One of the most important contributors to a healthy life is the maintenance of a healthy weight. Regular activity, healthy eating and stress management play a critical part in our quest both to reach and to maintain an optimum weight. With each passing year it can become more challenging to stay at a weight that makes us feel good and live healthy. Several factors come into play and can work against us in regard to weight loss. For example, as we get older our basal metabolic rate can slow down due to a loss of muscle mass, resulting in a slowdown of our internal furnace. This "winding down" causes us to burn less calories every day.
What can you do to reach or remain at a healthy weight throughout life? Here are some tips:
Eat more vegetables and fruit
Low consumption of vegetable & fruit is a major risk factor for many chronic diseases. As a matter of fact, fruits and vegetables are often identified as the most important part of a diet in preventing age-related disease. When it comes to weight loss, the fiber in vegetables and fruits makes us feel fuller and keeps us full for a longer period of time.
Cut out the sugary drinks
Sodas are very high in sugar. Even fruit juices have a very high calorie density. Unless you are trying to gain weight, it's often best to forego juices and get your daily intake of fruits by eating fruits instead of drinking fruit juices. Fruit juices deliver all the sugars and calories with none of the fiber inherent in whole fruit. Fiber is essential in digestion and in the prevention of several types of cancers. The best plan for a healthy body is to replace all soda with water. Your body will thank you!
Do resistance training
Resistance training builds both muscle mass and bone density. As we age, both muscle mass and bone density can decrease. We can get out of this cycle by adding regular resistance training into our weekly schedule. Muscles burn calories. More muscle mass = more calories burned per day. At Freedom Plaza, we have a beautiful Fitness Center and many great exercise classes every week that will help you reach your fitness and wellness goals!
For most of us, stress is a fact of life. Did you know that it can also be a cause of excess fat on your body? The stress hormone, cortisol, has been shown to increase appetite, drive food cravings and contribute to accumulation of belly fat. Finding ways to manage stress can a major factor in finding your healthiest weight. Try a yoga class, practice meditation or just find an activity that you enjoy and do it regularly.
As you make small lifestyle changes, you can see big results. You can be successful in your quest to keep the extra pounds at bay, living your healthiest life.