Balanced nutrition for older people

Balanced nutrition in old age is more important than ever. Energy needs are falling, but nutritional needs are rising. In general, due to the physical and lifestyle changes that usually accompany aging, calorie requirements are lower. However, a balanced diet is extremely important.

Being overweight in the elderly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. Losing weight can be quite a challenge. If you have gained weight over the years, try to lose weight slowly, gradually.

How to maintain a healthy weight for an elderly person

Balanced nutrition is based on a daily calorie requirement of an elderly person, and it is about 2,000 calories. Drink at least 2 liters of water every day. Be careful with high sodium content in food.

An active lifestyle improves appetite
Take a walk every day or do other outdoor activities. You can ask your doctor which exercises are suitable for your level of mobility.

Vitamins and minerals
A balanced diet for the elderly should be organized in such a way as to provide sufficient vitamins and minerals.

Include liver, dairy products and fish in your diet. These are products with a high retinol content.

Vitamin B12 supports the health of the brain and nervous system. The most common symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, dizziness or loss of balance, as well as decreased mental performance.

Vitamin D – affects the immune system, hormones, bones and brain. Moderate sunlight and appropriate supplements are recommended. It should be remembered that vitamin D is not contained in food in large quantities.

Carotenoids, vitamins C and E – have antioxidant properties. They are important for maintaining tissue health. They can be found in orange, yellow and dark green vegetables. Sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, spinach, beets and cabbage are good sources. You can find vitamin E in nuts, seeds, peanut butter and wheat germ. Various fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C.

Calcium
Calcium is needed to regulate heart rate and maintain bone mass. You’ll find it in dairy products, boiled vegetables, and calcium-fortified foods.

Iron
Iron deficiency can lead to decreased energy levels, dizziness and problems with concentration. There is a feeling of fatigue and lethargy. Iron deficiency is known as anemia. You will find iron in red meat, shellfish, oysters, offal, beans, lentils and cooked dark green vegetables.

Zinc, potassium and magnesium
The best sources of zinc are meat, oysters, shellfish, pumpkin seeds, beans, peas and lentils.

Potassium lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of kidney stones. In addition, it also strengthens your bones. It is found in fruits and vegetables such as bananas, plums and potatoes.

Magnesium – plays a key role in 300 physiological functions. Supports the work of the heart, immune system and strong bones. It is found in grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

Cholesterol reduction and physical exercises

Cholesterol reduction does not require a drastic change in lifestyle or highly intense exercises. A few exercises will be enough, but it is important to do them systematically.

Research data

It is known that only proper nutrition in combination with physical activity effectively reduces cholesterol levels. This was proved by an experiment conducted on 400 participants who, after measuring the level of cholesterol in the blood, were divided into four groups: the first did not change their lifestyle, the second began to exercise intensively, the third switched to a low-fat diet, and the fourth supplemented the diet with physical activity.

When their cholesterol levels were checked a year later, it turned out that only in the fourth group its decrease was significant.

How Exercise Lowers Cholesterol

Physical exercises favorably change the ratio between bad LDL cholesterol and good HDL cholesterol – they reduce the level of bad and at the same time increase the level of good. In addition, regular exercise reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people with hypertension, improves the efficiency of the heart and lungs. Oxygen transport to tissues and blood flow through organs increases.

In addition, physical activity regulates sugar and insulin levels, improves blood clotting. Regular exercise, in addition to direct effects on the circulatory and respiratory systems, also improves well-being, because during exercise the body produces endorphins – hormones of happiness.

So any kind of activity will be useful – cycling, brisk walking, running, swimming or dancing. It is important to introduce activity gradually. If the body is not used to stress, start with a quick walk. At first, it is enough 2 or 3 times a week for at least half an hour in a row, and after a month, move on to other types of exercises.

Already after 3 months of systematic physical exercise, the HDL level increases by an average of about 7 percent. It is enough to follow the principle recommended by doctors: you should actively spend time at least 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes. The intensity of the exercises performed should be such that your pulse is about 130 beats per minute.

So my advice is pretty simple: start a cholesterol reduction program with 30 minutes a day for 3-5 days a week. Let it be just brisk walking to begin with, but in the future you will still have to load yourself more noticeably – connect running, swimming, or cycling.

After the first month, gradually increase the training time to 50 minutes a day.

Wait at least an hour after eating to start the exercises, and finish them 30 minutes before eating. Do not limit yourself to drinking only mineral water – choose a balanced diet.

Abdominal fat. Why so dangerous?

Abdominal/visceral fat is one of the most dangerous types of fat in the body. If there is more than 15% of it in the body, it poses a great threat to health.

Visceral fat is adipose tissue located around and near internal organs. The abdominal, in turn, is located only in the abdominal area. 

Visceral abdominal obesity is also called so:
1. Male type of obesity;
2. Android obesity;
3. Obese “Apple”;
4. Central obesity.

For the deposition of abdominal fat, the most successful conditions will be: a sedentary lifestyle, high-calorie food, a small amount of fiber and other proper nutrition products in the diet.

Research suggests that fat cells — particularly abdominal fat cells — are biologically active. It’s appropriate to think of fat as an endocrine organ or gland, producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health. Although scientists are still deciphering the roles of individual hormones, it’s becoming clear that excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, disrupts the normal balance and functioning of these hormones.

Scientists are also learning that visceral fat pumps out immune system chemicals called cytokines — for example, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 — that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. These and other biochemicals are thought to have deleterious effects on cells’ sensitivity to insulin, blood pressure, and blood clotting.

Abdominal fat can lead to the risk of such diseases:

Varicose veins;
Cardiovascular diseases;
High risk of oncologies;
Hormonal disorders;
Obesity;
Hyperlipidemia;
Diabetes mellitus;
Alzheimer’s;
Fatty liver hepatosis.

How to defeat this type of obesity?

An ineffective way to get rid of this type of deposits is to perform various movements to pointwise affect the ABS: plank, vacuum, twisting, etc.

A little more effective is the method of influencing the whole body by training. Yes, strength / cardio loads involve a large number of muscles, while burning a lot of calories and positively affecting metabolism, but this is not enough.

The best helper in this matter will be proper nutrition and a diet with a small or decent calorie deficit.

Remember that 3/4 of the result is a diet, and the remaining 1/4 is a workout.

5 mistakes of the beginner in the gym

I often notice that people in the gym make the same mistakes, and then wonder why their muscles don’t grow, and just quit training.

In this article I will tell you about common mistakes that prevent your muscles from growing.

1. Ignoring the WARM-up.

During the warm-up, the muscles get ready for training, and the joints are lubricated and prepared for loads. But if you ignore the warm-up, then the chance of injury is very high.

Each coach will make you warm up before the main workout.

2. Ignoring STRETCHING.

It is very important to stretch the muscles after performing heavy exercises. Thanks to stretching, blood circulation improves in the muscles clogged during training. And good blood circulation in the muscles helps to restore them faster.

3. Insufficient WATER consumption.

Water is the smartest liquid that improves digestion and helps our muscles grow and recover thanks to its rich composition.

4. Too LONG REST and too FAST TRAINING.

I see how many people go to the gym with their friends and sit with their phones between approaches or just chat for about 5-10 minutes.

Fast training and performing different exercises on different muscle groups without concentration and understanding do not give any sense.

Therefore, for good muscle growth, it is worth choosing the right pace and exercises.

Abdominal muscles: basic rule of training

Abdominal muscles are ordinary muscles, the scheme of hypertrophy (enlargement) of which is no different from other muscles.

If you choose the appropriate exercises and load so that it “goes” into the target muscle “to failure” (when you can no longer perform muscle contraction) 10-12 repetitions is more than enough (since it has been proven that the last 6 repetitions are most effective for hypertrophy when working “to failure” or almost “to failure”).

In order to understand which exercise is most effective and how to “get” the load into abdominal muscles, it is necessary to understand which muscles the ABS consist of and where they are attached.

Six pack is obtained by two things. The first is the rectus abdominis muscle. The second is 3-4 tendon bridges that tighten the rectus muscle and form 4-6 cubes.

The attachment of the rectus muscle is located on the pubic bone from below and on the cartilage of the ribs from above. This muscle pulls the ribs down (lowers the chest), bends the spine, raises the pelvis (when fixing the chest), participates in the formation of the abdominal muscles.

There are two main movements: direct and reverse twisting. With different position of the body: lying, sitting, hanging, at different angles, etc..

The main mistake in the technique of these exercises is to involve the muscles of the lower back or the front surface of the thigh when twisting, as this “steals”, and sometimes even replaces the work of the ABS.

It is also wrong to pull the head towards, and not just support it with your hands. This increases the load on the cervical spine.

Also a mistake is the static tension of the abdominal muscles. For hypertrophy of the rectus muscle, both metabolic stress and mechanical stress (due to contractions or stretches of the muscle) must coincide. 

I recommend a range of repetitions of 25-30 times,  increase the weight of the load more so that the “failure” repetitions are within these limits.

Thus, if you understand the biomechanics of the work of the muscle that you want to pump up, then performing any even the most exotic exercise, you will know at what moment this particular muscle is working for you.

Do not forget that no matter what the press is pumped up, it will not be visible under a layer of fat. The percentage of the fat layer at which you can see the muscles ranges from 10 to 14% in men and from 18 to 22% in women.