Aging happens, regardless of whether you want it to. But healthy aging, on the other hand, is something you have to work for. It’s something you have to want and go out of your way to make happen. To truly age well, you have to be willing to live a healthy lifestyle to the best of your ability.
Sure, it’s not always easy. Sometimes it’s easier to eat the high-fat, high-sugar foods. It’s easier to sit on the couch and watch television than it is to go outside for a brisk walk. For some, it’s even easier to think about the well-being of their kids and grandkids before they think about their own. But easier isn’t always the best choice in the long-run.
You’ve still got more than three months left of 2018, and since it’s Healthy Aging® Month, now is the perfect time to gameplan the healthier lifestyle changes you can make and stick to. We’re not talking a short-lived diet fad or a one-week long workout plan. We’re talking lasting changes that help you to age well for years to come. Here’s our advice:
Set attainable goals. First, aim for quick wins. It’s scientifically proven that quick wins can help keep you motivated longer, no matter the goal. If you implement conservative goals in the beginning, you’ll be more likely to stick to those goals and add even more healthy goals into the equation over time. You’ll be amazed at your accomplishments!
Think positive. Just like quick wins can have a positive impact on your lifestyle changes, so can thinking with an optimistic, open mindset. Believe in yourself from the beginning and tell yourself the reasons for the healthy aging tips you’re implementing. It will be worth it. You will feel better physically and mentally. Every positive change you make will lead to a healthier, enjoyable, and more active retirement.
Exercise your mind. Working out for physical strength and health is important, but don’t forget about your brain! Continue to challenge your mind by expanding your skills, which will decrease cognitive decline and improve overall brain function. Take a leap and try something new, like learning a different hobby, studying a new language, or challenging a friend to a game of chess.
Smile more. Along with staying positive, smiling can do wonders for your health! Studies show that people who smile more are often happier, and happiness plays a direct role in the quality of your aging. Good oral health is also key, since poor oral hygiene can actually lead to other health problems, like heart disease.
Be social. It’s time to get up and be around other people – no more sitting back, yearning for companionship instead of doing something about it. Take action into your own hands! Staying socially active is good for the mind, body and soul. Continue to build supportive, nurturing relationships with others as you age; studies show that seniors who regularly interact with others may even be able to live independently longer.
Stay up-to-date on your health appointments. Whether it’s health screenings you should have at certain ages or regularly-scheduled check-ups, make sure you’re staying on top of your health. Meeting with your family doctor regularly can help you understand if you’re on the right track for healthy aging, or if there are things you can do to improve your physical and/or mental health. Work with your doctor to identify your goals and come up with a healthy plan to improve your lifestyle moving forward.
Healthy aging shouldn’t only happen during the month of September. You should strive to age well every day of the year – starting with the tips above. At Saint Simeon’s, we believe that aging has a fulfilling purpose in life and that our society’s seniors have enduring value to family and community. Contact us today to request more information about our senior living services and amenities.