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Top Tips for a Healthy 2018

on the Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Many retirees may think that joining a gym is a New Year resolution for younger people, but three members of the Uniting Seniors Gym are happy to show off their impressive fitness skills.

Robert Keleman, Phil McKay and Harry Rodden, who are all aged in their 60s, are the chin up champions of the Uniting Seniors Gym at Waverley and found it was team work and a bit of healthy competition between mates that made all the difference.

65 year old Robert embodies the mantra ‘You’re never too old to get fit’. The retired judge had never exercised before when he became the founding member of the ‘Pull Up Crew’ at the gym. “I met with [trainer] Gus for my program review and he suggested trying pull ups,” says Rob. “I’m up for a challenge at any time so thought, ‘Why not give it a go’.”

Soon Phil noticed Rob practicing his pull ups and decided to give it a crack too, then Harry rounded out the trio who now work out three to five times a week.

“I found out I had osteoporosis so I wanted to build strength, especially in my back,” says Harry. “The Uniting Seniors Gym is fantastic. My trainer Gus, is very supportive and of course Rob and Phil spur me on to meet my personal best. I am very competitive with myself too.”

For those of us who aren’t quite up to pull ups but still want to improve your health in 2018, here are Uniting's top health and wellbeing tips:

  1. Start a new regular activity. Trying something new can sharpen your brain and expand your social circle. It can help you break old habits and refresh you for your daily routine. You could join a gym like the ‘Pull Up Crew’ did, check out Uniting's Healthy Living for Seniors programs or consider community work or volunteering. Team work and having a positive impact on others can make you feel good too.
  2. Live in the moment. Practice ‘mindfulness’, which just means paying attention to the present moment with an attitude of acceptance and non-judgement. Forget about the past or the future and just focus on simple things in the present – the feeling of the breeze on your skin, the clouds in the sky, the sound of birds, the ground under your feet or anything else pleasant you notice with your senses. Deep breathing exercises can calm you and relieve stress and tension.
  3. Try a healthy new food. You might surprise yourself by trying a healthy new food. You never know, it could become a favourite part of your diet. Pop into your nearest health food store or search for new ideas online. TV cooking shows can also be a great source of inspiration.
  4. Exercise the way you want. Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy. The great thing about exercise is that it strengthens your body, helping to reduce injury. It puts you in a good mood too. Anything that strengthens muscles or has aerobic benefits is ideal. Walking, running, swimming, cycling and dancing are some great examples. Start small and set your own goals.
  5. Get on top of stress. Studies show that it’s usually your reaction to a situation that causes more stress rather than the event itself. Notice what triggers your stress and learn ways to manage it. Keep a balanced outlook and consider yoga or meditation. A good laugh is wonderful for staying positive.
  6. Ask for help. A problem shared is a problem halved. Often we find our burdens decrease when we find a willing ear to listen. You might find you now have a fresh way to tackle a problem or issue, or that others are experiencing the same thing, which can make you feel less like you are on your own. You could speak to a trusted friend or seek consider some mental health coaching with a qualified counsellor.
  7. Make time to do nothing. Today’s society places great importance on being busy all the time, but there is nothing wrong with resting and being still. In fact, we need it to recharge and reconnect to the world around us. Find a quiet spot where you can lie down, rest and just contemplate. It could be outside on a nice day, or even just in your home. You’ll feel more relaxed and calmer as a result.

It’s never too late get started. Here’s to a healthy new year!

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