Tips for Healthy Aging® Month
The month of September is Healthy Aging® Month and the time to get started on better health practices is today.
Think it’s too late to “re-invent” your health? Think again – it is never too late!
Healthy Aging® Month is an annual health observance designed to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older by providing inspiration and practical ideas for adults, ages 45-plus, to improve their well-being.
So what can you do to celebrate the month and get on the road to a healthy lifestyle? We have ten practical tips for you…
- Live an active life
Regular exercise is one of the greatest keys to physical and mental wellbeing. Living an active life will help you stay fit enough to maintain your independence to go where you want to and perform your own activities. Regular exercise may prevent or even provide relief from many common chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, depression, and arthritis, to name a few.
- Eat healthy foods
The majority of adults in the US consume more than double the recommended daily allowance of sodium, which can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular disease; most of this high sodium intake comes from pre-packaged foods and restaurants.
- Maintain your brain
One in eight older adults (aged 65+) in the United States has Alzheimer’s disease, and some cognitive decline is a normal part of aging. Studies have shown that a lifestyle that includes cognitive stimulation through active learning slows cognitive decline.
- Cultivate your relationships
Twenty-eight percent of older adults live alone, and living alone is the strongest risk factor for loneliness. Common life changes in older adulthood, such as retirement, health issues, or the loss of a spouse, may lead to social isolation.
- Get enough sleep
Humans can go longer without food than without sleep. Older adults need just as much sleep as younger adults – seven to nine hours per night – but often get much less. Lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk, and memory problems.
- Reduce stress
As we age, our stressors change and so does our ability to deal with stress. Long-term stress can damage brain cells and lead to depression. Stress may also cause memory loss, fatigue, and decreased ability to fight off and recover from infection.
- Practice prevention
Many accidents, illnesses, and common geriatric health care conditions, such as falls, chronic illness, depression, and frailty, are preventable.
- Take charge of your health
Most of our health is not controlled by the health care system but by our own actions, our environment, our genes, and social factors. In addition, physicians are not perfect; medical errors do happen. The more patients participate in their own health care, the more satisfied they tend to be with the care they receive.
- Make community connections
Older adults who engage in meaningful community activities like volunteer work report feeling healthier and less depressed.
- Stay optimistic
Life tests us in many ways. Loved ones die, layoffs happen, and health problems can mount. But positive thinking can be a powerful ally. When you choose to be optimistic and grateful, your mind and body respond in kind. People with a rosier outlook live longer and have fewer heart attacks and depression than more negative people.
While these are just ten tips, there are tons more to help you lead a health, wonderful life. We are Charter Senior Living are here to help when needed. And knowing that there is no one-style-fits-all approach to aging, we are here to help you create your journey the way you want and deserve.