The Importance of Diet and Exercise to Senior Care

Many primary care providers make the mistake of dismissing their charges as incapable of being challenged. While many seniors who reach the point of needing primary also experience reduced muscle strength, their capacity to bounce back from non-ambulatory states should always be kept as a possibility.

Individuals who engage in active senior care should always make regaining lost vigor and strength a priority. The proper combination of diet, rest and exercise can make muscle growth and increased function very possible for those of advanced age.

What Causes Age-Related Muscle Loss?

Sarcopenia, or muscle loss associated with those over the age of 40, is the combination of several metabolic and societal factors. While the body does incur certain reductions in muscle tissue via gradual losses in hormone secretion, it is the lack of muscular challenge that is truly the plague to graceful aging.

Growth hormone, testosterone and several similar growth factors recede with age. Many individuals consider this hormonal recession to be the be-all and end-all without recognizing the potent increase in hormonal activity that is incurred through high intensity exercise.

How can Resistance Training Aid Senior Care?

One of the key difficulties when acting as a primary care provider is mobility. Aging seniors often require significant assistance in simply being removed from their bed. In some cases a wheelchair is necessary for a senior to regain movement around their home.

One of the most common and harmful accidents experienced by seniors involves the loss of balance and falling down. While vertigo, medication and other related problems increase rates of falling down, most situations are the result of poor muscle control and strength.

Resistance training allows a senior to slowly but effectively regain strength in their muscular tissue. Those who have fallen prey to sarcopenia-induced immobility have seen considerable improvement in their movement by engaging in high intensity exercise sessions.

Further, resistance based training can greatly aid in the treatment of illnesses that afflict our elderly population. Diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic cardiovascular issues all respond well to weight lifting. The same hormonal mechanisms triggered by resistance training are responsible for incurring these beneficial health effects.
Proper Nutrition for Seniors

Primary care providers often find senior food choices to be different from their own. The reduction in many hormonal processes associated with advanced age reduces the desire for high amounts of protein and even limits caloric needs.

Nonetheless, protein should be increased in the diets of seniors as maximally as possible. Higher protein diets increase muscle mass considerably, which is vital to the reduction of mortality associated with surgeries, illnesses or accidents.

Carbohydrate choices also require a certain degree of attention. Higher insulinogenic carbohydrates can severely exacerbate certain illnesses. Vegetable and fruit sources of carbohydrates should always be preferential to sugar or grain based foods.

Omega 3 fatty acids are vital to the prevention and treatment of aging-related disease states. Seniors often find themselves getting little to no omega 3s. In many cases a simple fish oil substance can greatly increase a senior’s quality of life.


Author’s Bio: Lisa James a well known author has been writing articles on geriatric care. For more information visit the

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