When you eat well and are regularly active, you can expect to enjoy numerous health benefits such as:
- reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
- reduced risk of developing high blood pressure
- reduced blood pressure (in people who already have high blood pressure)
- prevention of some cancers
- reduced risk of becoming overweight
- reduced risk of developing diabetes and prevention and treatment of non-insulin dependent diabetes - it has been estimated that 30 to 50% of new cases of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented by appropriate physical levels of activity
- better bone and muscle development and prevention of osteoporosis
- improved muscle flexibility, strength and endurance
- reduced risk of dying prematurely
- reduced risk of falling, and improved mobility and strength for older adults
- improved quality of sleep.
You can improve your wellbeing by making some simple changes to your lifestyle, regardless of your age, ability or shape.
Check your health
- Check if you are in the healthy weight range.
- Check your waist measurement. Excess weight around your middle is more of a health risk than if it's on your hips and thighs.
- Browse healthy recipes to make sure you're eating 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables a day.
- See how you can improve your diet and exercise habit to be healthier and happier.
- A dietician can provide you with nutrition advice based on your situation.
Be physically active
- To maintain good health, adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week.
- In addition, muscle strengthening activities should be performed at least twice a week using major muscle groups that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance.
- To reduce risk of injury from falls, older adults should perform exercises that maintain or improve balance.
- Find out more about physical activity recommendations for older Australians.
- Age with vitality by following this everyday guide to healthy, active living.
Keep mentally active
- Stay involved in social and community activities that you enjoy.
- Give your brain daily exercise by doing puzzles, playing games and reading.
Screening and health checks
Early diagnosis is important for preventing and treating diseases. Find out about common screening and health checks including sight, hearing, diabetes, blood pressure, bone density, cancer (including bowel and breast cancer) and sexual health checks.
On 1 December 2017, the National Cervical Screening Program changed. Pap smears were replaced by a new Cervical Screening Test (CST). Visit the National Cervical Screening Program's website or call 13 15 56 for more information about the Cervical Screening Test and the National Cervical Screening Program.
The National Cervical Screening Program is supported by the National Cancer Screening Register website. The website has information about the register, how to manage your participation and check when you had your previous CST and when your next test is due. You can contact the National Cancer Screening Register on 1800 627 701.
Quitting smoking is one of the most beneficial and important steps you can take to improve your health. It’s never too late to quit—the health benefits of quitting smoking start almost immediately.
Contact Quitline on 13QUIT (13 78 48), or consult your doctor for information and support to quit smoking.
Low risk drinking
Regular and heavy alcohol consumption can cause injury, ill health and premature death. Light to moderate alcohol consumption in older adults may lower the risk of several chronic conditions.
For some older adults, drinking alcohol increases the risk of falls and injuries, as well as other chronic conditions.
Older people are advised to consult their health professional about the most appropriate level of drinking for their health.
You can reduce the health risks associated with alcohol consumption by following the Alcohol Guidelines.
Men may be more susceptible to specific health issues as they age, such as the risk of prostate cancer. Get an annual health check-up and talk with your doctor about any health or emotional concerns you might have.
If you notice anything different about your body, or something just doesn’t feel right, be sure to talk to your doctor.
Read more about men’s health issues or talk to your doctor for more information.
On the Queensland Government's Health and Wellbeing website you can access information on all women’s health issues.
If you’re a woman living in a rural or remote area of Queensland, you may have access to the Mobile Women's Health Service. The service conducts health screens and provides information and support.
Read more about events to raise funds for and awareness of specific health issues, such as prostate and breast cancer and anxiety and depression.