Elders Programs Health, Fitness and Wellness Programsadminecifoundation
Advancements in healthcare and technology today, are in large part, major contributions from the development of modern science, which have made it possible for seniors to live longer lives today. However, this does not necessarily mean that people are healthier. In fact, despite an increase within the senior population over the last five years, Americans are considered to be among some of the unhealthiest in the world; with heart disease and cancer topping the charts of leading causes of death every year, and diabetes and obesity drastically increasing within our younger population.
The Importance of Health and Fitness for Seniors
With advancing age comes inevitable body changes, but partaking in exercise can prevent or delay diseases and improve the health of many seniors. Metabolism is known to slow down with each birthday that passes, making weight that much easier to gain. Unfortunately, most seniors experience a shift in their body composition – an increased fat mass with reduced lean body mass and muscle strength. Seniors, especially women, may also have reduced bone strength, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Older patients may develop poor eating habits for many reasons. These can range from a decreased sense of smell and taste to teeth problems or depression. Older people may also have difficulty getting to a supermarket or standing long enough to cook a meal. And, although energy needs may decrease with age, the need for certain vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin D, and vitamins B6 and B12, increases after age 50.