We all age, it is a part of life. Ageing affects us in all different ways. Some people fight against the slower pace and changes that come with ageing while others really embrace it. However you look at it, ageing is inevitable and what's more important is that we put our overall health first and make sure we can enjoy what we love doing for as long as we can.
Physical activity and exercise are a really important part in healthy ageing. Exercise is proven to be a great way of reducing your risk of developing health issues or managing existing health issues. Exercise or physical activity can improve sleep, brain function, strength, mental health and energy levels, meanwhile reducing your risk of falling, stress and anxiety.
One of the main excuses we hear in the clinic is that you don't have time, so why not incorporate physical activity into your day by walking somewhere instead of driving and catching up with your friend while walking instead of coffee.
It is recommended that Australians over the age of 65 years participate in 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most but preferably all days of the week. If you think 30 minutes is too long, start smaller and work up to 30 minutes, but bottom line is you want to get moving.
Some is better than none, but more is better.
It is easy to lose contact with friends and family as we age but it is important to stay connected. Feeling lonely or isolated is found to increase your risk of stress, anxiety and depression and we all know this negatively affects your health. If COVID-19 and lock downs are anything to go by we can stay connected no matter what. So pick up the phone, organise a coffee, set up a zoom chat or go for a walk with your friend.
Challenge your mind
Keeping your mind active and challenging it is important to keep functioning the best you can. Believe it or not your brain is similar to your body in that if you don't use it you lose it. So to keep your brain busy you can try reading new books, learning new things, online brain challenges or the crossword puzzle in the paper.
Sleep is the time where your body is recovering and repairing and is vital for your body to feel good and stay free from injury. It is suggested that around 7-9 hours sleep is a great amount for your body to rest and improves your health outcomes.
Eating well and fuelling your body with the right nutrients is vital in ensuring your body can function optimally and age healthily. Try to avoid food with high amounts of saturated fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates and try to incorporate plenty of vegetables and wholegrain and organic foods.
At the end of the day it is all about a well rounded holistic approach to your health. It is important to stay active, find things to do you enjoy and ensure you have a good social connection around you.
If you need any further tips to your current situation our Exercise Physiologists would be happy to speak to help move you towards healthy aging.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist