September is a time of celebrating life and looking to new adventures in life. This month is Healthy Aging Month, it is focused on giving national attention to the positive aspects of growing older. Age is just a number, it does not have to define a person or predict a persons destiny based on the preconceived notions of what is expected at each stage of life. In spite of the Healthy Aging Campaign that is now in it's second decade, we are here with a few tips to help keep not just seniors, but everyone on track to healthy aging.
1. Create a Safe Environment at Home
Assess the home for things that could cause safety issues and concerns. Look for tripping hazards like area rugs, electrical cords and low furniture that could cause debilitating falls. Make sure each room has proper lighting making it easier to find fall risks and the safest path to avoid any further issue.
2. Get Moving
Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body and brain. Seniors who stay active, adding exercise to their daily routine, tend to feel better not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Try starting slowly with ten (10) minute increments of activity a day such as a brisk walk that can bolster both the heart as well as the lungs.
3. Bulk Up
Eat a well balanced diet. As our metabolism changes with age we must become more selective of foods we eat. Make sure to eat healthy, nutritious meals full of fresh fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains and high in fiber foods for digestive and heart health. a healthy diet allows seniors to maintain an ideal weight and can enhance emotional and mental health.
4. Work Those Brains
Experts say playing games, regular cardio and healthy eating all contribute to brain health. Challenge yourself to keep your brain engaged and stimulated as much as possible. Taking a class at a local community college or senior center or picking up a new hobby or just playing brain games at home are a few great options. To aid your memory, make lists, follow routines, slow down, organize and focus on all the positive aspects in their lives. Keeping mentally active has been shown to rescue the risk for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of Dementia.
5. Stay Social
Becoming socially isolated is often a concern when it comes to seniors. Friendships enhance life and bring joy, reach out to friends and others for activities like inviting friends and loved ones over for a meal or activity. Take classes, volunteer, play games, see old friends and make new ones. Unhealthy relationships can be toxic to your health and over all well being, having a heart to heart conversation or cutting someone out of your life can be extremely tough but necessary at times. Surround yourself with positive people who lift you up.
6. Visit your doctor
Use Healthy Aging Month as a reminder to schedule your annual exam with your doctor. If you've been feeling a bit blue recently, make sure to mention it to your doctor when you go, depression is treatable and can help you continue aging healthy, the same goes for if you're unable to sleep soundly through the night. Regularly visiting the doctor can help keep chronic conditions under control and helps to more effectively catch new ailments earlier.
7. Stay Organized
By tracking appointments, medications and goals, seniors keep engaged with planning and keeping on their healthy aging track.
8. Stay Balanced
It's always great to eat right and stay active but life requires more to make the body whole. Practicing Yoga or Tai Chi have shown to reduce anxiety and stress, improve breath control, enhances cognitive functions. Studies have shown they even improve strength, balance, coordination and flexibility to a great extent.
The puzzle of Healthy Aging is complicated, consisting of many pieces. Pieces such as healthy eating, physical activity, preventative health care, attitude, behaviors, socialization, engagement, positive lifestyle decisions such as smoking sensations and wearing a seat-belt, lifelong learning, financial well-being and more.
Add a comment with how you are staying on track or suggestions for others to keep healthy aging.