"We need fewer daily calories as we age because our metabolism naturally begins to slow," says MPCP Arnold physician, Amanda Malone, M.D. "Since you don't need as many calories, those calories you do consume become very important.
Your diet after age 50 should include a variety of healthy, nutrient-dense foods.
Add in daily exercise and you're on the path to a higher quality of life and enhanced independence as you age," she
adds, "Try to include exercise that increases lean muscle mass, like weight training.
"When patients ask 'How many daily calories do I need?,' I tell them it depends on how active they are and where their calories are coming from," says Dr. Malone
"Regular exercise slows the effects of aging and many age-related disorders such as diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis," says Dr. Malone
"But that's only the tip of the iceberg.
We know that exercise reduces the risk and seriousness of falls and fractures, keeps our minds sharp, and encourages social interaction," she
It's never too late to start exercising either.
Start slow- take the stairs instead of the elevator, keep carrying your groceries, and try a new exercise class.
As always, talk to your doctor about an exercise plan, and which activities you should consider given your age and current health status.
Amanda Malone, M.D.
Dr. Malone joined Maryland Primary Care Physicians, LLC in 2006 and is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.
She received her medical degree from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in 2002 and completed her residency program in Family Practice at Stamford Hospital in 2005.