Retiree stresses importance of staying active to continue doing what you love

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Michael’s love of travel and golf helps keep him motivated to utilise the on-site fitness facilities weekly. [Source:TriCare]

It is Michael Maher’s love of golf and his “better half” that drives him to maintain the best health and fitness he can in his mid-70s.

According to Michael, his wife provides plenty of motivation, and although they don’t exercise together the pair does their best to keep the other accountable.

“The fitter I am the more I can do,” said Michael, who recently teed off at Royal Queensland with an impressive handicap of three.

The 75-year-old works out in the gym and swims laps three times a week on-site at TriCare’s Stafford Lakes Retirement Community in Brisbane where he resides . He also plays two rounds of golf a week and opts to walk instead of buggy around the course, which is the equivalent of 18 kilometres.

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Michael using the gym. [Source: TriCare]

In the lead-up to Ageism Awareness Day (October 7), Michael is encouraging others to acknowledge the importance of remaining fit as you age.

It hasn’t always been a smooth health journey for Michael. During the pre-operation preparation for a meniscus surgery a few years ago, he found out he had an issue with a valve in his heart.

“It was fortuitous as it could have been irreparable had it not been found when it was,” he said.

Michael has also supported his wife of 53 years, Carol, through two cancer diagnoses and now neuropathy, but she too insists on the couple remaining fitness-focused to continue travelling the world.

Brisbane-based personal trainer and qualified Exercise Physiotherapist Kat Peatey knows just how vital activity can be for Australians of all ages.

Physical activities of any kind can improve not only our sleep but also our mood and energy levels. As we get older it can reduce pain from conditions such as arthritis and reduce stiffness.

“Since I’ve been working at TriCare Stafford Lakes I’ve been astounded by the gains the residents have had, the increase in their strength and confidence has blown me away,” said Kat, who runs Beyond Outdoor Fitness.

Kat suggested everyone should spend at least 20 minutes a day on their cardio and work on their strength two to three times per week.

“It’s never too late to start, the idea is just to keep moving,” she added.

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