Tips for maintaining Physical and mental health

The Body:
As we age our bodies change, our metabolism slows down and muscle is replaced by fat, so portion sizes are key to maintaining a healthy weight. Choose lean meats, fish high in omega 3 fatty acids, fresh fruit and vegies, nuts, seeds, legumes and low fat dairy products. Our bones become more brittle so calcium and vitamin D is vital to prevent Osteoporosis and just because we choose low fat dairy products it doesn’t mean we are getting less calcium, in fact many low fat milks contain a little more calcium than regular milk. Choose a calcium fortified cereal as a breakfast option which is high in both calcium and vitamin D.
Eating the right food, getting enough rest and regular physical activity are keys for good health and fighting fatigue. Experts recommend 30 minutes a day of exercise most days of the week, so what types of activities are suited to you? What about a “walking group with friends and neighbours”,gardening, dancing, swimming, water aerobics or Tai Chi.

Here are a few other ideas that you may like.

Tree Top Walks:
Australia boasts some of the most amazing rainforests in the world and Tree top walks are a great way to preserve the natural habitat while experiencing the beauty of the rainforests from above. Tree top walks are constructed using steel cable spans and suspension bridges high above the rainforest floor. This means there is minimal impact on the forest and helps maintain environmental sustainability. There are numerous walks across Australia you can explore designed for all ages and mobility.  Here are a few:

  • Otway Fly Tree Top Walk, Victoria
  • Valley of the Giants, Western Australia
  • Illawarra Fly, New South Wales
  • Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, Queensland

Zumba is an aerobic fitness programme featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance and performed primarily to Latin American dance music. It is loads of fun and a great way to workout with your friends. Zumba is very popular here in Australia and there are specifically designed classes catering for all ages and abilities.

Zumba Gold:
Perfect for: Active older adults who are looking for a modified Zumba class that recreates the original moves you love at a lower-intensity.
How It Works: The design of the class introduces easy-to-follow Zumba choreography that focuses on balance, range of motion and coordination. Come ready to sweat, and prepare to leave empowered and feeling strong.
Benefits: Class focuses on all elements of fitness: cardiovascular, muscular conditioning, flexibility and balance.

Staying and active and healthy is easy with so many different options out there. Check your local area for Fitness groups for over fifties like this one and get moving.

The Brain:
We know that exercise is good for our bodies, but it is just as important to exercise our brain. There's a lot you can do to keep your mind sharp and alert. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day delivers an oxygen boost to the brain. The brain is like a muscle if you don't give it regular workouts, its functions will decline. Researchers have found memory loss can be improved by 30- 50% simply by doing mental exercises.

Here are a few brainy ideas:
  • Play brain and mind games like Sudoku, Scrabble, crossword puzzles, trivia, chess, cards, Bingo and jigsaw puzzles. 
  • Start a new hobby and learn something new, like, painting or cupcake decorating. 
  • Watch 'question and answer' game shows on television, and play along. 

Jigsaw Puzzles
I can’t walk past an unfinished jigsaw puzzle without getting drawn in. I love the challenge of finding the right missing piece, it is addictive and a lot of fun. There are so many different jigsaws to choose from, designed with all ages and abilities in mind. There are even 3D puzzles that look very impressive. It is also very handy to have a jigsaw mat that rolls up and packs away with your puzzle still intact.                                                

Cupcake Decorating
The humble cupcake has come a long way and cake decorating has become very popular .It seems if you can imagine it, you can create it. From beautiful blossoms to crazy monsters, cupcakes are being transformed into edible art. Maybe this could become your new hobby?

You can pick up cupcake decorating kits at department stores, I found this Wilton 12 piece kit from my local Spotlight store.

If you think you may need a little more guidance, why not find a cooking class near you, I found the Classic Cupcake Co. in Mosman, where you can take a 2 hour class and learn how to create Buttercream Flower Cupcakes, sounds delicious!!!

So I hope I have given you some useful tips and fun new ideas to keep you fit and fabulous.

Till next time, Julie