Food and Fitness for Older, Active Adults? Lessons Learned from Masters Athletes
By Christine Rosenbloom, Ph.D., RDN, FAND
Normal age changes occur to all body systems and while aging cannot be prevented, food and fitness strategies can restore functional fitness, improve aerobic capacity, prevent loss of muscle mass and strength, and improve balance and agility. Helping older adults find activities they like to do and a dietary pattern that is sustainable and supports fitness goals is key for health professionals working with active, older adults.
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By reading this feature, you will learn more about these practical takeaways:
- Because there is no best diet or exercise for older adults, a good approach is to help them identify activities that they like to do and an eating pattern that is sustainable. For the author, what is motivating is to be able to lift a suitcase in the overhead bin when traveling and be able to lift a 50-pound bag of dog food.
- Protein intake is important for all active people and even more so for older adults. Anabolic resistance of aging muscle means a higher intake of dietary protein is needed to build, maintain, and repair muscle.
- Highlight successful older athletes to motivate older adults to get and stay active.
- Encourage a hydration strategy to help older adults overcome normal age changes to thirst and body water changes.
Keywords: Healthy Aging, Nutrition for Older Adults