7 daily habits to stay healthy after 60

You may not be able to reverse the ageing process, but you can make choices today that will help you improve and maintain your health for a better quality of life as you age.

You want to be able to continue doing all the things you normally do around the house including the gardening, the laundry, reaching the top shelves of the pantry or even using the ladder for home maintenance when you need. Together we can create a home care plan which supports you to maintain good physical and mental health so that life at home as the years go by is the best it can be.

Here are seven simple daily habits to help you improve your health. Start today, and in a few weeks you will see and feel the difference.

1. Ensure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet

This study found a 33 per cent reduction in fractures across 7195 people in aged care when an additional serving of dairy was added to their daily meals. It also found a 46 per cent reduction in hip fractures, and an 11 per cent reduction in falls. Yoghurt, cheese and milk are excellent natural sources of calcium that the body readily absorbs. We help our home care clients with shopping and food preparation, and we can discuss your nutritional needs to ensure an adequate amount of calcium rich foods are available in your fridge.

2. Have a regular massage

A massage stimulates circulation, reduces muscle tension, improves the recovery of injuries, reduces aches and pains and increases joint mobility and flexibility. The benefits aren’t just physical, a good massage is wonderful for your mental and emotional wellbeing too. Talk to your home care coordinator to arrange regular massage therapy through your home care package.

3. Drink enough water

A healthy adult needs around 35ml of water each day per kilogram of body weight. Therefore if you weigh 70 kgs, that’s about ten glasses of water per day. Water is essential for good health. Always consult your doctor if you are on any fluid restrictions. A good habit to begin is to keep a water bottle with you and sip regularly throughout the day.

4. A little sun exposure every day is good for your bones and skin

Short periods of sun exposure are very important for vitamin D production, immunity, and an elevated mood. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for healthy bones and skin. Research shows that areas such as arms become thin and less effective at synthesising vitamin D with age, so it’s even more important to have regular sun exposure as you get older, especially in areas such as the tummy or upper thighs which are less frequently exposed to the sun. Let’s take a stand against ageism and crack out the bikini and get down to the beach! Remember to limit your direct sun exposure to fifteen minutes and wear sunscreen if you anticipate being in the sun longer than that. St Louis home care social programs include walks in the sunshine and other outdoor events. Or you may prefer one on one walks with your carer or physiotherapist.

Related article: Walk toward better health with your Home Care Package and make new friends too

5. Spend time in nature

Being in nature calms the senses and reduces stress, helping you feel better emotionally. There are also many physical benefits including reduction in blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems including anxiety and depression. Studies also show that just watching nature videos can increase positive emotions. Even a fifteen minute walk in the local park is helpful. In the summer, you may prefer to head out in the morning or evening when its cooler. Chat with your home care coordinator about how you can incorporate time out in nature as part of your home care plan.

6. Gentle exercise

Gentle exercise to develop strength and flexibility is essential for you to maintain balance as you get older. We run hydrotherapy classes and chair-based exercises classes for this very purpose. Our home care clients love them, not only are they exercising their bodies, they are meeting new people, developing social connections and generally enjoying the whole experience.

Read more about our classes below:

Related article: Chair exercises are back for 2021 at St Louis Aged Care!

Related article: Make the SPLASH into home care support with hydrotherapy classes

7. Consistency is key

Your body does not care if you were once an elite athlete because it has a relatively short-term memory. When it comes to your strength, balance, and endurance, your body only remembers what it was exposed to in the last six months, or even six weeks. Consistent exercise no matter how minor is far more important for your health than sporadic physical activity, which often increases pain and soreness. Your home care physiotherapist will help you develop an exercise program which suits your lifestyle and your physical ability to help you achieve your goals.

Use your home care package to improve your health and fitness

We can help you develop simple daily habits that will make ageing a much more positive experience for you. Your home care package is there to help you have a better quality of life, and to age with health and wellbeing. Let’s get creative and look at how we can use your home care plan to help you get fitter and stronger. And it’s never too late to start!

Please call St Louis Home Care Adelaide on 8332 0950, or St Louis Victor Harbor on 8552 1481 for a chat.

Want to learn more?

Walking on the beach