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The secret to staying on top of your health in your 60s

Despite what we often think, your health doesn’t necessarily head downhill in your 60s. Our experts provide tips to help you optimise your health in the “retirement” decade.

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A lifetime of healthy habits can really pay off in your 60s as your work and parenting responsibilities scale back, leaving you with more “you” time.

In fact, your 60s can be an incredibly liberating decade – a period of reconnection and reinvention.

And while your body will certainly be changing, you can still stay on top of your health and wellbeing so you remain happy and strong.

These are some simple, expert-backed tips to help you enjoy your swinging 60s to the fullest. 

Stay the course and keep screening

According to Dr Fiona Jane, Specialist Women’s Health GP at Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, the basic recipe for better health stays the same throughout your 40s, 50s and 60s:

  • Find a GP you can trust and allow them to really get to know you.

  • Always get information from reliable sources.
  • Eat a balanced diet, with lots of plants and good fats.

  • Aim for 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise a day, including two sessions of resistance training a week.

  • Try to get seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night.

  • Monitor your mental health.

  • Stay up to date with screening tests and get annual check-ups, even if you feel well. 

If you’re at risk of chronic conditions like osteoporosis or diabetes, regular testing and check-ups can help to catch them early – which means you can take steps to minimise their impact over time. 

“Sometimes you feel like you've done all of the right things and you still might have slightly high cholesterol or your blood pressure might be a little high,” says Alexandra Warhurst, an accredited practising dietitian and health coach for HealthierMe™, a program run by Australian Unity partner Remedy Healthcare. “And that’s okay – just do your best to manage them. 

“The more you can stay on top of it – whether that’s by taking your medications, seeing your GP, exercising or eating well – the better managed that condition will be, and the more you can stop it from progressing.”

What to test, check and screen for

These are some of the specific tests and check-ups Alexandra recommends you should get in your 60s to stay on top of common conditions:

  • Hearing tests 

  • Heart-disease risk assessment 

  • Blood pressure tests 

  • Mammograms 

  • Prostate checks 

  • Bowel-cancer screening 

  • Eye tests 

  • Blood-glucose and cholesterol checks 

  • Cervical screening 

  • Skin-cancer checks. 

“The new one for anyone over the age of 65 is a falls risk assessment,” she adds, “and there are a few new vaccinations to be aware of – for example, the shingles vaccine. 

“Also, although a bone density scan is not recommended until you’re 70, if you’ve got other risk factors then your GP might suggest that you get it a little bit earlier.”

Preparing for the future

Having a good idea of what your future health needs might look like allows you to better understand what health care support you might need. Private health insurance can help you plan for and manage the cost of unexpected or planned treatment.

Hospital cover can help to cover all or some of the costs of hospital treatment as a private patient (in both public and private hospitals) including doctor’s charges and hospital accommodation.

Extras insurance covers treatments and services generally not available under Medicare, including dental, optical, physiotherapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture, helping you to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

A proactive approach

The take-home message here is that a proactive approach to your health and wellbeing can set you up for your best life.

With some small changes and a proactive approach to self-care, your 60s can be some of the best years of your life. Enjoy!

Want to find out more about Australian Unity health insurance? Get a quick quote online today or call 1800 224 244

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No matter your age, it’s important to ensure you have age-appropriate health cover. Here, we discuss what to look for when considering health insurance as you age.

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