By Michael Johnson
September is Healthy Aging Month, an annual observance month designed to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older. As part of this initiative, events across the country will promote taking personal responsibility for one’s health, be it physically, socially, mentally or financially.
What can you do to recognize Healthy Aging Month? For one, this is a time to take stock of your current physical and mental health and evaluate how to remain your healthiest self. Use this month to ask yourself “who am I now?” and “who do I want to be in the future?”. In taking stock of your life, don’t just focus any perceived shortcomings; instead celebrate what you love about yourself. Starting from this positive place can go a long way when making changes that stick.
You can use this month to drop some of those bad habits (like excessive drinking or smoking) that you’ve been meaning to stop. This month is also a great time to pick up healthier habits such as exercising and eating better. You can do simple and free things to remain active such as going for a walk, jog or bike ride. Healthy eating should also be a priority. Try to see if there are healthier alternatives to your favorite dishes. Small changes can have big payoffs.
Your cognitive health and emotional health are as equally important as your physical health. Do things that will keep your mind sharp; activities such reading or playing card games can go a long way in maintaining and improving mental acuteness. Even simple acts, such as making a conscious effort to maintain a positive attitude, can have beneficial effects on your mental state.
For more suggestions on improving your health during Healthy Aging Month, you can access the Healthy Aging Month resources.