You may notice that many older grownups have a slightly rounder stomach. Is it because they don’t exercise? That could be a likely factor. However it’s mainly because their metabolism is slowing down. Metabolism is basically a bunch of chemical reactions which convert the food we eat into energy for our bodies to use, including moving and even thinking! As ageing happens, the cells that need the energy begin to slow down, meaning they don’t need or use up as much energy as before.
However, people tend to eat the same amount of calories (what gives you energy) and they begin to stop exercising as they get older. Therefore there is extra energy which gets stored in the body as fat. People then start gaining pounds and getting fatter. This can get serious if the person begins to eat a lot of unhealthy food without exercising leading to diabetes and high cholesterol levels, both which are bad for your health.
- Exercise with them! They’ll be more encouraged and it will be more enjoyable for them if you’re there too. Weight training and cardiovascular exercises can get the heart rate going which is extremely effective in losing the extra fat. Something as simple as hiking or jogging can help burn off those extra calories.
- Encourage them to eat a healthy diet and watch their portion sizes. Though this might not have an instantaneous effect, in the long run, it can go a long way. Grains and carbs are energy for the brain and muscle while protein makes the body fuller for a longer period of time. This means they’ll eat less frequently and so take in less calories.