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The age of prevention. Seniors festival - March 2024.

This week is Seniors Week! For most of us, healthy ageing is the goal – a way of maintaining our independence and taking care of our physical, mental, and cognitive health. But how do we get there?


Let’s focus on physical health. There has been a huge amount of research that has gone into ways of preserving our physical health, with the common denominators being:

  • Staying physically active and reducing sedentary time

  • Making healthy food choices

  • Getting adequate sleep

  • Reducing alcohol consumption

  • Proactively managing your health care through regular GP appointments

elderly seniors exercising with weights

Making good food choices is important to support our overall health throughout life. As we age, our nutritional needs do evolve a little. A decrease in appetite, fatigue and physiological changes can make deficiencies and unintentional weight loss quite common.


From menopause onwards, eating more calcium (by eating 4 serves of dairy a day for example) is key to maintain bone health and prevent osteoporosis.


Eating protein at every meal and exercising regularly is also crucial for preserving our muscle mass - which in turn reduces the risk of falls & disease.


If you would like to optimise your diet for healthy ageing, or if you are experiencing symptoms such as (unintentional) weight loss, fatigue, loss in muscle mass, reduced appetite or changes in bowel movement… Book in your initial session with our dietitian to get personalised nutrition recommendations.



Along with diet, exercise for healthy ageing is vital - having the potential to reduce risk of many health issues, falls, mental health issues, and improve overall quality of life. A study of adults 40 and older found that taking 8,000 steps or more per day, compared to only taking 4,000 steps, was associated with a 51% lower risk of death from all causes – that is a huge outcome!!


For people aged 65 years and over, it is recommended to complete at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days. This can include a variety of different exercises, and I think it is important to ensure you are doing something you enjoy. If you enjoy it, it becomes easier to implement into your life on a regular basis. This could include walking, swimming, cycling, attending a class, dance, aerobics, tennis, golf – the list goes on!

an elderly lady celebrates her 100th birthday

Included within this exercise should be at least 2, non-consecutive days, of strength and balance training. This is a vital part as it assists in working towards falls prevention and assisting our bone health, to reduce the formation or progression of osteoporosis. It is also important in maintaining overall strength and muscle mass, so you can continue completing activities of daily living (ADL’S), therefore allowing you to maintain your independence and overall quality of life.


Here is an example session – try this at home.


  1. Sit to stand x 8-10 repetitions

  2. Tandem balance (next to wall) 10-20s+ on each leg

  3. Wall push up x 8-10 repetitions

  4. Seated knee marching x 10

  5. Calf raises x 8-10 repetitions (holding wall)


While exercising is one of the most important tasks to do as we age, it is important to ensure you are doing it in a safe environment, and the exercises are catered to you, your current level, and any health conditions you have. This reduces the risk of injury, but also ensures the exercises are targeted towards you specifically and the goals you want to focus on. That is where we come in! Book in your initial session with one of our exercise physiologist, and we can get you and individualised program to get you started on your health ageing journey.


National Institute on Ageing (NIA), 2022. What Do We Know About Healthy Aging? NIA, 2022.

Department of Health and Aged Care (DHAC), 2021. Physical activity and exercise guidelines for all Australians - for older Australians (65 years and over) Australian Government, 2021.

National Health Service (NHS), 2021. Physical activity guidelines for older adults. © Crown copyright, 2021.



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