Healthy recipes for seniors

You are heavier than you used to be and you think it’s normal just because you are getting older. Wrong. Gaining weight can have harmful effects on your overall health. You can lose the extra pounds you have put on in the last couple of years by adjusting your food intake and increasing your physical activity. Some easy ways to get active are:

  • Go for a swim at your local community center.
  • Take a stroll around the mall.
  • Walk or ride your bike while exploring your neighborhood.

You don’t have to be a marathon runner; start off slowly. Five to ten minutes a day of walking is a great way to start. Work up to more vigorous activities, such as stair climbing, walking uphill or jogging. Increase your time as you see fit. And, ask a family member or friend to keep you company while exercising, it could make the time go faster and be more fun! Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise routine.

Why should you exercise?

Regular exercise helps lower the risks of some serious health conditions, such as diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease. It also improves your coordination and center of balance, preventing trips and falls that can lead to broken bones. And, best of all, it helps your mood, keeping anxiety and depression at bay.

Eating healthy

Just because you may not need to eat as much as you age, doesn’t mean you don’t need the same nutrients. Fresh and packaged fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber and many vitamins that you can’t get from a supplement alone. Whole-grains, such as bread, cereal, flour, rice and pasta, can be found at any supermarket or grocery store. These options provide a great selection options to help you receive the nutrients you need.

What is a healthy weight range?

You are told that you should keep your weight within a healthy range, but what does that mean? A simple way to know if your weight is healthy is to determine your body mass index. BMI is the measure of your weight in relation to your height. To calculate your BMI use this simple calculation: BMI = Weight ÷ height in inches ÷ height in inches again × 703*. Or use the BMI calculator. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. Find your BMI below and see what range you fall into.

BMI Ranges
Underweight Under 18.5
Normal 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight 25 to 29.9
Obese 30 to 39.9
Morbidly obese 40 and over

*For adults only; Children’s BMI is calculated differently. Talk to your child’s doctor is you have any questions.

Resources

If you need help losing weight check out our weight management classes for members in the Portland metro area and learn how to be reimbursed for weight management classes for members outside of the Portland metro area.

Find more information view the Providence Health & Services Weight Management Resource Center page or talk to your doctor to work on a customized plan for you.