Healthy ageing refers to staying active, eating well, getting plenty of sleep, staying socially active and managing medical conditions. The key to healthy ageing is the promotion of good health and prevention of illness, as well as the effective management of those illnesses that do occur.
Maintaining good health, as an older person is an important factor in being able to have good quality of life, stay independent and participate fully in the community.
What can you do?
Increase your physical activity. The physiological changes that occur with ageing are similar to those associated with disuse, and there is evidence that regular participation in physical activity minimises age-related declines in aerobic fitness and reduces the risk of many chronic diseases. Try to aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. You should complete a variety of exercises that involve balance and walking, strength, flexibility and cardiorespiratory activity. Go for a gentle/brisk walk, try some tai chi or yoga. If you have been inactive for some time, talk to your Doctor to obtain specific advice before engaging in physical activity
Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. This improves your health and also reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, related factors (excess weight, high blood pressure and high cholesterol), diabetes, bowel cancer, breast cancer and mental health issues. Attend a medical review at least once a year.
Increase mental activity. Evidence shows that mental activity and the accumulation of knowledge in early life are key factors for healthy ageing, through the prevention or delay of cognitive decline and of consequent disability in later life.
Stay socially connected to your family and friends, and involved in the community. This will assist you to maintain your mental health and social support is valuable in motivating activity and enjoyment.
Help and Resources
- Get Active Gateway – 1300 656 951
- 60 and Better Program – 1300 132 654
- Aging with vitality: Your everyday guide to healthy active living
- Nutrition Australia – QLD 07 3357 4593, NSW 02 4257 9011
- Choose Health: Be Active a physical activity guide for older Australians –