Not every Post-acute care community gives vigorous thought to the health of their residents. At South Coast we ensure that while our residents are recovering we are mindful of their personal weight loss goals, especially around the holiday season.
Older adults lose muscle mass as they age. And for those who want to lose weight it can be problematic to excersize with this harsh reality. Despite general beliefs about losing weight, older adults should increase their daily exercise but maintain the same caloric intake, cutting down calories in an effort to lose weight can actually do more harm than good. Adults in their 50s and 60s were studied who were dieting and exercising in an attempt to lose weight. The study participants who increased their exercise but maintained their caloric intake kept their muscle mass, strength and fitness level. However the participants who dieted only and did not increase their exercise, showed declines in muscle mass, strength and overall fitness. Both groups lost an average of 17 pounds over the course of a year but only the adults who exercised maintained or improved their muscle mass, strength and endurance. The study was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
If you are in a post-acute care community talk with your physical therapists and doctors. If you want to lose a few pounds, walk or exercise a little longer each day. You will feel better and get the same results in the end!