Metabolic Changes in Seniors and Effective Ways to Raise Metabolism

As we age, it’s common for our bodies to undergo various transformations. Besides physical appearance, our bodies experience numerous changes, including shifts in metabolism. You may have seen your older loved ones struggling with fatigue and low energy levels, although they were quite active when they were younger. These varying energy levels are linked to metabolism. 

Aging can decline metabolism, but one should remember that it can be improved. The best ways to help your loved ones keep their energy levels high is by introducing some simple changes in their lifestyle. This blog discusses the effective ways to boost metabolism in seniors and the common causes and signs of poor metabolism in seniors.  

Signs of Poor Metabolism in Seniors

Your seniors may not discuss their decreased metabolism but there are signs to recognize it. Below are a few indicators that may suggest a poor metabolism in seniors. It’s important to identify these signs and take proactive steps to prevent chronic health complications. 

  • Lethargy and constant feeling of being tired. 
  • Unexplained weight gain 
  • Dry, cracked skin with discoloration 
  • Hair loss 
  • Feeling cold  
  • Frequently falling ill 
  • Cravings for sweets and sugary foods 
  • Constipation 
  • Headaches 
  • Inability to concentrate 

Common Causes of Poor Metabolism in Seniors

Although age can be an obvious reason for a slow metabolism, there are so many underlying causes of poor metabolism in seniors. These include:

  • Loss of muscle mass: With age, there is a gradual decline in muscle mass of seniors. As muscles are metabolically active tissues, loss of muscle may results in fewer calories burned at rest.
  • Hormonal changes: Shift in hormones can interrupt the metabolic rates of seniors. In women, this is commonly observed with menopause when the body begins producing less estrogen and testosterone.
  • Physical inactivity: With age, there is a gradual decline in physical activity of seniors. This happens due to retirement, less involvement in social activities, and limited mobility, consequently causing their metabolism to take a dip.
  • Medications: Seniors who suffer with mental health disorders such as depression and schizophrenia are prescribed antipsychotic drugs by their doctors. These potentially slow down the metabolism in seniors. Certain drugs used to lower the heart rate also negatively impact the metabolic rate.
  • Chronic Stress: Seniors may be under stress due to social isolation, loss of a loved one or retirement. When they’re stressed, their body produces a hormone called cortisol for a quick burst of energy. Chronic stress can elevate the levels of cortisol in the body, which is linked to a slower metabolism in seniors.

Strategies for Enhancing Metabolism in Seniors

Strategies for Enhancing Metabolism in Seniors

Aging is inevitable but your seniors do have the choice to age with confidence and vitality. They can get out of their comfort zone and explore these super-easy and super-effective strategies to increase their metabolism:

1. Include Superfoods in their Daily Diet

There’s a saying that you are what you eat. As you grow older, this statement becomes a well-founded reality. Add high-protein foods and high-fiber foods to the seniors’ diet as these superfoods require greater energy for digestion and elevate their body’s metabolism for a longer time.

Choose flax seeds, beans and fish to ensure their minimum intake of protein. For sufficient intake of fiber, opt for berries and green vegetables such as broccoli. Always remember to consult a professional nutritionist to help design a suitable diet for your senior, considering their unique health conditions and needs.

2. Encourage seniors to get active with cardio and strength training

A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of having a poor metabolism. Advise your seniors to keep moving by incorporating tiny changes into their daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or gardening to stay active. Try to incorporate at least three sessions of strength training workouts in their weekly schedule to build muscle mass and improve metabolism.

Combine this with a daily cardio activity such as dancing, walking or swimming to pump up their heart rate and keep their metabolic levels high.

3. Increase Snacking Between Mealtimes for Seniors

Nutritionists recommend eating smaller, more frequent meals. The science that backs this up is that when we eat small portions of meals, every 2-4 hours, our body’s metabolism remains consistently active. On the contrary, eating only 3 meals a day keeps the body metabolically inactive for a long duration of time.

Choose healthy snacking options for your seniors that adhere to their daily calorie intake limit, are high in protein and fiber and preferably, low-fat. Some delicious and smart options are walnuts, flax seeds, pineapple and berries, and green tea. This can help to elevate the metabolism in seniors for a longer time.

4.Remind them to Drink Water Even When They’re Not Thirsty

Water is an essential component of our bodies, and its role is indispensable in metabolic activity. It acts as a solvent to speed up metabolic processes, transports nutrients and regulates body temperature. Drinking water every few hours during the day benefits your senior with a faster metabolism, better digestion and nutrient absorption.

Set up hourly reminders on their cellphones for drinking water. You can also stock their kitchen with herbal teas, infused water, and low-sugar beverages that also contribute to hydration while providing additional health benefits.

5. Fix Their Sleep Schedule, It is More Important Than You Think

Sleep is like nutrition for our brains. During sleep, our body repairs its cells, restores mechanisms, flushes our toxins and prepares itself for the next day. Lack of adequate sleep can disturb your senior’s metabolic activity, interferes with nutrient absorption and results in weight gain.

Quality sleep is crucial for metabolic health and overall vitality, yet many seniors struggle with sleep disturbances as they age. Encourage your loved ones to establish a regular sleep routine by creating a restful sleep environment for them with minimal noise and lighting and low emperature. A good sleep naturally enhances the metabolism in seniors and keeps them active during the day.

6. Teach Them to Say Goodbye to Stress

If your senior loved ones are under stress, you need to make sure that they are living in a happy and comfortable environment. If they have a caregiver, you can work with them to teach stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, tai chi, or spending time in nature.

Remember to take some time out for them. Sit and talk to them, reach out and listen to their needs, maintain positive connections, and plan out activities that they enjoy. These small, caring actions by you can considerably lower their stress levels and improve their overall well-being.

Conclusion

Enhancing metabolism in seniors is achievable with a combination of lifestyle changes. You should empower your senior loved ones with motivation, knowledge and assistance to incorporate these changes into their routine. For your seniors living at home, you can support them with a professional caregiver, who can guide them with a step-by-step approach to adopt healthier lifestyle changes and feel energetic.

At Assured Home Nursing, we offer competent caregivers that provide senior in-home care services customized to your senior’s unique needs. Some of our personalized senior care services include 24-hour Home care, Personal Care, and Diabetes Care. We work together with your loved ones and prioritize their metabolic health. Remember, it’s never too late to enhance the metabolism in seniors and help them to embrace a healthier, more energetic lifestyle. Get in touch with us at (248) 593-8134 to find an appropriate care plan for your loved one.


Source:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/metabolism/art-20046508 https://www.research.colostate.edu/healthyagingcenter/aging-basics/metabolism/
https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/how-much-does-your-metabolism-slow-down-as-you-age
https://www.bodylogicmd.com/blog/7-easy-to-recognize-signs-of-slow-metabolism/
https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/how-much-does-your-metabolism-slow-down-as-you-age
https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/increasing-metabolism-after-50
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/drinking-water-helps-with-weight-loss#:~:text=Water%20consumption%20is%20associated%20with,(or%20calories)%20you%20burn.


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