Science doesn’t lie, exercise simply is good for you!

We all know physical activity is important for our overall health, however a new study has strongly shown that older Australians who have higher levels of physical activity and lower sitting time have better overall physical and mental health.

The new study suggests that higher amounts of regular, moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity and lower duration of sedentary (sitting) time is associated with higher mental and physical health for older cancer survivors and older adults, in general.

The researchers are confident that this new data really amplifies the need to move more.

"The findings reinforce the importance of moving more and sitting less for both physical and mental health, no matter your age or history of cancer," said the lead investigator.

"This is especially relevant now as so many of us, particularly cancer survivors, may be staying home to avoid COVID-19 exposure, and may be feeling a little isolated or down. A simple walk or other physical activity that you enjoy may be good for your mind and body."

I’m worried about  being more active, what can I do?

It is very natural to have some concerns if you are thinking about introducing more exercise into your life, especially as an older adult! For that reason, we’ve put together some tips to get you started!

Get professional advice

Before you start any new movement, it is important to chat to your GP or talk to one of our staff at Living Strength OT on what may be appropriate for you. It’s important to get the right guidance to avoid any injuries or falls.

Change your mindset

Think about what you currently enjoy or used to enjoy doing, can you implement these activities again? Also think about any physical activities you always wanted to try but haven’t yet. 

The saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is just not true – it’s never too late to try something new and in turn it’s a great way to stimulate new pathways in the brain and even make new connections in the community.

Any movement is good movement

Exercise doesn’t have to mean running up hills or hitting the gym, simply moving can be a great place to start. 

Minimise the amount of time spent in a prolonged sitting position. Try breaking up long periods of sitting as often as possible with some movements and incidental exercises (e.g., checking the letterbox).

Set yourself goals

Set goals or targets that are easily attainable aiming to meet the guidelines. The guidelines for older adults include 150 minutes of moderate - intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week AND strength and balance training twice a week.

Perhaps in the first week it is introducing a 20-minute walk, the following week make it 30 minutes. Make sure they are goals that you feel you can achieve, no need to aim for the stars right away.

Find an exercise buddy!

Think about asking a buddy to join you. You are more likely to stick with your exercise plan if you share it with someone close to you. You will also kill two birds with one stone, both of you will improve your health!

Remember we are here to help:

At Living Strength Occupational Therapy, we are passionate about helping our clients achieve more independence, better health and greater quality of life. We understand that being able to perform everyday tasks including exercise can be life-changing, we can tailor our services to each client’s needs.

As Occupational Therapists (OTs), we are trained in a broad range of health sciences to deliver a holistic approach to client care. Understanding the client first – their culture, family and values, along with their medical needs is essential in creating a detailed plan to improve real quality of life. Every person is on a different journey, and everyone has different roadblocks along the way. 

Contact our friendly team to get you started!

Does what we eat impact our memory?

According to new research, what we eat not only helps keep our bodies healthy but it also plays a huge role in keeping our minds in shape as well!

The study investigated information from over 139,000 older Australians and found that there was a strong link between certain food groups, memory loss and other chronic conditions. 

The results showed that those who consume a high level of fruit and vegetables have lower odds of developing memory loss. Interestingly, the research also went on to show that eating protein-rich food was linked to a better memory.

Other key results show that people aged over 80 who have low levels of cereal consumption are at the highest risk of prolonged memory loss.

Memory loss is one of the main early symptoms for people with dementia. Dementia being   the second highest cause of death in Australia. People living with dementia have on average between two and eight health conditions, which also play a part in speeding up cognitive and functional impairment. 

What else can you do to help prevent memory loss?

There are no guarantees that you can prevent memory loss, however there are some simple tasks you can do throughout your daily life that can help sharpen your memory and keep your overall health in good condition. 

Keep Active

By keeping your physical health in good condition, you are also helping your brain health. A healthy brain relies on good cardiovascular health. Even a few short walks throughout the day can work wonders!

Being active will also help you have a better night’s sleep. Poor sleep quality can cause memories to stay stuck in certain parts of the brain which can lead to forgetfulness and difficulty remembering names for example.

According to American sleep researcher Matthew Walker, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience:

“What we have discovered is a dysfunctional pathway that helps explain the relationship between brain deterioration, sleep disruption and memory loss as we get older. When we are young, we have deep sleep that helps the brain store and retain new facts and information but as we get older, the quality of our sleep deteriorates and prevents those memories from being saved by the brain at night.”

Challenge Your Brain

Do you love crosswords or sudoku? Mentally stimulating activities such as reading, puzzles and card games are a few ideas that can help keep your brain fit and keep memory loss at bay.

Be a Social Butterfly

Other research has shown that interacting with others can also help our memory. Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. So, do not put off that coffee date with a friend – now is the time to do it!


Our brains remain our most potent weapon and there are many little actions we can take during our daily life to keep this weapon sharp and active. Of course, if you or a loved one is struggling with memory loss or dementia, the team at Living Strength OT are here to support you in improving the quality of your daily life.