We are often told that the secret to ageing well is staying active. But what does that mean and what happens when the body just won’t do what we want it to do?
Thankfully it is not just about getting physical. Sparking our minds, sense of adventure, social life and work-life are also important.
As Coco Chanel probably said “the best things in life are free”, so ageing well doesn’t have to break the budget.
Governments are realising that an active senior is probably a happy senior and less likely to need taxpayer funded support so most state and local government websites have good resources for accessing groups, organisations and ideas for staying active. The South Australian government Staying Active website is a good example, and would you believe even has a map of where to find public toilets across Australia!
Getting the body going is important of course. Choose activities you find interesting so it’s fun rather than a chore. Why not join a walking, running or exercise group or form one yourself?
- Safe, easy and comfortable forms of exercise include walking, swimming and cycling.
- Weight training can increase your muscle mass.
- Start off slowly and aim for small improvements. Keep track of your progress in a training diary for added motivation.
- Don’t overdo it.
- Drink water regularly.
- For people with chronic illnesses it is best to consult your doctor, physiotherapist or health care professional to devise a suitable exercise program.
Some of the happiest people are those who explore volunteering with a community organisations, and who join clubs and take up hobbies.
Short courses and the state-based University of the Third Age are great learning options or if you just want to self-direct learn then your local librarian is probably not far away.
Also, mature workers have a wealth of work and life experience and skills to offer that should not be overlooked. If you are looking for work, there is a range of resources and organisations available to support you.
Here is a bit of fun and the chance to learn about enjoying the mature life more. See how well prepared you are by taking the survey at https://www.lifechecks.gov.au/