Healthy eating and physical activity are important at any age, but they can be critical to prevent the development and progression of chronic disease in older adults. Our Healthy Eating for Successful Living in Older Adults™ program helps participants better manage their health through nutrition and activity.
Most program participants have one or more chronic conditions, like diabetes or heart disease. But the program also benefits individuals who have been healthy and active throughout their lives and want to be more proactive about wellness.
For many participants, there’s a gap between understanding what better nutrition is and the changes they feel they can make—for example, buying fresh fruit and vegetables on a limited income, or eating more healthfully in housing where meals are provided. The program is designed to help narrow that gap.
Over six weeks, participants learn how to make healthy lifestyle choices that take into account their age, activity level and income. Nutrition education is an important component, including reading food labels and portion control.
Behavior change techniques are a vital part of the program. Participants make small changes each week — someone with type 2 diabetes who wants to lose weight might set a goal of eliminating late-night snacking, for example. When she has success with smaller goals, it’s easier to make bigger changes like losing 20 pounds.
Another benefit of the program is the opportunity for social interaction; evidence shows that people who are more engaged with others live healthier lifestyles.
Any adult over age 18 who wants to learn about healthy eating and exercise is eligible for the free, six-week Healthy Eating program, which is offered in conjunction with Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley. To find a program near you, review the workshop schedule.
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