Training and nutrition: ten chief physician tips on how to grow old fit and healthy

Training and nutrition: ten chief physician tips on how to grow old fit and healthy
  • Andrew Beez

    FromAndrew Beez


If you want to stay healthy and fit into old age, you should turn on two important adjustment screws in everyday life. Professor Martin Halle gives ten practical tips for training and nutrition.

1. Exercise is worth it at any age!

Always on the move: the prevention physician Professor Martin Halle from the Technical University of Munich. If you exercise regularly, you strengthen your cardiovascular system and keep your blood pressure values ​​under control.


Even if you suffer from chronic diseases such as the kidneys, the cardiovascular system or the joints (arthrosis). “You can’t be too old or too sick to train. Because the sicker the people are, the greater the effects of regular training.” The prevention physician Professor Martin Halle, chief physician at the University Hospital Rechts der Isar, and his team of sports scientists from the Technical University of Munich are investigating how much even the elderly benefit from this the largest studies of its kind in the world. More than 400 seniors from over 20 care facilities in Upper Bavaria took part in the bestform project, including three participants from Berg am Laim. They trained on age-appropriate strength training equipment.

2. Strength training is crucial in old age – supplemented by exercises for coordination, mobility and endurance

“By the time they reach their 80th birthday, many have only around 50 percent of their former muscle mass – and therefore a high risk of falls and fractures. In addition, the bones become more porous and the ability to balance deteriorates. Conversely, those who have more muscles feel more secure on their feet and also have stronger bones.”

Exercise and regular training pay off – even if you are already suffering from chronic diseases in old age.

© Westend61/Imago

3. In addition to muscle and coordination exercises, also make sure to eliminate stumbling blocks

Trip hazards in the home must be removed – such as carpet edges, cables, slippery floors such as in the bath or shower. Almost a third of 65-year-olds and half of those over 80 fall at least once a year. A fracture of the neck of the femur is often the result, and every fifth person affected requires nursing care.

4. Eat yogurt and cottage cheese often

These dairy products contain a lot of protein and calcium. “It strengthens their bones and also helps prevent osteoporosis (bone loss). It’s also crucial for muscle building.”

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5. Chop vegetables well

Many seniors have bad teeth and wear dentures. “Large, hard pieces of vegetables can cause problems for them, as their digestion is not optimal,” explains Halle.

6. Eat foods with unsaturated fat

These are found in legumes, nuts and olive oil, for example. “Unsaturated fatty acids counteract the aging of the blood vessels.”

7. A special breakfast combo helps with sluggish bowels and constipation

“It consists of fibers such as flaxseed and dried fruit,” explains Halle. Supplement this combination with 300 milliliters of lukewarm water and eat well chewed every morning.

Healthy gut: 10 types of fruit to avoid

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8. If you have an enlarged prostate, pay particular attention to drinking enough water

Many men with an enlarged prostate are reluctant to drink, especially in the evenings, because they don’t want to go to the toilet as often at night. In addition, the feeling of thirst is often disturbed in many older people.

9. Heed the 1.5 liter rule for the kidneys

“As we age, the kidneys need liquid to be able to maintain their function,” explains Halle. That’s why seniors should drink at least one and a half liters – preferably water with a slice of ginger, a squeeze of lemon or unsweetened tea.

10. Eat a high-protein diet

“Cooking with lots of vegetables is good and healthy, but fish and meat should also be on the plate from time to time,” advises Halle. “Both foods are high in protein. This is an important building block for muscles – and important if you train regularly.”

List of rubrics: © NICKI SCHAEFER


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