Tips for healthy ageing – for mind and body
As life expectancy continues to increase, we need to rethink how we prepare both our mind and body to go the distance in the best possible shape. Retirement today isn’t what it used to be. For one thing, we tend to work longer, retire later, adopt the latest technology and even participate in the growing gig economy.
While some may be happy to put their feet up, many more seniors are still hungry for new experiences, stimulation and meaningful connections. Switched on seniors are feeling the positive effects of staying socially, mentally and physically active well into their 60s, 70s and 80s. After all, now is the perfect time to pursue personal passions such as art, theatre, music and sport – even if only as a spectator.
Live your life – but live it the right way
For seniors who are starting to feel their ‘age’, it’s never too late to rebuild confidence and to take action to slow down the aging process. Acting now to restore health and vitality can help make everyday tasks a little easier, allowing you to live an independent life for longer. It’s true what they say – ‘use it or lose it’ – and that goes for your mind and your body. But where do you start?
As with most things in life, finding a group to support you means that you will be more likely to commit to your goals. There are many healthy lifestyle programs designed specifically to maintain the wellbeing of seniors – social get-togethers, exercise groups and special interest groups are a great place to start. Feros Care offers a diverse range of wellbeing programs to help you live a brighter, better, bolder life. The programs range from exercise sessions to nutritional advice, and as they are often subsidised by the Department of Health, they are as little as $5 a session.
How to keep your physical an mental health as time goes on
The possibility of a healthy retirement is ultimately up to you, but you have to ‘walk the talk’ and commit to doing something positive every day.
Keep the brain synapses firing by challenging yourself with puzzles, crosswords, reading, learning a new language or enrolling in a course. There are great brain training games available online and Feros Care’s Virtual Senior Centre lets you tap into live discussion sessions, book clubs, challenging games and talks by guest speakers.
Diet and Nutrition
When you are tired or if you’re cooking for one, it’s easy to resort to toast and soup. But each week you need a healthy balance of fruit, vegetables, legumes, fish, lean meat, wholegrains, nuts, dairy and good oils. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to increase longevity and includes all of the above foods in moderation. Our Eat Well Live Well program provides access to six in-home sessions with a dietician to discuss nutrition, recipe advice, tips and short cuts.
No Excuse Exercise
Unfortunately, our neighbourhoods are not always people friendly, so attending an exercise group can be the answer – especially when you are just starting out. Swimming and aqua programs are great non-weight bearing activities which can get joints moving and improve fitness. Other good options are walking, balance classes, yoga for seniors, tai chi (or tai chair!), dancing and gardening. Feros Care group classes are a good way to exercise and meet new people.
Worldwide studies have shown that strong social connections are linked to better overall physical and mental health as we age. Establishing and maintaining a supportive, stimulating and diverse social network can add another dimension to retirement. Look for groups that appeal to your interests such as movie societies, gardening groups, men’s shed, group exercise classes or volunteer organisations. Plus if you have a curious mind but have trouble getting about, there are social transport services to help. You’ll also find a number of interesting virtual groups at our Virtual Senior Centre.
Annual Health Checks
Prevention is always better than a cure, so maintain your annual checks including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, heart function, eye and hearing tests, weight (loss or gain) and cancer screening. Plus ditch the bad habits, don’t smoke and only enjoy alcohol in moderation. You can exercise the brain and remain educated on your health by signing up for our free 12-week Staying Healthy Living Well program.
With a range of group and one-on-one wellbeing sessions to help you find your feet, you have no excuse not to age well. So find out more about the diverse range of affordable Feros Care Wellbeing Programs. All programs are run by experienced physiotherapists, exercise physiologists and dieticians, so they can be professionally tailored to suit individual mobility and fitness levels.
Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine or diet regime.