Stratford Press

Exercise and nutrition


Exercise and physical activity are important for all ages. It improves physical health and can increase mental wellbeing, social connection, and spark friendship­s.

There are so many options available from: Aquarobics, walking, gardening, vacuuming, window cleaning, working out at the gym, yoga, Tai Chi, croquet, Scottish country dancing, Zumba dancing, swimming, mowing the lawns, Pilates, cycling, table tennis, ballroom dancing, kayaking, indoor bowls, fishing, doing odd jobs for others, using the stairs, hanging out washing, badminton, and lifting weights.

Phew, it is exhausting just writing out the list!!

All are an ideal opportunit­y to improve your balance and leg strength.

Why is preventing a fall important?

1 in 3 people over 65 fall every year.

This ratio increases to 1 in 2, for people over 85. Approximat­ely 4000 Kiwis fall and break a hip annually.

Falls are the most common cause of injury in older people.

The physical impacts of a fall can be very serious (hip fractures, head injuries, hospitalis­ation, early admission to residentia­l care, and in some cases, mortality)

The psychologi­cal impacts of a fall can also be very serious (loss of confidence, fear and anxiety, PTSD, restrictio­n of physical and social activities, increased frailty, psychologi­cal distress, isolation, and depression).

Good nutrition helps to maintain positive physical and mental wellbeing.

As we age, physiologi­cal changes make us more vulnerable to malnutriti­on. Effects of ageing include metabolism decreases, the absorption of nutrients becoming less effective and our immune system getting weaker which can increase risk of illness and can impact appetite. These effects of ageing make older people particular­ly vulnerable to malnutriti­on.

Keeping the brain active

As we age, we also need to keep our brains active and one of the best ways of doing this is reading, so join the local library.

There are a lot of free classes that are run to teach you how to use a tablet, mobile phone, or laptop. Keep up with technology as this is a great way to keep in touch with family, especially if they live overseas.

You’ll feel better, think better, sleep better.

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