What is Healthy Aging Month?
Healthy Aging Month is observed throughout September and strives to raise awareness about the positive side of aging. During this month, organizations often promote local events to encourage adults to take personal responsibility for their physical, social, mental, and financial health.
Now is the perfect opportunity for adults of any age to adopt healthier habits that set them up for healthy aging. Carolyn Worthington, the executive director of Healthy Aging and editor-in-chief of Healthy Aging Magazine, says it’s never too late for adults to “re-invent” themselves.
Whether it’s another career, practicing a new sport, or visiting a new place, there are so many ways older adults can re-invent themselves, no matter their age.
12 Ways To Boost Wellbeing During Healthy Aging Month
There is a growing body of evidence that shows a correlation between positive social connections and longevity. So, during Healthy Aging Month, make it a point to engage with positive people who support you and push you to try new things. If your social circle is limited, consider taking a local class or volunteering.
2. Don’t act your age
It’s never a good idea to act based on how other people your age behave. Think about your favorite age. Were you 25? 45? 65? Imagine yourself then and do what you did then. It isn’t denial — it’s a positive mindset, and it will help you improve your self-perception.
3. Be positive
When you talk to other people (and even in your mind to yourself), practice being positive. If you notice yourself complaining, try to think of something positive instead. If your social circle is filled with negative Nancies, consider distancing yourself from them. It might not be easy, but surrounding yourself with these types of personalities will impact your outlook and hold you back from your best life.
4. Walk confidently
Even if you are the least confident person in the world, no one will know if you don’t show it. Healthy Aging Month is just as much about improving emotional wellness, and one way to do that is walking like someone with confidence. Even if you have to fake it, you will eventually make it.
In the same vein, don’t forget your posture! Sitting up straight makes you look younger and flatters your shape. Try it in the mirror and see the difference that holding your chin up can make! That will go a long way to help you develop your confidence.
There is a strong correlation between happiness and the number of times you smile. But if you feel self-conscious about your smile, why not do what you can to improve your wellbeing? Your dental health is just as important as your mental health, but unfortunately, it often goes unchecked. This month, consider making an effort to schedule a dentist appointment and get in the habit of flossing.
6. Be proactive about your health
In addition to catching up on your dental appointments, consider scheduling your yearly physical, or see a specialist to take care of that problem you’ve been ignoring. This way, you can give yourself peace of mind knowing that you are responsible for your health.
7. Try a new hobby
Is there a particular activity you’ve always wanted to try, but never had time to practice before retirement? Why not make a promise to yourself to try it during Healthy Aging Month? Challenging yourself to learn a new skill or hobby is a great way to stimulate your brain and even meet new people. You can also find numerous free classes and tutorials online.
8. Take naps
Naps aren’t only for young children; they’re for everyone! For older adults, in particular, naps can boost alertness and energy, which helps with cognition and focus. Additionally, research shows that nap-takers are 37% less likely to develop heart disease.
9. Get moving
Regular exercise is the foundation of healthy aging. Seniors should try to get two and a half hours of physical activity every week. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown workout, either. Taking a walk through the park can be enough, or try some simple indoor exercises for seniors.
10. Make realistic plans for yourself
Studies show that Alzheimer’s is less likely to develop in older adults who have a sense of purpose. However, finding this can be challenging. While setting new goals can alleviate this issue, the trick is to create a realistic, clear-cut plan that outlines how you will accomplish it.
11. Practice fiscal responsibility
Why should you examine your expenses, make a budget, and try to trim unnecessary costs during Healthy Aging Month? Because doing so can help you save money so you can afford the things you want, which leads to lower stress. When you know where your money is going, you can redirect it to something you want to do, such as travel, sports, or leisure.
12. Get energized the natural way
Iron deficiency causes lethargy, so if you feel frequently fatigued, look for iron-rich foods such as spinach, meat, beans, and dried fruit. Getting enough iron is particularly important for women since nearly 10% of women have an iron deficiency.
Another way to uplift your energy is by eating the right combination of foods. The molecules in veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats all interact after consumption, providing more energy together than if you ate just one or two at a time.
Similarly, snacking can help seniors can maintain their energy throughout the day. But rather than eating processed foods, consider making your snacks at home, like trail mixes and energy bars. A nutritious diet is one of the best ways to fuel your body so you can get the most out of your golden years.
Remember that healthy aging is more than only eating right and exercising — it’s also about finding balance in all aspects of your life.
If you or a loved one needs a little extra help finding this balance, an in-home caregiver can help.
Our qualified caregivers can help with transportation, dressing, cooking, and more — just call (888) 541-1136.
Be sure to check the Blog for resources and tips for happy, healthy senior living.
- Davis, Amy. “Healthy Aging Month Tips: 6 Healthy Lifestyle Ideas.” Healthy Aging ®, Mansions Senior Living, 18 Aug. 2016, healthyaging.net/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/.
- “September Is Healthy Aging Month.” Healthy Aging ®, 18 Aug. 2016, healthyaging.net/healthy-aging-month/september-is-healthy-aging-month/.