Living Gems

3 Healthy Diet and Exercise Tips for Seniors

As you get older, it’s important to ensure you’re incorporating a healthy diet and exercise plan into your daily routine. By eating well and staying active, you’re not only taking care of your body, but you’re also looking after your mind.

Make healthy food choices

Eating a well-balanced diet provides you with the nutrients and energy you need to embrace life and live it to the fullest. It also helps you stay strong and keep illness at bay.

So what should Over 50s aim to eat each day to stay fit and healthy? The Australia Dietary Guidelines advises to:

  • Eat a variety of fresh foods, including plenty of fruit and vegetables (aim for 5 servings per day), legumes, wholegrains, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy.
  • Drink six to eight cups of water every day.
  • Limit foods that are high in saturated fat. We’re looking at you cake, biscuits, pies, burgers, pizzas and chips! Put these on your ‘sometimes’ food list.
  • Swap out foods that contain mostly saturated fat such as butter, cream and margarine… with foods that contain mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, nut butters and avocado.
  • Limit foods and drinks that contain added sugar and/or added salt.
  • Limit alcohol (stick to no more than two standard drinks per day)

Add more movement into your day

Exercising as you get older can become difficult. We generally slow down as we age and become more sedentary. This could be due to health issues, pain or worries about falling.

But did you know that physical activity can help add extra years to your life? It also helps boost energy, protects your heart and clears your mind. Yes, it’s never been more important to maintain a healthy level of fitness. 

The good news is you don’t need to head out and sign up for a new gym membership. There are plenty of ways to exercise, including low impact activities that you can begin today. 

Here are some ideas to get started:

  • A 30 minute walk – why not do a few laps around the resort?
  • Swimming – good for your heart and easy on your joints
  • Yoga and tai chi – will help improve your balance, flexibility and mobility
  • Strength training – think sit ups, squats, and dumbbell workouts
  • Cycling, rowing and dancing – great for your cardio!
  • Tennis, lawn bowls and pickleball – the perfect social activity

How to stick to your healthy diet and exercise plan

Ahhh, this is the tricky bit! Here are few tips to help you achieve your diet and exercise goals:

  • Create a menu plan at the beginning of each week
  • Do one big shop and only buy the groceries you need
  • Replace not-so-good-for-you foods with healthy ones
  • Listen to music, an audiobook or podcast while you exercise
  • Invite friends to walk, swim or do a fitness class with you
  • Up the ante with a competitive game or two
  • Take your dog for daily walk

Now, over to you! It’s easy to start by incorporating one small thing into your daily routine. Then build on your healthy choices from there. Also, be sure to check with your doctor before you begin any new exercise routine.