Fasting is a centuries-old practice that continues to bring a plethora of benefits today. Whether as part of religious observance or for health reasons, fasting can be a profoundly enlightening experience when done properly.
Fasting has gained popularity in recent years. And right now, people worldwide are fasting in preparation for the Christian season of Lent. While the benefits of fasting are widely accepted in both philosophical and medical circles, some may wonder: Are there any risks associated with fasting for persons of senior age?
The Advantages of Fasting
Scientific evidence abounds that fasting can be beneficial to our health. After a fasting period, most people report feeling at least somewhat better than they did before. Among the benefits of fasting are the following:
- Improved blood pressure and cardiovascular health
- Increased insulin sensitivity Stable blood sugar levels
- Preventing certain types of cancer is a possibility.
- Increased mental acuity and brain function
- Enhancement of energy
- Weight loss assistance
- Enhanced immune system Self-discipline
- Establishing healthier eating habits
Is Fasting Beneficial for Seniors?
While it is prudent for anyone, regardless of age, to see a medical practitioner before embarking on a severe fast, this is especially true for the elderly. Fasting can be pretty harmful if our bodies are not prepared. Fasting is generally not recommended if you have a chronic illness or other general health problems.
In short, it is up to you and your physician to assess whether fasting is a safe alternative. However, for the elderly who appear to be in ideal condition, a fast can be an excellent strategy to maintain overall health and even improve lifespan.
If your doctor gives you the okay to begin fasting, you’ll want to prioritize safety. Consider the following when planning you’re fast:
Never Overdo It
Avoid excessively long fasting periods, especially if this is your first time. Seniors should not be doing this for a long time anyways. Elder care should encourage healthy eating habits. If a senior is hungry they should listen to their body.
A Senior Should Prepare for It
Do not go on a food binge the night before to “enjoy it while you can.” Reduce your food intake progressively two or three days ahead to the commencement of your fast to prepare your body.
Restriction of Exercise
It is possible to be active throughout a fast. However, because your body is already depleting its reserve fat stores for energy, you want to avoid pushing yourself too hard.
Pay Attention to Your Body
It is typical to feel fatigued and weak during the first couple of days. However, if you have pain, dizziness, confusion, blurred vision, or any other serious side effects, immediately contact your doctor and break the fast if necessary. If elder care notices any of these symptoms, they need to ensure the senior gets proper help.
Gently Break the Fast
Following a period of no food intake, it is critical to begin slowly and with bland foods. Elder care can begin by making a senior a basic broth or veggies that are easy to digest. Avoid anything cumbersome. According to experts, regardless of how many days you fast, you should spend half that time gradually reintroducing foods to your diet. Therefore, if you fast for six days, gradually reintroduce a normal eating schedule the following three days.
Set Realistic Weight Expectations
Another critical point, particularly for individuals who fast to lose weight. The majority of weight lost during a fast is water weight, which quickly returns when foods are reintroduced. This is entirely natural and typical. Do not be disheartened. You have continued to enhance your metabolism and take a significant step toward improved health.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Morrisville, NC please contact the caring staff at Affordable Family Care. Serving Raleigh, Greensboro, and the surrounding areas in North Carolina. Call today 919-676-1070.