With spring just around the corner, many people across Australia will be looking to kick-start their health as the weather begins to warm up. Many Boomers are unsure where to start, even if they are bursting with energy, vitality and motivation.
The Education and Nutrition team at Diabetes NSW & ACT have shared their top five tips with Starts at 60 about easy ways to spring clean health for the new season. Whether it’s trying to eat healthier or getting more active, there’s plenty of small changes you can make that will have big benefits on your life.
While many people can stock up on unhealthy and processed foods including chips, lollies, fizzy drinks and frozen pizzas, pies, sausage rolls and more during the winter, eating too much of them can lead to an array of health problems. Because they’re high in added fat, salt and sugar, it’s recommended not to eat them all the time.
“Replace these items with healthier basics such as canned beans, whole wheat pasta, steel cut oats, nuts and seeds, canned tuna and salmon (in spring water not brine), eggs and frozen veggies,” Diabetes NSW & ACT says.
It’s also a good idea to indulge in fresh produce where possible, with baked vegetables and stir fries making quick, easy and healthy meals.
Many people are unaware that their personal space can also impact their health and rearranging furniture in the home can be a simple and effective fix. Whether it’s donating or throwing away old items to reduce clutter or giving the house a good clean, it can make people feel better about themselves. Closet aside, it’s also a good chance for people with health issues to get on top of their condition.
“If you are living with diabetes, now is a great time to overhaul your equipment,” Diabetes NSW & ACT recommends.
“Clean your meter as per the manufacturer’s instructions (or ask whether your local pharmacy will do it for you), and check all batteries are working properly for tools that use them.
“Double check your test strips and ketone strips haven’t expired, and safely dispose of any expired insulin, medications and your sharps container.”
Your nearest location can be found at safesharps.org.au.
Similar to your home, this time of year is the perfect opportunity to get out and about and enjoy some fun in the sun. Vitamin D from the sun can improve both the body and mind and something as simple as spending time in the garden or exercising can do the trick.
“If you’re not up to vigorous gardening or don’t have outside space, why not try planting a small herb garden in a windowsill pot?” Diabetes NSW & ACT recommends. “Herbs are a fantastic way to add flavour to your food without reaching for salty or sugary sauces.”
Exercise is important and it doesn’t necessarily mean running marathons or hitting the gym hard. Instead, putting aside 15 minutes a day to stretch, take a walk or work out is a great place to start.
Everyone is different and it’s important to know that because of certain health issues, not every Boomer will be able to work out in the same way. Still, Diabetes NSW & ACT says it’s important for people to set themselves goals and that trying new sports or taking on new challenges can inspire those who require more than a steady workout.
While paying attention to your body and environment is important, it’s vital not to forget about your mind. Whether it’s practising gratitude, celebrating success or being kind to yourself, small things can make a big difference.
“Engaging with your senses can help you be mindful and find things to be grateful for: interact with your pet, smell the flowers, pay attention to the flavours in your meal,” Diabetes NSW & ACT says. “If you’re interested in mind stimulation, take up a new hobby as a way to learn something new, discover a new passion and socialise with new people.”
For more information visit diabetesnsw.com.au.