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Staying Active-Health Benefits

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

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. Do you:

  • 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?

Are you:

  • 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?

If you answered no to any of these questions, or would just like some more information about making positive choices, you can look through the Choose Health: Be Active booklet, a physical activity guide for older Australians. for some great ideas and resources

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