Think being fit and active is something reserved for the young? The reality is, keeping moving and remaining active becomes even more important as we age. It’s proven to not only reduce your risk of disease, including some cancers, but can help you stay in a healthy weight range, sleep better, reduce the risk of falls, and even improve your mental health.
Over 50s wellness and fitness
According to the Australian Government, people aged 65 years and older should do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days, preferably every day, as a baseline. Do more than this, and you’re looking to gain even more benefits.
If you’re just starting out or thinking of picking up a new type of exercise, it’s important to have a chat with your doctor about the best activity for your personal circumstances, and get clearance for your chosen activity.
Ready to step up your wellness? Here’s how to incorporate more physical activity into your days and keep yourself moving:
Just start somewhere
For some people, moving their body regularly will already form part of their daily routine. For others it will be something entirely new. Particularly as you get older, and more so if you’re overweight or have health issues, it can be difficult to start out, and even more difficult to stay motivated to keep going. But everyone has to start somewhere, and any movement you do, no matter how tiny, is literally a step in the right direction.
Start by just setting aside 10 minutes a day to do something active. At the very least, start with trying to minimise the amount of time you spend sitting down. If you typically spend long periods of time sitting, break it up with a walk every so often, whether it’s around the lounge room, or out to the courtyard, or even around the block. Even just standing up out of your chair and sitting back down again a few times is a great start.
Get physical and mix up your activities
What do you think of when you hear the word fitness? Working out in a gym? Going for a run or walk? Getting active can actually look like a whole range of things. The most important thing for each person is to find something you enjoy doing, because then you’re more likely to keep doing it. Keeping active for you could be anything from doing yard work or gardening, swimming, playing golf, cycling, or just trying to keep up with the grandkids.
AVA Communities lifestyle villages are designed with wellness in mind, with exclusive health facilities right on your doorstep, plus beautiful areas to walk or cycle. You could pop by for a few laps in the heated pool, workout in the wellness centre, or try aqua aerobics, bowls, Zumba, yoga, pilates, or Tai Chi.
Another way to increase your activity levels is to walk somewhere that you would usually drive. If you do have to drive, if it’s safe to do so, park a little further away and walk the remainder of the distance there and back to your car to increase your step count.
Get into the habit
Sometimes, making time to be physically active may have been something you incorporated around your working hours, and if you’re now retired, this may have fallen to the wayside. One of the best ways to ensure you keep active regularly is to make it part of your new routine.
If you regularly catch up with a neighbour, go for a walk together instead, perhaps even to a local cafe for a coffee. At AVA Communities, you can join the bowling competition or a fitness class, so you have a regular and enjoyable excuse to get moving, and socialise while you’re at it. AVA Communities are also pet-friendly, and taking your pooch for a walk every day is an enjoyable and healthy routine to get into.
Looking for over 50s lifestyle living? The AVA Communities lifestyle villages at Geelong and Yarrawonga are designed to support over 50s wellness, and make it easier for you to find ways to move your body and stay healthy. Click here to find out more.