Santa Clarita Valley Business Journal

Managing your weight as you age

By Patrick Moody, spokesman for Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital

Planning for the future is just as important when you’re 50, as it was when you were 18. To stay physically fit and in good health as you get older, it’s smart to manage your weight now.

People’s weight often creeps up on them as they grow older. One reason is that you may be burning fewer calories in older age, especially if you are not very physically active. If you want to prevent weight gain, you’ll need to eat fewer calories and continue (or start) a regular exercise routine.

Find out your healthy weight:

The first step toward maintaining a healthy weight in older age is to find out what a healthy weight is for you.

First, find your body mass index, or BMI. BMI uses your height and weight to calculate your body fat. Your doctor can measure your BMI to find out where your weight falls on a scale of normal, overweight or obese.

Why does weight matter?

Being overweight can have a variety of harmful health effects. For example, being overweight or obese may increase your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and bone and joint problems.

Managing your weight through the years

Keeping a healthy weight isn’t a short-term project. To ensure that your weight stays in a healthy range in the years to come, you’ll need to focus on eating well and staying (or getting) active.

You can learn more about developing a healthy eating plan at choosemyplate.gov. A registered dietitian also can help you learn more about eating well.

Stay—or get—active: If you’re already physically active, keep it up! If not, it’s time to get a move on. Think about the activities you enjoy and do more of them, such as walking, running, bicycling, gardening, and swimming.

Your goal is to get 150 minutes of physical activity every week, or 30 minutes on most days of the week. If that still sounds daunting, you can reach your goal by exercising in 10-minute bursts.

You can also talk to a fitness specialist at Henry Mayo Fitness and Health by calling 661-200-2348.

Patrick Moody is the director of marketing and public relations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. For more information about local community health programs, visit HenryMayo.com.

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