercise will not only help get rid of that weight, it has numerous other health benefits and can help prevent various cardiovascular diseases as well as neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.
However, some seniors are more agile than others. While some don’t need any help exercising, others might find more complex movements difficult. But exercise is not just lifting weights or running the treadmill.
Even a walk around the block can be an exercise. Some movement is still better than none, and with the help of a loving family member or a professional caregiver, seniors can reap these benefits.
But back to the matter at hand. In this article, we’ll draw the parallel between age and weight gain and determine whether this is fact or myth, as well as answer the most important question.
Your Body Composition Changes
First of all, it’s important to note that various studies have indeed shown that weight gain is a natural part of the process of aging. The body fat mass increases as we get older. Even though lean body mass like muscles decrease as we grow older, people still gain weight.
This is likely due to the fact that as we age, our body prioritizes different nutrients. With age, our body tends to use less fat for energy.
Apart from that, as you get older maintaining muscle mass becomes more difficult. As a result, most seniors have deteriorated muscles.
This is why exercise is important to help maintain a healthy level of muscle mass. A combination of resistance training and aerobics can help halt this deterioration, as this NIH study claims.
There are many factors that contribute to weight gain at a later age. While many of them are still unknown, one of the widely accepted theories is that seniors are likely to gain weight due to their metabolism slowing down.
So, down to the most important question:
Am I Too Old to Lose Weight?
The short and simple answer is no.
Most seniors perceive exercise as a risk due to various conditions they may be suffering from. However, a Dutch study proved that there is no relation between weight loss through exercise and diet and mortality.
In most cases, weight loss seniors likely link to mortality is a symptom of the disease that leads to a fatal outcome.
Therefore, there is no reason seniors should fear exercise and weight loss. The best way to go about it is to be more physically active. No matter if they start going to a gym or start running in the park, experts recommend seniors should stay as physically active as possible.
Since seniors tend to be less physically active with age, the natural weight gaining process is only accelerated.
However, seniors can benefit from exercises such HIIT (high-intensity interval training) even more than younger generations, since these exercises can help improve their metabolic rate, lower their insulin resistance and burn more fat.
Jogging in the park or up the hill might be risky for some seniors with no caregiver supervision, which is why a gym is an ideal place for seniors to get their daily dose of exercise.
To Sum Up
While aging does indeed lead to weight gain due to factors like slow metabolism, exercise can still help seniors stay strong and fit. Apart from keeping them slim, exercise can help seniors fend off other health conditions linked to aging.