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Tips to Help Keep Your Senior Healthy This Summer

Jun 6, 2016 by Luke Ries

In order to get in better shape for summer, many of us often cut back on fatty foods and sugary beverages. However, once the season actually begins, our diets tend to become much worse. Between neighborhood cookouts and trips to get ice cream on a hot afternoon, it’s no wonder why our waistlines start to stretch when the sun comes out.

If not kept in check, overeating during the summer can lead to obesity quicker thank you might think. While it’s true that obesity is prevalent in all age groups, the statistics for seniors are alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 13 million obese older adults (persons aged 65 and older) between 2007–2010, just in the United States alone. Life-threatening conditions and diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, are typically quick to follow. 

You may be asking what you can do to help keep your senior loved one healthy, especially in a season when overeating can get out of hand. Here are a few tips for your consideration:

  • Stay active: Though we often classify being outside as an “activity,” it’s important to make the most of the time outdoors, and to elevate the heartrate through some type of physical movement. Furthermore, it’s vital that your loved one makes outdoor activities part of a daily routine. As always, consult your loved one’s physician to determine which outdoor exercise is appropriate.
  • Switch to water: With cookouts, parties, and festivals, there’s usually no shortage of ice-cold soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. However, these drinks tend to be packed full of empty calories. Not only can they leave you feeling dehydrated, but they can quickly put the pounds on, if not consumed in moderation. Drinking water is a much better. If your loved one wishes for a bit more taste, have him or her put a slice of lemon in the water.
  • Skip the ice cream: It’s a staple of the summer season, but even the smallest serving of ice cream is full of sugar and calories. Consider stocking the freezer or refrigerator up with low calorie treats like yogurt popsicles or healthy shakes.
  • Avoid fatty foods: Whether it’s at the county fair or the community pool, fried and processed foods are aplenty during the summer. Though they are delicious, burgers, soft pretzels, and curly fries are all incredibly fattening. Advise your senior loved one to look over the menu ? or ask the waiter/cook ? for low-fat options such as grilled chicken or salads.

Your senior loved one’s health is of the utmost importance, and by following the tips above, you can help keep his or her weight down and still enjoy the summer festivities. For even more ideas on how to prevent weight gain this summer, check out the recommendations at Health.com.

Comfort Keepers® of Racine can also help. Our professional, compassionate caregivers offer a wide range of in-home care services, ranging from light housekeeping to Alzheimer’s care. When your loved one needs assistance this summer, remember that we’re ready to lend a helping hand. For more information, contact us or call today at (262) 299-0320.

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