Healthy Aging Month

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: 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.)
  7. 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.)
  8. 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!)
  9. 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!
  10. 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!)
  11. 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.
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