Physical activity can add years to your life, not to mention life to your years. While exercise undoubtedly helps you maintain or lose weight, it also enhances mobility and flexibility, reduces the impact of illness, boosts your mood and self-confidence, and keeps your brain sharp — ultimately helping to ward off memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Renowned Australian aerobics pioneer and personal trainer, Wendi Carroll, knows this better than most and has recently created an on-demand fitness program called Zest. The program has been designed to cater for the unique physical activity and nutrition needs of baby boomers but can be accessed by anyone who’s interested in boosting their fitness.
Here are Wendi’s top five health and fitness tips:
- Consult your doctor
It’s important you talk to your GP before starting any exercise program. They’ll need to give you the all clear and can also recommend what areas you need to focus on.
- Start slowly
Your head might still think you’re 30 but your body will soon tell you otherwise! Don’t get discouraged if you tire out quickly at the beginning — just get plenty of rest between sessions. You should look to do about 150 minutes of low impact, moderate intensity physical activity a week. This can be broken down into 10 or 15 minute increments two or three times a day.
- Find something you enjoy
If you’re having fun, you’re more likely to keep doing it. There are so many different ways to exercise, whether it’s an online program, Tai Chi, water aerobics or going for a stroll along the beach.
- Exercise with friends
You’ll be more motivated to continue if you’re working out with friends. But if you can’t find anyone to join you, sign up with your local gym, council run classes or an online program or forum.
- Think of your food as medicine
Try eating healthy, colourful, seasonal, fresh food that you cook yourself so you really get the best fuel possible. Stay away from processed foods and sugary drinks.
Make healthy normal and get up and get moving, it’s never too late to start. Your ability to enjoy your hard earned money in retirement means keeping fit and healthy. For advice on how to be financially fit in retirement, speak to your financial adviser.