Obesity and Aging
Updated: Feb 10
As we age and grow older, life gives us new sets of challenges, experiences, and obstacles that we may not necessarily be ready for. Issues such as weaker bones, trouble sleeping, and other health concerns can put a drain on both our physical and our mental wellbeing.
One of the most important things that can help maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle even into elderhood is exercise. Although we all hear it repeated ad-nauseum “Exercise is good for you!” exercise really is good for you. It helps with our cardiovascular system, it helps with our social life, and according to some researchers, it can even help with depression.
Lack of exercise, however, can have a deleterious effect on our overall health and our well-being. A sedentary lifestyle, with too much time spent sitting or generally not leaving the house (or even the living room!) can lead to not only a sense of isolation and boredom, but real, actual health issues as well.
Obesity is one of the largest health crises that we face in America today. People, including elders, with a BMI of above 30 are classified as obese. These people face a ticking clock of ever-increasing pressure on their health, more so even than the health challenges that come along with normal aging.
A recent study by the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom highlighted the dangers of an unhealthy and obese lifestyle, especially in the specific effect it has on Alzheimer’s patients. According to the study, obese patients suffer from a more rapid onset of the illness and also are at higher risk of developing more severe cases. The onset of symptoms is also earlier in obese patients!
Although it is enjoyable to sit back and relax when needed, it is important to keep in mind that overall health and happiness has a lot to do with our treatment of our own bodies. At Senior Steps, our geriatric care managers work with each of our clients in order to guide them towards the healthiest, happiest, and most satisfying elderhood possible. Sometimes this can even include taking clients out for walks or exercise, even when the client isn’t a particularly big fan of exercise. We do this at Senior Steps because, as advocates for all of our elders and their families, we want all of our clients to have satisfying and fulfilling elder years.