If you’re past the age of menopause, you know how easy it can be to pack on a few pounds. And then a few more. Especially in Kansas City, where there are so many great restaurants to choose from! Although it gets tougher to keep the weight off as you age, it also becomes more important. Here’s why:
- Obesity can limit your mobility and hinder balance and flexibility.
- Obesity can put you at risk for serious illnesses, such as:
- Heart disease
- Coronary artery disease
- Respiratory disease
- Heart attack
- Sleep apnea
Why It’s So Hard for Seniors to Lose Weight
There are several reasons why it’s tougher for older adults to lose weight:
- Once you get to a certain age, you tend to become less active.
- You lose muscle tone as you age, which makes it more difficult to exercise.
- Chronic illness (e.g., arthritis, hypothyroidism) can make weight loss challenging.
- Some prescription medications can cause weight gain.
- Hormonal changes can redistribute fat and contribute to muscle loss.
- The older you get, the harder it is to do some of the exercises that were once easy for you.
- Major lifestyle changes (e.g., death of a spouse) can lead to emotional eating.
- It’s easier to eat out than it is to cook.
Weight Loss Resources for Kansas City Seniors
If you need to lose weight, or you just want to maintain your current weight, here are some local resources:
- Exercise classes:
- There are lots of Senior Centers in the Kansas City area, many of which offer exercise classes for older adults.
- If you live in Overland Park, Leawood, Prairie Village, or Mission Hills, the Johnson County Parks & Recreation District has a 50+ Program that offers land and water exercises and nature walks at three Johnson County 50+ Centers.
- Fitness or Activity trackers: In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you eat. An activity tracker will track how many calories you’ve taken in vs. how many calories you’ve burned. You can also set it to remind you to get up once an hour and walk. There are lots of places in Kansas City where you can buy a Fitness tracker (e.g., Walmart, Target).
- Nutrition guidance. If you need help with diet planning, start by talking to your doctor. If you feel you need additional assistance, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a Find-An-Expert tool that can help you find a registered dietitian in the Kansas City area.