It’s Healthy Aging Month: Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle
September is Healthy Aging Month, a yearly celebration of the positive aspects of growing older. Healthy aging means not only working toward a healthy body but also being well-rounded mentally, emotionally, and socially. While some may negatively associate aging with physical decline or ailments, there are many ways to prevent certain medical conditions, boost mental and physical health, and feel your best as you enjoy the privilege of growing older.
Read on for some helpful tips for aging healthily and successfully.
Regular movement is essential to a healthy body. Exercise can be as simple a quick, ten-minute jaunt through your neighborhood a few times a week, gradually increasing the length of your walk over time. You can also take up activities such as yoga, gardening, a swim exercise class, aerobics, or dancing to get your heart rate up and keep your muscles and joints healthy. However, if you are not used to exercising, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any new workout regimen.
Stay up-to-date with your medical appointments
It can be easy to neglect our health and put off making appointments for regular checkups and health screenings. Many illnesses and medical conditions are easily preventable when caught early if you are diligent about your health and keeping up-to-date with your appointments. Be sure to schedule an annual physical with your doctor and receive any recommended tests, such as a full blood panel and cancer screenings. Yearly visits with your eye doctor and dentist are important, too.
An optimistic attitude makes all the difference when it comes to healthy aging. Growing older doesn’t have to have a negative connotation – especially when we consider that it is a privilege to do so. No matter your age, focusing on and being grateful for the good things in your life, such as your family, friends, health, or home, can make a significant difference in your mood and overall well-being.
Isolation is a major contributor to mental health issues and depression. If you find yourself stuck in a sedentary lifestyle with minimal social interaction, try to get involved in activities by volunteering, signing up for an art class, or joining a gardening club. Visiting a senior center to play cards or bingo is also a great way to stay active, make new friends, and socialize. Don’t forget to make a conscious effort to see your old friends and your family, too. If you live in a community for older adults, such as Christian Health, there are often a slew of activities and clubs available to participate in.
Maintain a healthy diet
Healthy eating is a hugely important part of staying healthy. So many people of all ages don’t realize how unhealthy their eating habits are, and getting the proper nutrients and maintaining a healthy weight becomes even more imperative as we get older. Be sure to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid excessively processed foods, and be conscious of your sodium intake. Increasing the amount of fresh vegetables in your diet is an easy way to feel full without too many calories.
Important staple foods to have in your diet include:
- Foods that are high in omega-3 acids and antioxidants and promote cognitive function, such as salmon, leafy greens, and eggs
- Foods that improve heart health, such as oats, Brussels sprouts, and beans
- Foods that boost immunity and are high in vitamin C, such as broccoli and citrus fruits
- Foods that strengthen bones and are rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, such as dairy, leafy greens, and almonds
Keep your mind active
A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. Studies show that keeping your brain active may help stave off memory loss or brain chemistry changes that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Reading the newspaper each morning, working on puzzles, or playing games of strategy, such as checkers, are all great ways to keep your mind engaged, reduce stress, boost your mood, and keep your memory sharp!
Healthy living at Christian Health
At Christian Health, we ensure the residents in our communities live a healthy and social lifestyle through activities that include strength and stability sessions, art and crafts, and trivia nights. If you would like to learn more about Christian Health and our variety of residential options for older adults, including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care, please call (201) 848-5200 to arrange a tour or to speak to an admissions counselor.