Exercise Guide for a Healthy Lifestyle

Adults need to do two types of physical activity each week, namely aerobic and strength exercises. Generally, adults should try to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and strength exercises on two or more days a week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity and strength exercises on two or more days a week.

Moderate aerobic activity Vigorous aerobic activity
Requires moderate effort Requires vigorous effort
Walking at a fast speed

Riding a bike on level ground

Tennis

Hiking

Water aerobics

Running

Riding a bike fast

Football

Skipping rope

Swimming

150 minutes 75 minutes

(similar to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity)

Eating right

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Eating well promotes health for everyone at all ages. Healthy eating increases resistance to illness and diseases, such as reducing risk of heart disease, stroke, bone loss, type 2 diabetes and anaemia, as well as reducing high blood pressure and maintaining lower high cholesterol.

By eating well, your body has the energy and fuel it needs throughout the day. Our metabolism slows down as we age, so consuming the right amount of calories helps in maintaining weight. If you become less physically active as you grow older, choose food which have lots of nutrients but fewer calories. Good nutrition keeps your muscles, bones and organs strong.

As you grow older, include the following food in your diet:

  • Eat at least 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily. Choose leafy greens and orange and yellow vegetables, like kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots and yam.
  • Eat at least 2 to 3 servings of fruits daily for vitamins, such as berries and melons.
  • Eat food with more fibre to aid with digestion and constipation, such as barley and oatmeal. Natural and unprocessed food are high in fibre.
  • Include fish and nuts with omega-3 fatty acids to sharpen your mind and decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Take milk, yogurt, cheese (dairy products) or tofu and almonds (non-dairy) for calcium intake to maintain healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis.
  • Vary your sources of protein intake by including more beans, eggs, and peas in your diet. Consuming high-quality protein can boost your mood and resistance to stress and anxiety and reduce muscle loss. Reduce low-quality protein food such as processed meat products (hot dogs and bacon) as these can increase your risk of health problems.

Eating a healthy diet is part of a healthy lifestyle. Start by taking small steps, such as decreasing your salt intake slowly, steaming your vegetables in olive oil and snacking on nuts and seeds instead of chips. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can try a meatless day. On top of everything else, do drink lots of water daily to regulate fluid levels and to avoid urinary tract infection.

What to look out for

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  • Avoid skipping meals as this will cause your metabolism to slow down, leading you to make poorer choices later in the day.
  • Avoid unhealthy carbohydrates such as refined sugar as they digest quickly and give you short-lived energy. Choose carbohydrates such as fruits and whole grains.
  • Artificial sweeteners encourage sugar cravings. Use honey or fruits to sweeten dishes instead.
  • Reduce salt intake to prevent water retention ad high blood pressure. Season meals with garlic and herbs.
  • Steam vegetables instead as the boiling process drains nutrients your body requires.

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