We are all aging. Healthy Aging Month is a month to focus on the good things about getting older. It’s also to help all of us learn to look after ourselves physically, mentally, financially and socially. It’s never too late to start taking better care of yourself. Take stock of where you are now and think of simple things you could change or add to your life to help improve the way you feel.
What are some tips to healthy aging?
- Decide to take care of your health. Though your healthcare provider can prescribe medications for you and give you advice regarding different chronic conditions, you are in charge of prevention. Most changes you can make will involve your lifestyle. A better diet, less alcohol, more movement.
- Get more rest. Many of us need more sleep but we also could use more leisure time. Think of leisure as time spent not doing much of anything. A relaxing day outdoors by yourself, an afternoon on the couch reading a favorite book or listening to music. Leisure should be uninterrupted time that you spend alone because your body needs it.
- Take charge of your finances. Make up a spreadsheet with a budget for each month. Even if you do feel you have too many debts, putting them in order will help. Once you see exactly what you owe and how long it will take to pay it, it’s one more thing off your mind and one less worry.
- Find community activities that you enjoy. Look for something at your senior’s center or in your neighborhood. Maybe a book club or a walking group. Make sure it is something that you enjoy doing and then find others to share your time with.
- Reduce stress. At different times of our lives we’ll find that we are overcome with stressful events. Learning how to handle stress so it doesn’t make us physically ill is very important. When stress increases, spend more time on physical activity. Dancing, walking, aerobic exercise, gardening, anything that will keep you busy and keep you moving will help your body to handle stress well.
Healthy aging involves leading an active life. For each of us that is something different. Start spending more time on the activities you enjoy. Learn what really counts in life and what is unimportant. Eat simply, rest when you’re tired and forget how old you are. Age really is just a number. This September put your focus on aging in the healthiest way you can.