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Art & Health

Many older Australians are reaping the benefits from being engaged in various forms of art. They are taking part in artistic activities and engaging with art to be active in both mind and body.

Keeping our mind active as we age has become so important as we age has become so important as it keeps us from being bored and withdrawing from the world around us. By participating in art based activities, we can feel better about ourselves.

Engaging in some form of art like painting, sculpture, writing or reciting poetry, drama or learning a musical instrument will get you in a better frame of mind to tackle your daily activities.

Your involvement in art can reduce the incidence of depression and loneliness, and will even help with your manual dexterity. You may notice that your mood has improved and that you look forward to getting out your paints, or meeting other like minded artists at a local workshop. You might find that you are more relaxed and happier in your day to day routine and that you are in control. The act of creating something for yourself or for another can increase your sense of self worth with the added bonus of always having gifts that you have created on hand. but the best part of all is, these sort of activities can stop you from being bored.

So if you have always thought of yourself as not being the ‘arty’ type, you have nothing to lose. Have a go at taking up an art form that you have thought you might like to try, give it a go and if it doesn’t suit you, then try something else. Look in the library for ideas or call your local council for advice about groups to contact.

A variety of weekly art classes are offered at Little Bay Coast Centre, click here for further information.

Article extracted from ‘ONECOTA’ Winter edition magazine.

Top 10 Reasons to get Physical

Regular aerobic activity, such as walking, bicycling or swimming, can help you live longer and healthier. Need motivation? See how aerobic exercise affects your heart, lungs and blood flow. Then get moving and start reaping the rewards.

Ballroom Blitz – Every Monday from 1:30pm to 2:15pm

How your body responds to aerobic exercise

During aerobic activity, you repeatedly move large muscles in your arms, legs and hips. You’ll notice your body’s responses quickly.

You’ll breathe faster and more deeply. This maximises the amount of oxygen in your blood. Your heart will beat faster, which increases blood flow to your muscles and back to your lungs.

Your body will even release endorphins, natural painkillers that promote an increased sense of well-being.

Your small blood vessels (capillaries) will widen to deliver more oxygen to your muscles and carry away waste products, such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid.

Ballroom Dancing – Every Wednesday from 10:30 – 12:00

What aerobic exercise does for your health

Regardless of age, weight or athletic ability, aerobic activity is good for you. Aerobic activity has many health benefits, no matter your age. As your body adapts to regular aerobic exercise, you’ll get stronger and fitter.

Consider the following 10 ways that aerobic activity can help you feel better and enjoy life to the fullest.

Aerobic activity can help you:

  1. Keep excess pounds at bay
    Combined with a healthy diet, aerobic exercise helps you lose weight and keep it off.
  2. Increase your stamina, fitness and strength
    You may feel tired when you first start regular aerobic exercise. But over the long term, you’ll enjoy increased stamina and reduced fatigue.You can also gain increased heart and lung fitness and bone and muscle strength over time.
  3. Ward off viral illnesses
    Aerobic exercise activates your immune system in a good way. This may leave you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu.
  4. Reduce your health risks
    Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke and certain types of cancer.Weight-bearing aerobic exercises, such as walking, help decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
  5. Manage chronic conditions
    Aerobic exercise may help lower blood pressure and control blood sugar. It can reduce pain and improve function in people with arthritis. It can also improve the quality of life and fitness in people who’ve had cancer. If you have coronary artery disease, aerobic exercise may help you manage your condition.
  6. Strengthen your heart
    A stronger heart doesn’t need to beat as fast. A stronger heart also pumps blood more efficiently, which improves blood flow to all parts of your body.
  7. Keep your arteries clear
    Aerobic exercise boosts your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good,” cholesterol, and lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad,” cholesterol. This may result in less buildup of plaques in your arteries.
  8. Boost your mood
    Aerobic exercise may ease the gloominess of depression, reduce the tension associated with anxiety and promote relaxation. It can also improve your sleep.
  9. Stay active and independent as you age
    Aerobic exercise keeps your muscles strong, which can help you maintain mobility as you get older. Exercise can also lower the risk of falls and injuries from falls in older adults. And it can improve your quality of life.Aerobic exercise also keeps your mind sharp. Regular physical activity may help protect memory, reasoning, judgment and thinking skills (cognitive function) in older adults. It may also improve cognitive function in children and young adults. It can even help prevent the onset of dementia and improve cognition in people with dementia.
  10. Live longer
    Studies show that people who participate in regular aerobic exercise live longer than those who don’t exercise regularly. They may also have a lower risk of dying of all causes, such as heart disease and certain cancers.
The Coast Centre Walkers cross the city from Kings Cross to Bondi Junction on a fine winter morning

Take the first step

Ready to get more active? Great. Just remember to start with small steps. If you’ve been inactive for a long time or if you have a chronic health condition, get your doctor’s OK before you start.

When you’re ready to begin exercising, start slowly. You might walk five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening. Any physical activity is better than none at all.

The next day, add a few minutes to each walking session. Pick up the pace a bit, too. Soon, you could be walking briskly for at least 30 minutes a day and reaping all the benefits of regular aerobic activity. You can gain even more benefits if you exercise more.

Other options for aerobic exercise could include cross-country skiing, aerobic dancing, swimming, stair climbing, bicycling, jogging, elliptical training or rowing.

Aerobics with Danielle –

If you have a condition that limits your ability to participate in aerobic activities, ask your doctor about alternatives. If you have arthritis, for example, aquatic exercises may give you the benefits of aerobic activity without stressing your joints.

At The Coast Centre we have aerobic activities everyday of the week and walks every fortnight.

Article extracted from here

The Benefits of Walking

Some people may not be able to do full exercise or go to the gym, but just walking 30 minutes a day can greatly improve your health and is also a great way to maintain your overall health. If you can’t manage 30 minutes a day, remember ‘even a little is good, but more is better’.

Regular walking has multiple benefits:

  • Help to maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevent or manage various health conditions such as, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mood
  • Improve your balance and coordination
  • Walking with others can turn exercise into an enjoyable social occasion
The Coasters at Barrenjoey Lighthouse

The statistics are impressive: The American Diabetes Association says walking lowers your blood sugar levels and your overall risk for diabetes. Research shows that regular walking lowers blood pressure by as much as 11 points and may reduce the risk of stroke by 20% to 40%.

In a study by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002, it found a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with those who did not walk regular.

And according to a 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition, going for a walk can also spark creativity. “Researchers administered creative-thinking tests to subjects while seated and while walking and found that the walkers thought more creatively than the sitters,” says Jampolis.

Walking can also keep your legs looking great. As we age, our risk of unsightly varicose veins increases—it’s just not fair. However, walking is a proven way to prevent those unsightly lines from developing.

If you already suffer from varicose veins, daily walking can help ease related swelling and restlessness in your legs and can also help delay the onset if you are prone to them.


Come join our walking group, The Coasters!

Walking For Pleasure every second Friday – Find Schedule here

The Benefits of Resistance Training

Resistance training (also called strength training or weight training) is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles. Resistance training is based on the principle that muscles of the body will work to overcome a resistance force when they are required to do so. When you do resistance training repeatedly and consistently, your muscles become stronger.

A well-rounded fitness program includes strength training to improve joint function, bone density, muscle, tendon and ligament strength, as well as aerobic exercise to improve your heart and lung fitness, flexibility and balance exercises. Australia’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines recommend that adults do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days each week.

Pilates Class on Mondays and Wednesdays

Examples of resistance training

There are many ways you can strengthen your muscles, whether at home or the gym.

Different types of resistance training include:

  • free weights – classic strength training tools such as dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells
  • medicine balls or sand bags – weighted balls or bags
  • weight machines – devices that have adjustable seats with handles attached either to weights or hydraulics
  • resistance bands – like giant rubber bands – these provide resistance when stretched. They are portable and can be adapted to most workouts. The bands provide continuous resistance throughout a movement
  • suspension equipment – a training tool that uses gravity and the user’s body weight to complete various exercises
  • your own body weight – can be used for squats, push-ups and chin-ups. Using your own body weight is convenient, especially when travelling or at work. 

Health benefits of resistance training

Physical and mental health benefits that can be achieved through resistance training include:

  • improved muscle strength and tone – to protect your joints from injury
  • maintaining flexibility and balance, which can help you remain independent as you age
  • weight management and increased muscle-to-fat ratio – as you gain muscle, your body burns more kilojoules when at rest
  • may help reduce or prevent cognitive decline in older people
  • greater stamina – as you grow stronger, you won’t get tired as easily
  • prevention or control of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, back pain, depression and obesity
  • pain management
  • improved mobility and balance
  • improved posture
  • decreased risk of injury
  • increased bone density and strength and reduced risk of osteoporosis
  • improved sense of wellbeing – resistance training may boost your self-confidence, improve your body image and your mood
  • improved sleep and avoidance of insomnia
  • increased self-esteem
  • enhanced performance of everyday tasks.

At The Coast Centre, we offer:

  • Resistance training classes on Mondays and Wednesdays
  • Pilates classes on Mondays and Wednesdays
  • Tone & Tighten class on Tuesdays

Article extracted from here

Exercise at Any Age

So you’ve slacked off a bit and avoided exercise. Maybe your job demands too much of your time or you simply fell out of the routine. I have news for you. Whether you’ve taken off one year, ten years or haven’t exercised a day in your life – it’s never too late to start. You see there are problems with living a life devoid of exercise. Big problems. Your weight rises along with your blood pressure and cholesterol. Your muscles and joints degenerate at an astounding rate leaving you with daily aches and pains. Your body becomes weak, making you susceptible to all kinds of medical issues.

Mind, Movement and Dance Class

Why Should I Start Now?

You’ve heard about the benefits that consistent exercise brings, but what if you haven’t been consistent? Should you even start at all? This has been the subject of many medical studies and the results are unanimous: Exercise helps improve your quality of life even if you start late. Researchers are constantly finding new benefits to consistent exercise. It’s no wonder that Dr. Robert Butler, of the National Institute on Aging, once said “If exercise could be put into a pill, it would be the single most prescribed medicine in the world.”

Imagine if a pill could offer all of these benefits (without harmful side effects):

  • Substantially reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and osteoporosis
  • Decreases the risk for stroke, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Helps to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
  • Contributes to healthy bones, muscles and joints
  • Helps relieve anxiety and depression
  • Promotes well-being and reduces stress
  • Is associated with fewer doctor visits, hospitalizations and medications
  • Helps prevent and treat chronic medical conditions associated with old age
  • Increases energy levels and promotes sound sleep
  • Strengthens immune system

Many people have started an exercise program only to quit days later. Now that you have decided that exercise may be worth your time after all, ensure your success with the following tips:

Make a Commitment
You know the meaning and value of a solid commitment. It’s in your blood. So don’t view exercise as something you will merely try. You will only reap the true benefits of exercise when you stick with it. A great way to reinforce your commitment is to solicit the support of your friends and family. Tell them how you plan to improve your health and quality of life through exercise – who knows, they may join you.

Set Reachable Goals
This is an immensely important ingredient to your success. Don’t start your exercise program with unreasonable expectations. If you expect to lose all of your unwanted pounds, drop your blood pressure and cure your joint pain all in one week then you will be sorely disappointed. Remember that it took years for your body to fall out of shape so it makes sense that it will take some time to regain it. The key to unlocking all of the benefits of exercise lies in one word: consistency.

Rearrange Your Schedule
As we age there is a tendency to become ‘stuck in our ways.’ Remind yourself that exercise is worth your time and then think long and hard about your daily schedule. The fact is that you do have time to lend toward exercise – you simply need to find it. Set aside 30-60 minutes for exercise and then stick with it.

Increase the Challenge
You should start your exercise program with the thought of easing into it. Since you haven’t exercised in awhile your body will need to build up strength and endurance. Consider a car that has been sitting in your garage for years. You wouldn’t turn it on and instantly slam down on the gas would you? You need to warm it up. However, this warm up period should not last forever. Your body has an amazing ability to adapt to new challenges and will grow complacent when asked to do the same exercises over and over. When your routine begins to feel easy take that as a hint to increase the challenge. Don’t let another day pass you by. You deserve the good life.

Mind, Movement and Dance Class – Thursdays from 10:30

Article extracted from here

New Class To Relieve Tension

Inner Moves – Mind Movement Dance (MMD)

Inner Moves Education provides well-being tailor made programs filled with tools to nurture and empower the self-healing journey.

This program, specifically designed by Tanya Brooks for Seniors, helps you put your mind in a calm state of being, you will lean simple tools to help you cope with daily life challenges, help aid the body to freely release tension, stagnated energy, move naturally from stresses to deep relaxation and dancing to keep the brain active. as it stimulates vitality and muscle memory.

How It Works:

Through mind exercises, movement and dance, these eight week courses are designed to assist you:

  • Reconnect socially
  • Focus and concentrate
  • Improve memory
  • Reduce stress and tension
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Increase bone density

and so much more..

MMD

This unique fusion of mind exercises, movement and dance provides many well-being benefits and tools for those of all ages. Truly unique and fun, while at the same time improving health and well-being.

Mind Exercise:

Each week everyone will learn a new mind exercise which will incorporate anything from breathing techniques, meditation, muscle progressive relaxation, focus and music meditations and more.

Movement:

Starting with a full body gentle warm up, some elements of Tai Chi and more.

Dance: (No experience needed)

Everyone will be learning easy to follow choreography which keeps your brain active, as it stimulates vitality and muscle memory and creates strong social connections that increase your sense of happiness and well-being.

It’s in the action where the healing happens


Starting Thursday 3rd May 2018 at 1 pm until 2 pm

$10 per class

The Value of Staying Connected Online

10 Good Things About Being On The Internet: 

  1. Stay in touch with friends and family using video calling or messaging
  2. Shop for groceries from your computer and get them delivered to your front door
  3. Share memories, pictures and videos over email or social media
  4. Keep up to date with local, government, and community activities
  5. Pay your bills from the convenience of your home by using online banking
  6. Conduct medical appointments at home with online video (via e-health)
  7. Keep the grand kids entertained on the internet when they visit
  8. Watch and stream TV shows online through services like YouTube, Netflix, Stan, Presto and Catch up TV
  9. Read books, newspapers and magazines articles online from your smartphone, tablet or computer
  10. Use social media like Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with local communities, friends and family.

Mental Benefits

Knowledge of the Internet can also help improve mental alertness. Aside from the vast information from the Internet, it is also a great source for video games. Why video games? According to the Psychology and Aging magazine, playing video games helps improve cognitive functions which normally decline during the passing years. Strategy video games help in keeping our brains razors sharp and improve hand-eye coordination.

Learning and Leisure

One can continue learning by browsing the Internet to get more information on important topics, such as health and fitness. Watching tutorial videos related to their interests such as painting, playing the piano, gardening, flower arrangements, cooking, and travel, among others, is a great way to expand knowledge and keep the creative juices flowing.

Reconnect With Old Friends via Social Media 

Facebook is the most popular social networking site that brings family and friends together. Share photos, chat online, play games, search old friends and more. What an exciting way to reconnect with old friends to whom they have lost throughout the years.

Helps Build Relationships With Grand Kids 

Many seniors or grandparents feel they are being left behind because they cannot keep up with the world. With Internet knowledge and use, seniors can still catch up with their grandchildren, bridging the gap between them. Having a common activity together and frequent interaction via the Internet helps to build a better relationship.


Join our Tech Forum!

On the first and third Monday of every month (12 noon – 2pm)

One on one sessions are also available on Tuesdays and Thursdays

The Benefits of Walking

Some people may not be able to do full exercise or go to the gym, but just walking 30 minutes a day can greatly improve your health and is also a great way to maintain your overall health. If you can’t manage 30 minutes a day, remember ‘even a little is good, but more is better’.

Regular walking has multiple benefits:

  • Help to maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevent or manage various health conditions such as, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mood
  • Improve your balance and coordination
  • Walking with others can turn exercise into an enjoyable social occasion

The statistics are impressive: The American Diabetes Association says walking lowers your blood sugar levels and your overall risk for diabetes. Research shows that regular walking lowers blood pressure by as much as 11 points and may reduce the risk of stroke by 20% to 40%.

In a study by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002, it found a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with those who did not walk regular.

And according to a 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition, going for a walk can also spark creativity. “Researchers administered creative-thinking tests to subjects while seated and while walking and found that the walkers thought more creatively than the sitters,” says Jampolis.

Walking can also keep your legs looking great. As we age, our risk of unsightly varicose veins increases—it’s just not fair. However, walking is a proven way to prevent those unsightly lines from developing.

If you already suffer from varicose veins, daily walking can help ease related swelling and restlessness in your legs and can also help delay the onset if you are prone to them.


Come join our walking group, The Coasters!

Walking For Pleasure every second Friday (Feb – June 2018)

Contact the Coast Centre or visit the Coast Centre office for the schedule or more information.

The Benefits of Playing a Pinball Machine

Playing with a pinball machine may just seem like a fun past time, but did you know that there are a multitude of benefits?

Playing with a pinball machine can actually be crucial in developing or maintaining motor skills. It is widely known that to be good at playing pinball one has to have good hand eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination is the ability to track the movements of the hands with the eyes, thus enabling the eyes to send important signals to the brain about hand movement. Poor hand-eye coordination can greatly compromise your ability to exercise and can also affect everyday tasks such as writing.

In learning how to play or by playing pinball frequently, hand eye coordination can be increased two fold, as well as developing lighting fast reflexes and incredible timing. Pinball can be quite a mental game, as you think of moves and strategies on the spot.

Hand-eye coordination tends to deteriorate with age. However, regular physical activity that utilises both fine and gross motor skills can help.

Pinball can also help those dealing with grief. As mourners’ movement between different stages of grief such as shock and depression can be unpredictable, this process has been likened to the workings of a pinball machine, according to Mental Health Practice journal.

The authors of the September 2012 journal are in no way trying downplay grief or suggest it is a game, but they are however trying to explain through the metaphor of pinball that the process of grieving is not linear.

With grief, there can be triggers that can prolong or even restart the process – just like on a pinball machine, in which pressing the buttons can prolong the game. Anniversaries or special events can examples of triggers for mourners. Many mourners describe themselves as ‘bouncing’ from stage to stage in the grieving process, which is similar imagery to pinball. Mourners can seek comfort in the fact that their responses are normal and grieving doesn’t have to calculated. Grieving takes time and effort. This model can also be adapted to help those coping with separation, divorce, loss of employment or financial loss, say the authors.

So come by on Seniors Week (April 9-13) and play some good ‘ole vintage pinball for free!

Ballet Classes Can Strengthen Your Mind

Going into a ballet class most people expect the physical strain that comes with the grace, poise, posture and foot work that ballet dancers are famous for enduring. However, people forget that ballet also works the mind.

“You need to really think during a ballet class,” says Dianne Harrison, principal at Elancé Adult Ballet School in Melbourne. “Your brain needs to be several steps ahead of your body. It must instruct and control multiple muscle groups, apply the correct techniques to prevent injury and create artistry through emotional expression. And then you dance!”

Fortunately, our brains respond well to these challenges. A 2017 study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal compared the impact that both dance and repetitive endurance training had on the hippocampus – the part of the brain that is mostly associated with memory.

As a result of the different arm formations, steps, rhythms, and speeds, the study found that ballet dancing led to a behavioural change through improved balance.

It found that while both had a positive impact, only dancing led to a behavioural change through improved balance. The authors attributed this to dancers having to learn new routines, as well as different arm formations, steps, rhythms and speeds.

Meanwhile, a 2003 study in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that of 11 physical activities, only dancing was associated with a lower risk of dementia.

Luckily, ballet, however ungraceful, moves us forward.