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More than 135 million people of the total population in India suffer from obesity. Out of these, more than 25% are older adults. This is usually because a sedentary and often dependent lifestyle leads to an increase in BMI in old age.

Obesity is a result of unhealthy eating habits, consumption of fatty foods, excessive intake of salt and sugar, sedentary work habits and sometimes due to hormonal issues. It has a damaging impact on health, causing problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and bone loss. Lack of physical activity only increases the condition. To maintain a healthy weight one must follow an exercising regime. While extreme and quick weight loss is neither recommended nor is a sign of healthy aging, a regime to aim at the gradual weight loss is a good idea for older adults who are obese.

Also Watch: Dr. Sudhir Jadhav on Obesity and Bariatric Surgery in Older Adults

Have a look at these five exercises:

1. Brisk walk

The best form of cardio exercise is by walking briskly. Make it a habit to walk for half an hour to 45 minutes, at least four to five days a week, to help improve your metabolism. Regular walking will keep the heart healthy and help you lose weight. Walking briskly for half an hour burns 200 calories. Brisk walk stops just short of running. A general rule is that you should be able to talk while walking. If you are unable to talk, slow down.

2. Running

Running is another good cardio exercise. Start at a slow speed and gradually increase the speed according to your comfort. Do not run too fast or overexert yourself otherwise you will end up with more health damage. Running takes care of the body and abdominal fat and reduces calories significantly.

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3. Cycling

Cycling helps the muscles in the legs to remain active even in old age. Cycling in a way that doesn’t strain the muscles will help to lose weight. Half an hour of cycling burns 330 calories.

4. Yogasanas

Easy postures for the elderly, such as Bhujangasan, Badhkonasan, and Naukaasan, help reduce abdominal circumference and thigh fat. Observing yoga postures and performing asanas in the same way certainly benefits the body.

5. Zumba Dance

Zumba is a dance form in which songs are played back to back and you have to dance-like step movements. A Zumba session invariably leads to sweating, which, in turn, helps to reduce excess body fat. Zumba attempts to keep the mind happy and the body fit through vigorous dancing. This can be a fascinating topic for older adults.

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Walking, running, jogging, skipping, Zumba, power yoga, and pranayama all improve the heart rate by 20 to 30 percent. Regular exercise not only makes the body healthy and relaxed, but it also makes muscles flexible, reduces body fat, metabolism improves, stamina increases, lung capacity increases, blood vessels function properly, cholesterol is regulated, laziness disappears, and you start sleeping well.

These small lifestyle changes will go a long way in controlling high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, and obesity issues.

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