Healthy Aging Month is observed as a time to celebrate life and the benefits of growing older. Physical and mental health, as well as dietary and social needs, change as people age. A person can take charge of their health by taking steps to age with a healthy body and mind and not lose control of their health.

September is recognized as a month to focus on health and take precautions to help face the challenges that come with aging. Lifestyle changes can be made in order to mature gracefully.It is never too late to address health concerns.

Steps to Healthy Aging

There is no “one size fits all” approach to successful aging. The ability to avoid disease and disability, maintain high cognitive and physical function, and be engaged in life have long been recognized as three common components of positive healthy aging. Throughout the country, health professionals and educators have used September to educate the public on the benefits of getting older. Statistics show that seniors will outnumber children for the first time in our country’s history in just a few years.
As the elderly population grows, as does life expectancy, society must step up efforts to improve the quality of life for seniors. However, the focus is not solely on the Baby Boomers (28% of the US population). Generation “Xers” (those born between 1965 and 1980) are also growing in number. Society must renew its commitment to seniors while also encouraging all Americans to plan for the future by leading a healthy lifestyle now.

Setting aside time for physical activity can help lower blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight; however, everyone should be aware of their own limitations and modify activities as needed. Do something fun, and always consult with a health professional before beginning an exercise program. Maintain a healthy diet; eat in reasonable portions and avoid overeating. Avoid processed foods, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water according to age and gender guidelines.

Taking online classes and staying in touch with friends and family through organizations or volunteering can help you stay social. Individuals should maintain a positive attitude and keep their minds active by reading or working on puzzles. Get regular checkups, physicals, and medical tests as needed, as many diseases can be prevented if caught early.

Use September as a motivator to reflect on past experiences and potential future goals. Because everyone ages differently, there are no hard and fast rules. It is never too late to begin a new endeavor. The ultimate goal and best gift to oneself is to remain active and vibrant for as long as possible. Staying physically and mentally active, as well as cultivating social connections with friends and family, are all important parts of keeping the mind and body healthy.

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Sources: https://dhhs.ne.gov

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