4 Tips for Healthy Aging
September is Healthy Aging Month
Condensed from Healthy Aging
It’s never too late to strive for a healthier lifestyle, and September is Healthy Aging Month, which makes it the perfect time to make a plan. Recapture that “back to school” feeling with a personal commitment to renew yourself. To improve yourself physically, socially, and mentally, here are 4 reasonable tips to inspire you:
- Mental Health
Exercise – 20 Minutes a Day
Exercise means moving more, sitting less. Choose something fun you can keep at, such as walking, dancing, swimming, or biking. If you choose walking, listening to audiobooks or podcasts may make the time go by more quickly.
National recommendations suggest 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical exercise a week and two days of strengthening exercise. That’s only 20 minutes a day, 7 days a week, or around an hour a day if you do three days a week. If you enjoy variety, check out All Trails for walking and hiking options near you.
Diet – Add Fiber, Reduce Salt
Diet is crucial in developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For example, cut back on salt, which is linked to high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. Adding more fiber to your diet can help lower cholesterol, control your blood sugar, as well helping maintain good digestive health.
Increase Social Interaction
Often overlooked is the importance of social interaction to a healthy life. Reach out to friends to set up time for lunch or coffee. Or invite friends along for free or inexpensive activities, such as picnic in the park, antiquing, free museum days, game or movie night at home, book club, or explore a nearby town. Set a goal of inviting a friend(s) to do something once a week. Look for fun events near you online or on social sites, such as Eventbrite.
Three additional ways to become more social are 1) volunteering, 2) pursue your passion and 3) get a dog. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, get out of the house and bring happiness to yourself. In terms of passions or hobbies, take a hard look at what you like to do rather than what other people tell you to do to meet new people. Pick some activities where you might meet new friends. And, consider getting a dog. If you don’t have one, get one and walk. You will be amazed how many people you will meet through your dog. Can’t have one? Check your local humane society to see if they need dog walkers.
Mental Health is More Than Controlling Stress
Last, but not least, is mental health. That means controlling stress as well as making plans to be active. This could mean starting a new hobby, taking a class or exploring a new career. Redefining your purpose to maintain a sense of identity and purpose is essential to a healthy lifestyle.
Even if you’re long past being a student, consider going with that “back to school” feeling and make September the perfect time to renew or set your lifestyle goals. It’s not too late!