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How to Speed Up Metabolism After 60

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As we get older, life can be a beautiful and fulfilling experience, but it’s also a time when our bodies can experience significant changes. Among these changes, a gradual slowdown in metabolism is one that some may find challenging. 

Some of the habits that can help boost your metabolism after 60 include: 

  • Nutritious eating
  • Engaging in consistent physical activity
  • Managing stress
  • Being aware of your hormone health
  • Getting enough sleep

These habits aren’t guaranteed to change your health drastically, and the recommended strategy for boosting your metabolism could vary based on your lifestyle, but many of these habits can work well for adults living independently or enjoying life through assisted living

Understanding Metabolism After 60

Metabolism is the process by which our bodies convert the foods we eat into the energy necessary to power everything we do. After the age of 60, this process can slow down due to a natural decline in muscle mass and hormonal changes. 

But don’t be discouraged—there are still habits you can adopt to help boost your metabolism and your overall well-being.

How to Support Your Metabolism

Regular Aerobic Exercise

Manageable, safe aerobic exercise could help you manage your weight and metabolism. It’s important to choose an activity that matches your fitness level and supports your health. Be sure to speak with a healthcare professional before trying anything new. 

Some of the activities to consider include:

  • Brisk walking: Walking is an excellent low-impact aerobic exercise that can support your overall health.
  • Swimming and water aerobics: Swimming and water aerobics can provide a full-body workout and are gentle on joints, making them ideal for many older adults.
  • Dancing: Participating in dance-based workouts can be an enjoyable way to engage in aerobic exercise.
  • Bike riding: Cycling, whether outdoors or using a stationary bike, is a great aerobic exercise.
  • Tennis and badminton: These activities offer both aerobic exercise and social engagement, which can be beneficial for your overall well-being.

Resistance Training

Muscle is metabolically active tissue. Strength training exercises can help seniors counteract muscle loss and increase their resting metabolic rate. This is because muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat tissue

By incorporating resistance training into your fitness routine, you can boost your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day. Consider gentle weight lifting, resistance band workouts, or manageable body-weight exercises like squats and pushups.

Eating a Balanced Diet

It’s important to eat foods that provide a wide range of nutrients. Certain foods, such as fish, legumes, some peppers, lean meats, low-fat milk, and other metabolism-boosting foods, can aid in weight loss and support a healthy metabolism. 

Some of the most essential foods to eat include:

  • Protein-rich foods: Protein is crucial for maintaining muscle mass, and eating more protein can help with weight management. Aim for lean sources of protein, such as chicken, fish, beans, and legumes.
  • Fiber-rich foods: A diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can improve digestion and help keep you feeling full, which can prevent overeating.

Making sure that you consume the right amount of calories can also be crucial for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Don’t forget to stay hydrated as well. Studies have shown that drinking plenty of water and staying well hydrated can boost your metabolism by up to 30%.

Metabolism-Boosting Foods

There are some foods that may have specific metabolism-boosting effects. The results you get from eating these foods can vary from person to person, but some of the common recommendations include:

  • Green tea: This warm, soothing drink has been found to slightly enhance metabolism, making it a welcoming addition to daily habits. For the catechin compound, try oolong or matcha green teas.
  • Cayenne pepper: Cayenne can add flavor and also a slight, temporary boost to your metabolism. Be careful with this spice, as it can be quite potent. Some people who don’t like spicy foods find they can get similar results with cayenne capsules. 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in fish like salmon or in flaxseeds, these healthy fats may help regulate metabolism and reduce inflammation.
  • Coffee: It has been found that coffee can be a metabolism-enhancing drink with compounds that help boost your metabolism.
  • Ginger: This food can help with weight management and energy metabolism
  • Cacao: Cacao contains flavonoids that may help support metabolic actions and reduce weight, reducing the risk of metabolic disorders. 
  • Seaweed: Seaweed contains a lot of iodine. This mineral produces thyroid hormones and aids in the functioning of your thyroid glands, thus regulating your metabolic rate.

Stress Management

Stress has been shown to impact metabolism directly. High stress levels can lead to an increase in cortisol production, which can slow down metabolism and promote weight gain. 

For stress management, consider techniques like:

  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Hobbies 
  • Tai Chi
  • Massages
  • Yoga
  • Listening to music
  • Reading
  • Socializing
  • Practicing mindfulness

All of these can help manage stress levels and may help improve your metabolic rate in doing so. 

Getting Sufficient Sleep

Sleep is a regenerative time for the body. A lack of adequate sleep can disrupt your metabolism. Establish a comfortable and consistent sleep routine to help maintain a healthy metabolism. Older adults should aim for 7–9 hours of sleep per night.

Understanding Hormone Health

It’s also important to note that as we age, our bodies naturally experience a decline in certain hormones like testosterone and estrogen. This can further contribute to a slower metabolism. 

The thyroid gland also plays a critical role in regulating metabolism. Regular checkups to monitor thyroid function can be an aspect of maintaining your metabolic health. Hormonal changes during menopause can also affect metabolism

A balanced diet and lifestyle can help some people mitigate these effects and maintain a lively metabolism.

A group of older adults doing Tai Chi outdoors

Get Support for Living Well

Understanding your metabolism is just 1 part of healthy living for older adults. Maintaining your well-being can be a challenge as you get older, but it is possible—and it can be easier with support. 

Remember, as part of a family that cares, we’re here to offer guidance and encouragement for living well. Contact us at Cardinal View Senior Living and schedule a tour of our community to learn more about how we help people live with happiness. 

Written by Lifespark

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