Regular exercise keeps the mind and body sharp

Regular exercise keeps the mind and body sharpThere are four core elements of physical activity that you should do often to stay in the best shape. The specific activities and intensity can be adapted to match your health and interests.

  1. Moderate exercise – Walking, golf, cycling etc.  Try to get in hour an hour a day, preferably outside if the weather’s nice.
  2. Strength – This can involve weights and resistance exercise if you’d like, though everyday activities like carrying groceries, climbing stairs, and working in the yard also help you maintain strength.  Look to do strength exercise 2 or 3 times every week.
  3. Flexibility – Take 10 minutes out of your day to stretch, and try yoga or tai chi if you fancy.  Even a social game of bowls helps maintain flexibility.
  4. Balance – Every time you have a couple of spare minutes do exercises which help maintain balance, such as side leg lifts.  Do these near a bench or railing so there’s no risk of falling.

 

Download this guide and learn more about including exercise in your day in a way that’s healthy and fun.

It’s just as important to keep your mind active.  It’s been proven that hobbies are beneficial to your mental wellbeing and reduce cognitive decline, so take time out of your day to do some things that you love.  It could be reading, painting, chess, playing an instrument – anything that is fun and keeps the brain ticking over.  If you’re up for a challenge, download Duolingo and try to learn a new language!

Maintain social connections and get out when you can

Researchers have compared the health affects of social isolation with that of smoking.  We’re social animals and human connection is as important now as when you were younger.

While technology can sometimes be a bit daunting, it presents new ways to stay in touch with the people you love – particularly if you have friends and family that are far away.  A FaceTime with your grandkids or Skype with a long-time friend are great additions to your day.

There are also lots of opportunities to meet new people and try new things.  The Council on the Aging ACT (COTA) has pulled together this great list of groups and activities available to the elderly in our region.

Help is never far away

There are lots of programs and services that you can access to assist your health and wellbeing.

  • Beyond Blue is always there if you need to talk to someone and understand the mental challenges that come as you get older.
  • Health Direct is a credible source of information on all the main conditions which affect older Australians.
  • Preventative Health Checks are available for many serious conditions and allow for early diagnoses and action.
  • The My Aged Care program is in place to help you make the progression into care services when you’re ready.
  • The Groundswell Project is an independent organisation set up to help Australians prepare for the end of life, and to help us all get better at starting difficult conversations related to death.

 

And of course, you can speak with your doctor at any time – including over the phone with telehealth if you’re not able to get to the clinic.

We’re here to help

Our team of GPs and allied health professionals are available whenever you need, for check-ups, health checks, mental health support and much more.

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