Seniors are often told that their metabolism is slowing down when the doctor notices they’ve gained some weight or just as they age. But what is metabolism? Why does it slow down with age? How do we speed it back up? We can help you better understand.
What is metabolism?
When we think of metabolism, we often think about how fast our food is digested in our bodies. But metabolism is much more than that. The definition is, “the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life.”
So when a senior’s metabolism begins to slow, the chemical reactions aren’t happening at the right speed. Weight gain is only one small aspect of the many changes that are happening throughout the whole body.
How can we speed metabolism up?
Unless a senior has a medical condition such as hypothyroidism, metabolism usually doesn’t dip low enough to require medication. But there are a few tricks to keep your metabolism at a good rate:
1. Keep Moving. Seniors who have more muscle tend to have higher metabolism. This is because our muscles continue to burn energy even when we are resting. Increase your muscle mass by walking, lifting small weights, or doing simple exercises while sitting.
2. Don’t Diet. Fuel is needed to keep the body running efficiently. A better idea would be to eat smaller meals frequently throughout the day. This will keep metabolism up throughout the day without starving and then over-eating later.
3. Drink Coffee. While doctors have a love/hate relationship with coffee, one benefit they can’t rebuff is the fact that coffee increases metabolism for a short amount of time. That doesn’t mean you should drink a pot or two each morning, but with moderation, coffee can help keep your metabolism boosted.
4. Get Enough Sleep. Getting enough rest not only helps seniors feel refreshed and ready for the day, it increases metabolism. When seniors don’t get enough sleep, their body begins to release fewer hormones into the bloodstream. With less of these specific hormones being released, the muscles decrease in mass, so fewer calories are getting burned.
Getting older doesn’t mean having to accept slow metabolism. It may take a little work, but seniors can have a healthy metabolism for a very long time. Freedom Home Care provides services for seniors who wish to remain at home but still be healthy and active. If you or someone you know could benefit from our specialized services, call us at 708-433-5788 or visit us online!