The numbers of people over 45 is growing every year.
September is Healthy Aging® Month and the time to get started on better health practices.
This month is the time to celebrate life and turn over a new leaf. September is Healthy Aging Month, a month dedicated to helping individuals gain a more positive outlook about growing older.
The Healthy Aging Campaign was established 15 years ago, and since then, individuals help others become aware of their physical and mental health, diet, social skills and even financial situations; all factors that contribute to successful aging. It’s never too late to start leading a healthier lifestyle. Even well into their 60s and 70s, adults can take action to reduce their risk of developing chronic disease.
Tips for Reinventing Yourself during September, Healthy Aging Month:
- Exercise helps control body weight, lower your blood pressure and strengthen your muscles, which helps you avoid injuries by making you less likely to fall. And an increase in muscle mass helps your body metabolize drugs more like a young person does, Dyer said, which means medicines can be cleared from the body more effectively. Daily stretching is important. Your muscles tend to shorten and stiffen when you aren’t active, but stretching activities such as yoga will improve your flexibility. Five minutes of stretching in the morning will be extremely helpful.
- Sticking to a healthy weight by exercising and eating right has multiple benefits, studies show. If you can keep your weight down, you’ll decrease your risk of diabetes, which affects about 23.3 million Americans, as well as certain types of arthritis, which hinders activity for about 19 million Americans, according to the CDC. One way to eat better is to eat more fruits and vegetables every day.
- Practice preventive measures, such as getting a yearly flu shot and getting screened for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers, are also important for growing old gracefully. Keeping an eye on other disease indicators, such as high blood pressure and the early stages of diabetes, can also make a difference in terms of the degree of disability people experience later in life.
- Attending religious services and having a generally sunny outlook on life have been linked to longer, healthier lives. For instance, a 2006 study found that regular church attendance can add 1.8 to 3.1 years to your life.
- Be positive in your conversations and your actions every day. When you catch yourself complaining, check yourself right there and change the conversation to something positive. (Tip: Stop watching the police reports on the local news). Do you have negative friends who complain all of the time and constantly talk about how awful everything is? Drop them. As cruel as that may sound, distance yourself from people who do not have a positive outlook on life. They will only depress you and stop you from moving forward. Surround yourself with energetic, happy, positive people of all ages and you will be happier too. (Tip: Smile often. It’s contagious and wards off naysayers.)
- Walk like a vibrant, healthy person. Come on. You can probably do it. Analyze your gait. Do you walk slowly because you have just become lazy or, perhaps, have a fear of falling? (Tip: Make a conscious effort to take big strides, walk with your heel first, and wear comfortable shoes.)
- Stand up straight! You can knock off the appearance of a few extra years with this trick your mother kept trying to tell you. Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you holding your stomach in, have your shoulders back, chin up? Check out how much better your neck looks! Fix your stance and practice it every day, all day until it is natural. You will look great and feel better. (Tip: Your waistline will look trimmer if you follow this advice.)
- How’s your smile? Research shows people who smile more often are happier. Your teeth are just as important to your good health as the rest of your body. Not only is it the first thing people notice, but good oral health is a gateway to your overall well-being. (Tip: Go to the dentist regularly and look into teeth whitening. Nothing says old more than yellowing teeth!)
- Lonely? Stop brooding and complaining about having no friends or family. Do something about it now. Right this minute. Call a friend. Volunteer. Talk to someone!
- Find your inner artist. Who says taking music lessons is for young school children? You may have an artist lurking inside you just waiting to be tapped. Have you always wanted to play the piano, violin, or tuba? Have you ever wondered if you could paint a portrait or scenic in oil? What about working in wood? (Tip: Sign up now for fall art or music classes and discover your inner artist!)
- Finally, make sure you get enough Zzzzzzs. While it may not be considered an exercise (unfortunately), sleep helps repair our bodies. Without it, we’re more prone to injuries and aren’t as alert, which may lead to falls and motor-vehicle accidents.