Quotes about ageing have been around forever, and surely, you’ve heard a lot of them including ‘in your time.’ But it was the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw who said it best when he quipped: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.”
There is a lot of truth in what the gentleman said. People have this misconception that once they reach a certain age, they should start slowing down. To take a breather, to stop and smell the roses. If you pay heed to this advice, chances are people will be bringing you roses and laying them at your grave.
No, this is not meant to scare you, but rather, to motivate you. The science of ageing is out – we are only as old as we allow ourselves to be. And while the physical fountain of youth has yet to be found, there is one such fountain within reach of all of us – it is in our minds.
It is interesting to note that while the older adults population in Australia is projected to nearly double from 3.8 million in 2017 to around 6.7 million in 2042, the level of participation in physical activity remains low with only one in three people from 65 years and above meeting the physical guidelines.
How can I be healthy and active at 60?
Ageing is not an excuse to sit idly by and watch the world pass you. Of course, you can slow down some – maybe no more late night-outs binge partying. But you do need to get engaged with the life you still have around you.
Rough rugby may be out, but outback hiking is definitely in. A season of preparation for the ultimate marathon may be too much to handle at this point, but not jogging three laps around the local running track. How about shooting a few hoops every day? Or joining the neighborhood Zumba. You get the idea.
Aged Care Exercise Benefits When You’re in Your 60s
You’ve heard it countless times by now, probably from your doctor. The more you exercise, the better you feel! You get more energy; you’re in a better mood. You sleep the sleep of the righteous. Your mind is sharper, and your body slows down the ageing process.
When you’ve spent decades of your life working or running a business, your body has grown accustomed to doing something regularly. The morning rituals of getting up in the morning to prepare for work and running a business, a full day moving about in the office, going to meetings, dinners out with colleagues, clients, and friends—these are things your body will miss when you hit that milestone age of 60.
For a lot of our elders, 60 means full stop. But the truth is you must keep going. Because hitting 60 is when your life truly begins.
How can I improve my lifestyle after 60: 5 steps to take
1. The first step – see your doctor
Regular health checks are vital in helping identify potential health issues. Your doctor will discuss with you your medical history, your family’s history of disease, and your lifestyle.
2. Take it slowly but surely
Starting slowly may help make it less likely to incur an injury and prevent excessive muscle soreness after exercise. An injury will stall your progress and inhibit you from participating in physical activities while too much muscle soreness can dissuade you from exercising.
3. Pick your potion
Making a lifestyle change can be challenging and choosing a physical activity you really enjoy can make the process of exercising regularly easier. If you enjoy being in a group, joining an exercise class can be motivating. Outdoorsy type? Take up hiking or trail running. There is no such thing as a one-exercise-plan-that-fits-all and talking to an Exercise Physiologist can help you sort out what activities are appropriate to your health condition, goals, and needs.
4. Set goals and keep track of your progress
Having a goal can help you commit to regular exercise and work towards meeting your health objective. Breaking down a big goal into smaller ones can make them more achievable, setting you up for success. On the other hand, keeping track of your progress can help encourage you to sustain your physical activity over the long haul – an important criterion in meeting your goal and keeping yourself healthy for life.
5. Pay attention to nutrition and hydration
As per the Australian Dietary guidelines, it is advised that you should eat a variety of foods from the five food groups – vegetables, fruits, grains, lean protein, and milk, cheese, or their low-fat alternatives. Drink 6-8 cups of fluid daily.
What foods to avoid after 60? Limited intake of foods high in saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. Limit your alcohol intake to two drinks a day. Last but not least, minimise the intake of occasional treats such as pizzas, burgers, cakes, and other high-fat, high-sugar foods.
A Final Word at 60
Sixty is a goal for a lot of people, and if you’ve made it this far, it means you’ve been making a lot of good, sound decisions all your life. The trick is to make a better decision regarding your health. This choice to exercise would be a deciding factor in how you will enjoy retirement. It may be travelling, picking up a new hobby, or just watching your grandchildren grow and making memories with them.
The five tips outlined above can help jumpstart your lifestyle to be healthier and happier. Should you, however, require professional help on advice regarding exercise and nutrition, we highly recommend that you talk to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (EP). Your EP can help track your progress and give you expert and personalised advice about exercise plans, remedial massage services, and safe and effective acupuncture.
Call 1300 090 931 or click this link to book an appointment today.