The Aging Body: Metabolism and Appetite

By Deniese Williams

The Cabana at Jensen Dunes

As we age, our metabolisms tend to slow and our appetites decrease. So, how do you maintain a healthy balance in life’s later years? At The Cabana, not only do we encourage our residents to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we also support their wellbeing with nourishing cuisine and myriad avenues for activity. Following are a few of my top tips I give to residents:

  • Stay Active. Regardless of our age, we gain weight when we consume more calories than we burn. This is especially true if we become more sedentary. Slowing down is inevitable as we age, but it is important to keep moving, whether it is simply going for a walk, a swim or dancing.
  • Eat Breakfast. Adding fuel first thing in the morning gets the body primed to go. Waiting to eat until you are hungry actually inhibits your metabolism because your body slows and stops burning calories.
  • Lift Weights. Muscle looks better than fat and is better for us, too. Each pound of muscle burns six calories a day versus two calories for fat, health experts say. Doing weight-bearing exercise in the morning, revs the body for the rest of the day.
  • Drink Water. Staying hydrated is important for all ages, especially in sub-tropical climates like Florida. Cells need water to operate efficiently – and seniors sometimes forget to drink, especially if they remain indoors much of the time.
  • Don’t Skip Meals. If we eat too little, or restrict too many calories, our body starts trying to conserve energy, triggering the opposite response of what we want – we gain, rather than lose, weight. Try to eat some protein with meals: lean meats, eggs, Greek yogurt, green leafy vegetables like spinach, and beans (black, navy and kidney).
  • Meditate: If vigorous exercise is too difficult, meditation can increase your metabolism. It also is a great stress reliever, as well as a way to improve mental acuity.

To learn more about how The Cabana at Jensen Dunes supports a holistic lifestyle for our residents, please call us today at 772-332-1000.

Deniese Williams, Executive Director of The Cabana at Jensen Dunes, is a registered nurse with a Master of Science in Nursing and more than 20 years of experience in the long-term care industry.