Lifestyle is medicine for ageing

Tribal Elder Uncle Tais K’Reala Randanpi, USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Bartlett, Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law and USC Associate Professor Chris Askew attend the Healthy Ageing forum.

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 last week.

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.

“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.