September is Healthy Aging Month. Created by Carolyn Worthington, editor-in-chief of Healthy Aging® Magazine and executive director of Healthy Aging, this annual health observance is designed to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older. The main idea is to debunk the myths related to aging and to make people think about the positive aspects of aging instead of the negative aspects.
“September is a perfect time to celebrate Healthy Aging Month since it is time when many people think about getting started on new tasks after the summer,” says Worthington.
Awareness about healthy aging is important to make older people re-invent themselves and make them understand that aging is not necessarily a burden physically or emotionally. Older adults need to realize that they can make valuable and important contributions to society, and enjoy a high quality of life. Healthy Aging Month activities are designed to encourage people to rejuvenate and get going on positive measures that can impact their physical, social, financial and mental wellness.
Here are some ideas to get started on re-inventing yourself on this Healthy Aging Month:
- Stay positive: Ditch all the negativity and stay positive. Surround yourself with energetic, positive people of all ages and do things which will make you happier. Do not think about your age – instead think which was your best year, whether it’s 28 or 40, picture yourself at that age, and act like that. This technique will make you feel positive and go a long way towards feeling better about yourself.
- Stay active: Staying active is important at any age, but older adults need to choose the right kinds of physical activities. Walking is one of the best exercises. Regular walking not only keeps you fit, but also increases flexibility, boosts your mood and safeguards your health. Make sure that you do a daily walk, even if it’s for just 15 minutes. If you walk with friends, it can boost your social life too.
- Have regular eye exams: Aging is associated with loss of vision, depending on family history, health and certain eye diseases. Eye diseases don’t usually have any early symptoms, but can be detected during a eye evaluation. Early detection and treatment is the key to saving your sight. So don’t miss your regular eye exam.
- Maintain good oral health: Oral health is an essential element of healthy aging. Getting regular dental exams is important to identify and treat problems before they get worse. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and quit smoking.
- Proper nutrition: Good nutrition is necessary for healthy aging and to maintain a healthy weight. Eat plenty of fruit, veggies, healthy proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Cut down on sugar and salt.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends regular health exams and tests in order to find problems early or before they start, when your chances for treatment and cure are better.