Most seniors look forward to their “golden years” with dreams of traveling or sleeping in now that they’re retired and they no longer have to get up at the crack of dawn to go into the office. For all the wonderful freedom that having time on their hands can bring in retirement, the senior years can also be an equal if not greater challenge than many individuals faced when they were busy raising families and spending long hours at the job.
For one, that flat stomach or trim hips and thighs begin turning to distant memories if seniors aren’t careful. And even if they are careful, the golden years can be truly challenging in ways never thought possible when they were younger.
Energy levels typically decrease with increasing age, joints begin to ache or stiffen up, weight gain becomes an ever-challenging concern and muscle strength can subtly decrease until one day many older individuals find themselves unable to carry in heavy bags of groceries or shovel the snow off the driveway without suffering back injuries or muscle strains.
One way of slowing down these unwelcome changes is through eating the proper foods and amounts that help nourish an older body. Because metabolisms slow down with the aging process, most seniors find they can no longer eat or drink the foods and beverages they used to without gaining weight or, if the beverages are alcoholic in nature, drink as much as they were accustomed to drinking without suffering unpleasant side-effects.
All of this is compounded by the typical decrease in activity levels as people age. So one thing that becomes necessary is to cut down on the typical amount of food ingested on a day-to-day basis. Eating 2,000 calories as a 30-year old may now need to become 1,600 calories as a 50 or 60 year old. And because older guts no longer absorb nutrients as a younger gut did, adding a high-quality B Vitamin supplement to the daily diet becomes essential to proper nerve function and the production of red blood cells.
Older bodies no longer metabolize alcohol as efficiently as younger people do so smaller amounts of alcohol can have a bigger effect on the body and mind as individuals age. Seniors need to be aware of these changes and make adjustments when consuming alcoholic beverages. Replacing half of the typical alcoholic beverage intake with non-alcoholic drinks can help maintain hydration (many seniors are usually under-hydrated which can worsen the effects of alcohol intake) and allow the liver to use the enzymes needed for alcohol detoxification to instead metabolize the medications that many seniors take for their medical conditions.
Being a senior means making a concerted effort to get enough nutrition from fresh natural foods such as chicken, seafood and occasional beef products, sources of essential B12. Diary products and whole grain cereals are also good options. And adding in a good-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement can be a good hedge against the aging process.