Healthy Ageing

Top Tips For Healthy Ageing
The National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre

How to live a long and healthy life is an age-old question. The National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre has some practical tips for living well. Healthy ageing has been studied widely by researchers and discussed by many, and with all the theories floating around, it’s easy to get confused about what we should be doing to age more healthily.

Michael O’Neill, Chief Executive of over-50s lobby group, National Seniors, says there are many things seniors can do to improve their health as they age.

“Eating healthy, exercise and active living are important at every stage of life but there are also specific things we need to do as we get older,” Michael O’Neill said.

“Retaining independence, maintaining social connections in our communities and stimulating our minds become just as vitally important.”

Here are National Seniors’ top 10 tips for ageing well:

1. Physical Activity
Do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity each day, include various types of exercise (strength / power training, balance, mobility and cardiorespiratory activities and flexibility).

2. Balance & Falls
If you have concerns about your balance or have fallen, investigate the cause; talk to your doctor.

3. Smoking & Alcohol Use
Quit smoking now and use alcohol wisely (no more than two standard drinks), for older people it may be preferable to drink less or no alcohol.

4. Weight
Keep your weight within the healthy range for your height; know your Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist measurement; exercise and a healthy diet are important.

5. Diet
Aim to eat three meals each day (or more frequent smaller meals); ensure your diet meets the guidelines for healthy eating and drink enough water to keep you hydrated.

6. Chronic Conditions & Medical Care
Learn all you can about your chronic condition -what helps the condition and what makes it worse – and your medication; have a general check-up each year.

7. Sleep
Investigate the causes of sleep problems and address them; limit the use of sleeping tablets; establish regular sleep hours and a routine.

8. Stimulating Your Mind
Keep your mind active (e.g. learn a new skill, take up a new hobby, do a short course, read, write, do crossword puzzles, learn to play a musical instrument or a foreign language); see a doctor if you have concerns about your memory.

9. Social Connections & Productive Engagement
Do things that make you happy and are worthwhile to you; develop and nurture your relationships with family and friends; get involved in group activities and volunteering; if lonely, isolated or have persistent symptoms of low moods talk to someone (e.g. family, friend, doctor, social worker, a psychologist).

10. Optimism and Adaptability
Keep a positive attitude and an open mind to opportunities that come your way; plan your retirement activities as well as your finances; look at what you can do and not what you can no longer do.

Website – National Seniors Australia