Obesity is a growing problem in the United States, especially among older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 29 percent of adults over 65 are obese. The CDC also found that if nothing changes, by 2030, over 50 percent of adults over 65 will be obese or overweight.
Obesity can have serious health consequences for older adults—including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes—and can also increase the risk of death from any cause. But living in an active 55+ community in Palm Beach County, FL, can help aging loved ones manage their weight and improve their health overall. Here’s how:
- Social Interaction
Social interaction is an integral part of staying healthy and happy. A 55+ community offers opportunities for daily social interaction. This can help your loved one stay active and engaged, reducing their risk of obesity-related health issues like diabetes or heart disease.
The most apparent way that retirement communities encourage social interaction is through their facilities:
- Exercise rooms where residents can work out together
- Community centers where people gather for games, classes, lectures, and other activities
- Dining rooms where they eat meals together
- Common areas where people congregate during downtime
The more subtle ways that retirement communities promote socialization include the following:
- Communal spaces like kitchens or dining rooms
- Events such as holiday parties or picnics
- Healthy Eating
Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health. It helps maintain strength, balance, and flexibility. It also reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels.
It’s essential to get regular physical activity throughout life, including after you retire! The good news is that most retirement communities have plenty of opportunities for aging family members to stay active. Here are a few ways:
- Indoor gyms with exercise equipment, such as treadmills or stationary bikes
- Outdoor walking paths with trees and grasses growing alongside them
- Social events where people can get together outside
- Mental Health and Well-Being
It can be challenging to transition from a fast-paced career to retirement. It’s not uncommon for people in this situation to feel depressed or anxious, leading them to overeat to cope with their emotions.
Retirement communities provide an environment where residents can engage in activities that promote mental health and well-being, such as yoga classes or social events like potlucks.
- Trained Staff Members
Retirement communities also have trained team members to help you with your diet and exercise routine. For example, suppose you’re unsure how to cook healthy meals. The kitchen team will be more than happy to assist in developing a nutritious meal plan. They can also show you how to use an elliptical machine if walking isn’t enough for your fitness needs.
The key to managing obesity in seniors is to make it a priority. A 55+ community can provide the support you need, but you must take advantage of it! You can start by joining an exercise class or signing up for yoga sessions with other residents who share your interests. Don’t be afraid to ask others for advice on healthy eating habits, too – they may even be able to point out some new recipes at home!