September is “Healthy Aging Month” in the United States, a month dedicated to helping older adults gain a more a positive outlook about growing older. The month-long wellness campaign aims to provide inspiration and practical ideas for adults (aged 45 years and above) to improve their physical, social, mental and emotional wellbeing. The mission of this annual campaign is to motivate them to lead a healthy life and stay active and vibrant for as long as possible.
According to the Administration for Community Living, the number of Americans aged 45-64-who will reach 65 over the next two decades-increased by 20.7% between 2003 and 2013. This makes it all the more important to pay attention to the subject of healthy aging. Initiated more than 20 years ago, the Healthy Aging campaign aims to provide people with helpful information for successful aging. Many people become less active as they get older. Regular physical activity and exercise coupled with healthy eating habits is crucial to help older people stay clear of or manage chronic diseases and improve their overall health.
Incorporating simple lifestyle changes can help prevent or control chronic health conditions. Regular exercise offers numerous benefits: it can help strengthen muscles, reduce high blood pressure and diabetes, improve balance and coordination and better manage body weight. Strengthening and stretching exercises enhance muscle flexibility and improve pain related to chronic conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia. Eating a nutritionally balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains is also important. Reviving a favorite hobby or activity can work wonders for mental and physical well-being.
It is also important that people take charge of their health as they older. They should not miss out on annual physicals, keeping medical appointments and getting preventative vaccines. As medications can have serious side effects, they should be well informed about the drugs they take. They should also be aware about their medical conditions and treatment options.
Celebrate “Healthy Aging Month” by taking control of your life and health!