None of us want to think of ourselves as ‘old’ but sometimes a look in the mirror is a bit of a wake-up call. Do you ever feel invisible because of your age? What can you do about it?

1. Physical signs

Do you find yourself less spritely than you used to be? When you look in the mirror, are there telltale signs you’ve been taking it easy? They’re both good signs you need to be more active. We’re not telling you to take out a gym membership you’ll probably never use. There are many daily activities we can do more of:

Gardening

While some peoples’ idea of ‘gardening’ might have been pulling out the hose every now and again, or paying someone to cut the grass, Stage 2 water restrictions will give us all a bit of a workout! All you need are a couple of buckets. Fill two nine-litre buckets, carry them to your plants and you’re weight-lifting. Weight training is a demonstrated way to increase muscle mass and bone density, decrease body fat and improve your cardiovascular health. We’ve also previously shared tips for drought-proofing your Sutherland Shire garden too!

Walking

It’s something we all do, right? Or most of us, at least. Instead of driving short distances, take to the footpaths and walk your way into a better mood. Regular light exercise such as walking (relatively briskly, mind you) will strengthen bones and muscles, improve lung and heart function and stave off potential diabetes 2. Walking can also help you maintain your weight at a healthy level.

Group classes

For those of us who have to be prodded out of our comfy chairs to exercise, it’s worth checking out community group exercise.

Council- or community-group-based fitness classes in The Shire are generally affordable and fun. Many are designed for seniors, plus you’ll meet others in classes who’ll provide friendship and, importantly, keep you accountable. Dancing as an excellent activity is one option that we’ve covered previously.

Exercise, even light exercise, improves blood flow so your skin tone will improve. If you exercise harder so you’re actually perspiring, you’ll release toxins through your skin.

2. Mental signs

Do you ever walk into a room and wonder why? Do you have younger relatives who despair of you ever learning how to work your iPad? As we age, our brains need more stimulation to maintain ‘processing speed’. And the more learning you can cram into that brain of yours before age 65, the better placed you’ll be for a mentally healthy old age.

Continual learning is great for pushing your brain and there are many options available to everyone but especially retirees. University of the Third Age in Sydney (Sydney U3A) offers hundreds of courses from languages to art history, brain games and more. In Sutherland Shire, U3A is always in need of volunteers to help with admin – another way you could stay mentally active.

If you’ve had a hankering to write your family history or perhaps a memoir, St George and Sutherland Community College offers creative writing courses for a reasonable cost. Take one of their dance classes and you’ll be exercising both your body and your brain just trying to remember those steps.

3. External signs

As Baby Boomers, we’re bombarded with ‘old people’ product ads. I can’t speak for you but as soon as I turned 55, online marketers started trying to sell me everything from pre-paid funerals to a spot in a retirement village – or send me on a retirees cruise.

60 is the new 40. It’s time marketers got it; we’re not old. My strategy is to ignore all the ‘old person’ marketing fluff that comes my way but I’m sure there are better strategies. Do any of you have any ideas on this subject? I’d love to hear them.

Can we help with advice on downsizing?

Having navigated the home sale and downsizing process not only for our real estate clients but also for members of our own family, it’s an area in which we’ve amassed a wealth of knowledge. So don’t hesitate to seek out our help – no obligations.

Free downsizers guide

Michael & Rhiff Larkings

Michael & Rhiff Larkings

As a specialist team, focused on Caringbah South and the surrounding suburbs, we've been providing real estate services for over 20 years. With numerous real estate awards to our name, we're in the top echelon of licensed real estate agents in the Sutherland Shire. We regularly set new street, suburb and area sales records. Most importantly, we understand that real estate is a ‘people’ business where the development of relationships and trust, with both our clients and purchasers, is vital to achieving your all-important sales result.

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