Maintaining a healthy weight is important throughout life. This doesn’t stop just because you reach a certain age. In fact, maintaining a healthy weight is even more important as you age.
At AgeWell Medical Associates PC of Colorado Springs, we highly encourage our established patients to maintain a healthy weight as they grow older. As a perfect complement to our specialized primary care services, we offer a senior weight loss class called LoseWell for adults aged 60 and beyond.
Contact us to learn about our LoseWell weight loss class and how you can achieve and maintain optimal weight. Call today:
What Are the Benefits of Weight Loss?
Weight loss is of course beneficial if you’re overweight. However, it might be easier to consider the harm being overweight can do to your body to best understand how weight loss can benefit your health.
Safely Exercising When 50 and Older
What Harm Is There in Being Overweight?
- It Can Increase Your Risk of Serious Disease: Did you know that obesity is the number one risk factor in developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes? It’s true. Therefore, especially if you have other risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, you want to ensure your weight doesn’t increase your chances of developing these diseases. In fact, obesity and diabetes go together so closely the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases state that more than 87% of all adults currently diagnosed with diabetes are either overweight or obese. The National Institutes of Health performed a study called Diabetes Prevention Program (DDP). This study found that losing even 5 to 7% of one’s body weight will prevent or at the very least delay the onset of diabetes.
- It Can Increase Your Risk of Other Conditions: You also increase your chance of developing harmful skin conditions, arthritis, fatty liver disease, kidney disease and even respiratory diseases when you’re considered obese.
- It Can Reduce Your Mobility: Getting around becomes more difficult as you age, even when weight isn’t a factor. Therefore, you don’t want to make it even harder on your joints by being overweight.
- It Can Increase Your Risk of Developing Cancer: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease states that gaining weight as an adult and cancer are closely linked, though for unknown reasons.
What Are LoseWell Group Classes?
At AgeWell, we provide patients who are overweight with important resources to maintain a healthy weight. This includes our LoseWell class. You can find out more about our class by visiting the link to the class description here. This class is completed in a group setting and is covered by Medicare. The class is taught by our own Beth Allen, who is a nurse practitioner at AgeWell Medical Associates.
How Well Do LoseWell Group Classes Work?
In general, when you pay attention to how you eat, and become more active, it will benefit your overall health in the long run. According to the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, lifestyle interventions are helpful to improving the quality of life in older obese individuals.
Based on your Body Mass Index (BMI) you qualify under Medicare to participate in a new LoseWell class at our office. This is an important step in your overall health and we encourage you to take advantage of this Medicare benefit.
Here are a few things to remember about the requirements outlined by Medicare for this benefit.
- Beneficiaries with obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30, qualify for counseling visits
- One face-to-face visit every week for the first month
- One face-to-face visit every other week for months 2 through 6
- One face-to-face visit very month for months 7 through 12 (provided you meet 6.6 pound weight loss requirement during the first 6 months of the program)
Your visits will include education on lifestyle modifications that include diet and exercise. The program will be led by Beth Allen, one of the Nurse Practitioners at AgeWell Medical Associates. Beth has personal experience with weight loss and is a lifetime member of Weight Watchers.
Please contact us to sign up to attend an upcoming LoseWell class. We will always call you the day before to remind you of your appointment. We ask that you show up 15 minutes early to weigh in. We will look forward to partnering with you in this quest to improve your health and make it possible for you to Lose Well!
NOTE: For patients who are taking Coumadin and coming to our office for Pro-time clinic visits, Medicare will NOT pay for both the clinic visit and the Lose Well class on the same day. Those will need to be 2 separate visits. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
How to Know if You Would Benefit From Weight Loss?
If you are and older adult, you can be sure maintaining a healthy weight is a great way to ensure your highest quality of life. Therefore, if you have more weight on your body than you should, losing that weight will most certainly make mobility easier and reduce your risk of developing devastating diseases.
Why a Class Might Be Needed to Help You Lose Excess Weight
There are two factors that go along with aging that can make it harder to lose weight as you grow older. They are as follows:
- Loss of Muscle: Muscle and metabolism go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, as you age, you lose muscle naturally, which slows your metabolism, making it harder for you to lose weight.
- Hormonal Changes: Another factor that goes along with aging and weight gain is hormonal changes. Again, as you age and your body changes, it will naturally be harder for you to lose weight on your own.
Although it is harder to lose weight as you age, it’s not impossible. Classes like the LoseWell Class offered by AgeWell gives you the tools you need to counteract the natural effects of aging and weight gain.
How to Know If You’re Overweight?
Our medical providers at AgeWell can tell you if you are considered obese. In general, if you are obese, this means your body mass index (BMI) is equal or greater to 30. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides a calculator you can access here. With it, you can determine if your BMI is within healthy range. It uses a combination of your height and weight to determine your overall BMI. Keep in mind, a person with high muscle density might not get an accurate result from this test, but most will.
Another factor to consider, which we can address with you in our LoseWell Class is your waist size. Ideally, you will want to aim for 35 inches or less if you are a woman, or no more than 40 if you’re a man. Having a waist measuring above this will put you at an increased risk of developing many health conditions and diseases.