As the year’s tick over and we all grow older the secret to a healthy long life is a daily dose of lifestyle medicine made up of a balanced diet, exercise, a good social life and reconnecting with nature.
That’s the advice from Dr Sam Manger, President of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine and keynote speaker at the Healthy Ageing – Getting Old is not a Disease! forum held at USC yesterday (20 February).
Sunshine Coast residents gathered at the forum held in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council and USC to hear from a range of health experts about the latest chronic disease research and lifestyle recommendations to help them put their best foot forward in the future.
Special guests were from Sunshine Coast University Hospital and USC, and stallholders included BreastScreen Queensland, CWA Country Kitchens, Healthy Sunshine Coast and Cancer Council Queensland, to name a few.
Dr Manger said the free forum was designed for people over the age of 50.
“Chronic disease is now a major burden in Australia and affects 85 per cent of the population,” Dr Manger said.
“The majority of Australians are overweight, more will have diabetes or pre-diabetes and a huge amount are depressed or sad.
“If we don’t change direction we may end up where we’re headed. This is not about lifestyle instead of medicine, it’s lifestyle as medicine.”
Associate Professor Chris Askew is leader of Healthy Ageing Research at the Sunshine Coast Health Institute and a member of the Clinical Exercise Physiology team at USC.
“The forum was a great opportunity for participants to learn about chronic disease prevention and management, including tips and advice about exercise, diet and reducing stress.”
Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said the forum was attended by people keen to take charge of their health.
“It was great to see such a strong turnout of about 150 people,” Cr Law said.
“A key focus of our Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041 is to empower our community to live healthy and active lifestyles.”
Other presenters included Sunshine Coast University Hospital Professor of Cardiology Kim Greaves, Professor of Hepatology James O’Beirne, USC Associate Professor of Psychology Mathew Summers, USC Professor of Sport Sciences David Jenkins, and Dr Anthony Villani (Nutrition and Dietetics), while USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Bartlett provided the opening address.
Stallholders also included Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service’s Health Promotion staff, My Health for Life Stroke Foundation, parkrun Australia, Exercise Right for Better Ageing, Volunteering Sunshine Coast and Cycling without Age Australia (Sunshine Coast Chapter).
To register your interest for future health and wellbeing events, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Manger’s top tips*:
- Exercise 30 minutes a day
- Eat a healthy diet (explore the benefits of fasting and the Mediterranean diet)
- Get outside in the garden or go for a walk; a huge benefit occurs to people’s social, mental and physical health with nature exposure
*Please see your GP for individual advice
- Coronary heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia (killing one person every 12 minutes), followed by dementia. Dementia is the leading cause of death for women (ABS)
Image: President of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine Dr Sam Manger addresses the crowd at the Healthy Ageing forum.