- maintaining a balanced diet. This is important for a healthy body and healthy brain
- doing regular physical activity. This is essential for your body and mind. Regular physical activity builds muscle and helps to control weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, pain, as well as bone and joint problems such as osteoporosis and arthritis. It can also reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and help prevent falls and injury See COTA Events program
- actively participating socially and engaging with others. This contributes to your overall health and wellbeing by strengthening your sense of belonging and creating social relationships. See Volunteering for COTA.
The importance of staying active
Staying physically active is the most important thing older adults can do to stay fit and independent. Research shows that health can be improved and the risk of falling reduced by doing moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week, and by incorporating balance and leg strength exercises into the daily routine.
Just 30 minutes of physical activity a day can help you to:
- Stay socially connected
- Remain independent
- Improve balance and prevent falls
- Feel happier and more relaxed
- Prevent or control chronic conditions, like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease
- Maintain strong muscles and bones
- Keep your brain active and improve memory.
What types of physical activity should I do?
It is important to remain active as you age. For active ageing you should try to do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most, preferably all, days to help keep your heart, lungs, muscles and bones working well. It’s a good idea to do a range of activities that help with fitness, strength, flexibility and balance.
For more ideas, download a copy of the Choose Health Be Active brochure from the Department of Health website.
Limited copies of this brochure are still available from COTA at Spillett House. Please phone 8941 1004 to check there is still a copy of the brochure available (or staff available to supply you with a download) before you visit.
Are you doing enough?
Making active lifestyle choices will have a positive impact on your physical, social and mental well-being. The questions below will help you assess your current situation.
- Keep active in as many ways as you can? e.g. walk or cycle instead of driving, choose the stairs instead of using a lift
- Participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all days? e.g. brisk walking, dig in the garden, mow the lawn
- Include a wide variety of nutritious foods in your diet? e.g. 2 fruit and 5 veg daily
- Make healthy eating choices? e.g. a diet low in saturated fats, salt and sugar, adequate amounts of water and/or other fluid, limited alcohol intake
- Have an annual medical check up with your doctor?
- Successfully managing a known chronic health condition? e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis
- Involved in lifelong learning? e.g. new skill development, new language, crosswords, puzzles
- Regularly engaged in a social network of friends, family and community? e.g. service clubs, interest groups, hobbies
- Maintaining an interest and pleasure in most of your usual activities?
- Maintaining a positive attitude to getting older?
Source: Active Ageing Australia