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Grandparents’ Day: A Compelling Reminder to Increase Physical Activity and Monitor Weight

Aging and Obesity

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Did you know that the first Sunday after Labor Day is Grandparents’ Day? And who better to celebrate?! Grandparents play games and treat you to movies and always slip a few dollars in birthday cards. Maybe you’re a grandparent now and experiencing the joys of spoiling your grandchildren — then sending them home to their parents when they get tired and cranky. It’s the circle of life!

Grandchildren are probably the best incentive to monitor your health. They love having you around and you want to be a part of as many graduations and other milestone events as possible. It would be great if we could stop the clock for these precious moments, but time marches on and we have to march right along with it.

What are the Risks Associated with Aging and Obesity?

As we age, we all experience a slow decline in our physical and mental states. The likelihood of a fall or illness increases so we take care to move a little more slowly and cautiously. For people with obesity the risks associated with aging are even greater, not only related to falls and illness but also overall quality of life. Seniors with obesity are also more likely to become functionally impaired. This means that things we take for granted now — like good vision, hearing and the ability to move freely — become more limited so and everyday tasks become more difficult to manage.  This gets to the greatest fear for many older people: a loss of independence and the inability to facilitate self-care. But as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. People are living longer — so it’s well worth the effort to focus on maintaining a healthy weight and increasing physical activity now!

Weight Loss & Physical Activity for Older Adults

Weight loss and increased activity are crucial to good health, especially for older adults. Both help maintain muscles and bone density, which are essential not only for balance, but also to minimize damage in the event of a fall. This means a program that includes some combination of aerobic exercise and strength training to strengthen your heart, bones and muscles.

It may seem daunting, but a slow and steady start will get you comfortable with dietary changes and increased physical activity. Plus there are so many benefits! In addition to physical improvements, weight loss and exercise also give you more energy and help to improve mood. It even helps keep your brain in shape! It’s always smart to check with your doctor before starting a weight loss program, and it’s particularly important for older people to be aware of and monitor any potential health risks. Once you get the go-ahead, upload a playlist of upbeat songs to your phone (or better yet, get your grandkids to do it!), get your body moving and think about all the great times ahead!

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About the Author: Dr. Andrea Pampaloni has over 20 years of communication experience across corporate, academic, nonprofit and government sectors. She provides research and writing services on a range of business issues and industry-specific topics to prepare white papers, articles, proposals, presentations, technical content, and speaking points, as well as marketing-communications content such as blogs, website content, newsletters, news releases and award submissions. Dr. Pampaloni’s research findings have been presented at national and international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals, and she is a ghostwriter for three books, a Forbes article, and several corporate blogs.

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