As your parents advance in age, you will have to ensure that they have a healthy and fit old age. With the right diet plan and light exercises, you can help your parents maintain a healthy weight.
Parents will always be parents and it is hard to make them listen to you. But as they age, it becomes important for you to take care of what they eat, and how they exercise so that they are neither too thin nor overweight.
You are aware that as you cross your 50’s, metabolism starts to slow down, and it becomes easy to put on weight.
On the other hand, with age appetite drops, and muscle mass gets reduced leading to thinness, and weakness.
But that need not be the case. You can, with little care, actually help your ageing parents have a healthy and happy life.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Check for underlying diseases like diabetes, hypertension or weak heart…
Get regular check-ups done to make sure that your parents are taking the right medications to deal with ageing-related diseases.
Diabetes and hypertension can lead to weight gain. So make sure that they are being treated for the same.
2. Help them maintain muscle mass…
With ageing, there is a certain loss in muscle mass. With proper nutrition and exercise, it can be controlled.
So make sure your parents are eating the right foods and are exercising moderately to retain their muscle mass. This will also help them maintain a healthy weight.
3. Make sure your parents eat right…
It is a good idea to give your parents calorie-dense food, especially if they are losing weight or are exceptionally thin.
It is tough for seniors to eat very heavy meals or eat a high volume of food. So give them less food but calorie-rich food to ensure they maintain a healthy weight.
4. Smaller meals work better for ageing parents…
Since it is tough for older people to digest a heavy meal, it is a good idea to make them eat smaller meals. Switch from 3 meals a day to 6 small meals a day to ensure optimal digestion and calorie intake.
5. Proteins and fibres are best…
To aid in digestion as well as maintain a healthy weight, it is important for your parents to eat protein-rich food along with a good dose for fibres through green leafy vegetables, fibre-rich cereals like brown rice, millet, coconut-based foods, nuts and seeds along with some dairy, poultry, and fish.
They also add much-needed calcium to the diet. To keep their joints lubricated ensure they have some amount fat through ghee and nut-based oils.
6. Improve their metabolism…
Eating smaller meals also ensures that your metabolism is improved. The right diet can actually enhance calorie burn. Eating more protein ensures that you are able to shed more calories through ‘Thermic burn’.
This means that your body uses more energy to burn down protein-rich food than it gets from the food. That way you are able to maintain your weight.
7. Get them to be active…
They might love to snooze or sit in front of the TV, but you have to push them to be little active.
Encourage them to go for walks and do light exercises. Yoga is one of the best ways they can maintain flexibility in their joints as well as muscle tone. Help them develop a social circle of friends who do exercises together.
This is good for the mind and body.
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