For Older Patients with Diabetes, Weight Loss the Answer for Mobility
For older adults suffering from type-2 diabetes, mobility is often a serious issue. In fact, diabetics are twice as likely to experience problems with mobility, which makes maintaining a healthy weight level as you age extremely difficult, but no less important. A recent study found that losing just one percent of your excess weight and increasing your physical activity level by another one percent can reduce the risk of mobility problems by nearly 10 percent.
While this study did not evaluate the impact of drastic weight loss on diabetic mobility, it is still applicable to diabetic patients experiencing weight loss after bariatric surgery. Increased weight loss has been associated with greater health outcomes for diabetic patients, as well as for those who do not suffer from diabetes.
Further, research teams have found that older adults are not at any increased risk for undergoing bariatric surgery on account of their age, as those over 65 tend to experience complications at the same rate as those who are in their 30s and 40s. This makes weight loss options like LAP-Band and the sleeve gastrectomy procedure a possibility for older adults who must lose weight to overcome their diabetes.
Improve Quality of Life by Moving More
Together with decreased cognitive function and depression, reduced mobility is one of the leading under-recognized complications of type-2 diabetes. These factors greatly reduce the quality of life of diabetic patients and often have an impact on the course of treatment that diabetic patients choose to undergo.
Changing a person’s lifestyle is one of the most beneficial ways to combat the lack of mobility associated with type-2 diabetes. Many older adults with diabetes are sedentary, which means that they are not accustomed to moving around much at all. However, for enhanced health as you age it is important to become more active.
Here are a few ways that you can become more active and combat mobility concerns from diabetes despite your age.
- Tai Chi: Tai Chi has been demonstrated to improve balance, gait speed, cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength in older adults. In addition, it is a low impact exercise that requires slow movements, thereby decreasing the risk of injury from over-exertion.
- Chair yoga: Unlike regular yoga which requires you to get down on the floor and stretch out on a mat, chair yoga uses a typical table chair to provide a few of the same benefits. As you are sitting in your chair you can slowly bend your waist and reach to your toes, and then stretch from side to side. Practice slow movements to prevent an injury.
- Swimming: There are so many beautiful beaches throughout Jacksonville and St. Augustine. Get out and into the water. If you are not up for swimming in the ocean, then tread in knee-deep and go for a long walk in the water. The increased resistance from the water will make the long walk a bit more of a workout than a normal walk, but will feel great—just make sure to wear water proof walking shoes to protect your feet from any shells underfoot!
The good news for diabetics is that weight loss surgery has been shown to slow and even reverse effects of the disease, so as you are focusing on weight loss and increased mobility, talk to your weight loss surgeon about the best course of treatment for type-2 diabetes as well.