Masterclass 2: Physical Wellbeing

Masterclass 2: Physical Wellbeing

In this class, we delved into the importance of physical wellbeing as we age.

Starting with a reminder that the evidence is clear – physical activity and an awareness of physical wellbeing are vital for later life and can lead to extended health benefits, we shared information and advice on fall prevention, exercise, nutrition and how to prevent memory loss. Please see below for:


Frequently asked questions

Erin Stubbs from Catholic Healthcare answers some frequently asked questions around physical activity and ageing.

How much exercise (low impact) is too much for seniors each day?
How much is too much will differ from individual to individual. The key message is start slowly to ensure that you can manage. You may have to build up incrementally in time and intensity as your fitness levels increase. If you can manage more than what is recommended without any ill effects, it is only going to be of greater benefit for you. Remember you want to make it sustainable, manageable and enjoyable. Anything you do is going to be better than nothing!

How can I assist someone in motivating them to exercise more regularly?
Internal motivation for exercise is a key driver. People need to understand why they have to do something so recommendations from a health professional may hold greater weight. Find an exercise that they will enjoy-again anything is better than nothing. Try to encourage exercise as a social avenue that may be more motivating. Reiterate that it is never too late to start and the overall health benefits of doing exercise are a key driver to positive ageing. Find something fun!

Incorporating incidental exercise may also work, so rather than park in the parking spot out the front of the shops, park further away, instead of getting someone to do the vacuuming for them, encourage them to vacuum themselves etc

What are the best exercises to do to prevent the onset of osteoporosis?
Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are the key components of reducing the risk of osteoporosis from an exercise point of view. Any exercise that is putting weight and strain through the bones and tendons is triggering the body to build new bone. Unfortunately, water-based exercises do not assist with building bone strength. The risk of osteoporosis is also heavily managed by dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D so this should be addressed as well when managing the risk of Osteoporosis.

If I exercise doing 4500 steps I can't sleep at night due to burning feet and legs I  take ice packs to bed but evening my feet feel icy to touch they still burn
Unfortunately, many medical conditions or ailments do affect people's ability to do some forms of exercise which can be a barrier. The good news is there are so many different forms of exercise we can do so I would recommend seeing a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist who can determine appropriate ways of exercise for you. Good luck- remember anything is better than nothing!

What exercise do you recommend for chronic back pain with limited mobility and chronic heart disease?
As exercise with various health conditions can be such an individual thing, I would recommend that people with chronic health conditions such as back pain and heart disease, seek support from their GP to determine the best methods and modes of exercise for them. This will help point you on the right track as to what you could participate in and then seeking further consultation with a physiotherapist to tailor programs and recommendations for you which will hopefully point you in the right direction. The right exercise for you(and each individual)  should not exacerbate any health conditions so this is where health and exercise professionals can help you manage it. 

How many minutes per day should I work on flexibility?
I wouldn’t suggest there is a specific time frame, I would just recommend throughout the day that you give different limbs and parts of your body a stretch. When you do feel a stretch in specific muscles or joints, hold this position for 20secs and repeat three times. Please note stretching should not hurt, it should just be a gentle stretch and you should find over time that your range in these muscles and joints will increase- but it won’t all happen in a day.

What about wearing a mask!  How can you prevent yourself from falling /tripping when wearing a mask?
This is a fabulous question and so pertinent to our lives today. And the questions are easier said than answered. A few little key points to remember:

  • Disposable masks: bend the wire prior to donning and put it on the hill of your nose so the mask does not cover your eyes. Pinch the wire more so it fits snugly on your nose and smooths out along the cheeks. If the mask feels loose, maybe cross the ear straps over so it fits tighter and does not move.
  • If you can't see the ground when walking as the mask gets in the way, slow down your walking and utilise scanning so gently lowering your head to scan about 6steps ahead and then look up. And then repeat this after another 6steps.
  • Try to prevent glasses from fogging up: smooth out mask across nose and cheeks hopefully below the glasses line. To reduce fogging it is recommended you wash glasses with soapy water and shake off excess, allow them to air dry and then place them on. Contact your local optometrist for any other ideas they may have to prevent fogging.


Further information

Downloadable resources


Active brain exercise

Ready to test your mental vitality and flexibility? Say aloud what color you see in every word, NOT the word you read.

Masterclass 2 brain activity


If you have any questions about Ageing Well or require more information about these masterclasses please contact us.

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