Americans are living longer these days due to technology and advances in medicine. We have been gifted with 30 more years of life than our parent’s generation. We are more educated about healthy living, and it is a choice we can make as we enter into elderhood.
Do illness and aging always go hand-in-hand? The answer is a surprising, but resounding, NO.
It is never too early or too late to get more active or revamp your diet. It is not a matter of training for a marathon or giving up entire food groups, either. Small things can lead to huge differences in the way you feel and the way your body works. Although you should always consult with your doctor before making changes, there are easy steps you can take toward overall wellness—regardless of your age.
Be Wise, Be Well
- Start slowly. If you have not been exercising, choose something low-impact that you can do a little at a time. Walk for ten minutes in the morning and the afternoon. Sign up for a Tai Chi class, or learn some gentle stretches.
- Exercising is less of a chore when you do it with people you enjoy. Involving others will also hold you accountable. Gather a group of friends or join a class that offers what you are looking for. Most senior and community centers offer free or low-cost options.
- Activity is important, but nutrition is equally vital. Keep an honest record of what you eat to see how you are doing. If you have a condition like diabetes, always consult your doctor before changing your diet. Nutritionists are another excellent resource, whether you have special dietary needs or not.
- Wellness is a matter of body and mind. Eating healthy foods and staying active may reduce risks to your brain’s health. Do even more by learning new things and exercising your mind. Try reading, playing games, taking a class, or simply being social.
A big part of the new way to age is a focus on physical and mental wellness. In recognition and celebration of Older Americans Month #OAM18! We are sharing these resources with you. Educate yourself – Be wise. Be well.
What is Brain Health
National Institutes on Aging
National Institute on Aging
National Council on Aging
Long-term Care Planning
Department of Health and Human Services
Mouth Healthy Initiative
American Dental Association
Sleep and Aging
National Institutes of Health
About the Author: Jean is an Elder Advocate and Eden Alternative Educator with over 30 years’ experience in not-for-profit and for-profit healthcare organizations. She is honored to lead the mission and values culture development for Compass Senior Living in Eugene, Oregon. Jean lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where she enjoys the weather and volunteers with the Nevadans for the Common Good, advocating for caregivers and elders in southern Nevada