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Tips to staying fit as you age

Keeping ourselves active as we age is key for maintaining overall health and wellbeing - your body, mind and spirit.

To maximise your abilities and reap the benefits, it's recommended to engage in a variety of physical activities, including aerobic, resistance, flexibility, and balance exercises.

It's important to spend less time sitting and more time engaging in daily physical activities, such as walking to the store, vacuuming, gardening, and washing the car. Even low levels of physical activity can be beneficial, so it's better to do something rather than nothing.

For aerobic activity, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on five days each week. Activities that increase heart rate and breathing include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, and dancing. For even greater health benefits and weight loss, increase the duration to 60 minutes on five days each week.

It's also important to engage in three sessions of flexibility and balance exercises and two sessions of resistance exercises each week. Examples of resistance exercises include weight training, carrying shopping bags, and standing up and sitting down repeatedly. Flexibility exercises include modified tai chi, stretching, yoga, and gardening. You can find a list of strength and balance classes in your region via the Live Stronger for Longer website.

Before starting or increasing physical activity, consult with a healthcare provider. It's also important to start slowly and gradually build up to the recommended daily activity levels.

For more recommendations about physical activity for older people, see the Ministry of Health website

Updated: 11 Jun 2024
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