Never too late to Age in a Healthy Way

Sep 20, 2018

Tips for Healthy Aging® Month

The month of September is Healthy Aging® Month and the time to get started on how to age well and healthfully 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.

Wondering how to age well?  We have ten practical tips for you…

1. 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.

2. 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. One of the biggest secrets of how to age well is being careful about your diet and making sure to include omega 3s, fatty acids, and other nutrients that keep your body as healthy as possible.

3. 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.

4. 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. Healthful aging includes enough time having fun with those you love. 

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Practice prevention

Many accidents, illnesses, and common geriatric health care conditions, such as falls, chronic illness, depression, and frailty, are preventable. Making sure you have regular visits with your doctor to discuss issues and get all the suggested tests can catch illnesses early or before they even begin.

8. 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.

9. Make community connections

Older adults who engage in meaningful community activities like volunteer work report feeling healthier and less depressed. Charter Senior Living packs communities full of activities within the retirement community and within the community as a whole to foster relationships.

10. 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 at 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.