As people get older, caring for their physical health becomes increasingly important. In fact, many people face difficulties that may restrict even normal physical activity. This can significantly impact emotional health and put them at higher risk of developing depression and anxiety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 133 million adults – almost half the adult population – suffer from a chronic health condition. More than 13% of the total population in the United States is above 65 years of age. These figures emphasize the need for people to follow a healthy lifestyle to enjoy a long life.
September is observed as “Healthy Aging Month”, an annual observance focusing attention on the positive aspects of growing older. A national wellness campaign, Healthy Aging month is designed to recognize the impact of aging on a person’s physical, mental and emotional health. The mission of this annual campaign is to motivate local level healthy aging events that promote taking responsibility for one’s health, whether it is physical, mental or social.
It is a fact that as people get older, they become less active. Regular physical activity and exercise integrated with healthy eating habits plays a dominant role in promoting a person’s overall health in old age. Apart from this, staying smoke-free and taking steps to improve mental and social well-being is crucial to promote health.
When a person is not physically active, the muscles tend to shorten and stiffen. Regular exercise can help manage body weight, strengthen muscles, lower blood pressure and improve balance and coordination. It also helps to prevent falls and injuries. Stretching and strengthening activities enhances flexibility and improves pain and discomfort of chronic conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis. Performing a 30 minute workout a day can control heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, osteoporosis and other chronic health disorders. People can easily incorporate physical activity in their daily routine in small and smart ways like parking the car farther away from required destination or taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Routine medical check-ups and screening are important for healthy aging. Reducing both physical and mental stress improves overall health and enhances quality of life.
Initiated about 20 years ago, the Healthy Aging campaign continues to be extremely popular within local organizations and the general public. It acts as a platform for people to incorporate necessary lifestyle changes. This month-long celebration inspires individuals to gain a more positive outlook about growing older.
The bottom line is that taking adequate steps for your well-being is crucial for successful aging.