September is Healthy Aging Month! As we age, our bodies need more intentional care to keep them working as they should. Here are some tips to help your body age well!
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy both physically and mentally. Staying active, even in little ways, may even help provide relief from heart disease, diabetes, depression and arthritis. Try to find an activity that you enjoy. If going to the gym every day doesn’t appeal to you, try walking or riding your bike instead. Find a balance of aerobic, balance and strengthening activities. Ask your doctor what exercises are best for you, and get moving!
Eat a healthy diet.
Many U.S. adults consume more than double the recommended daily allowance of sodium, which can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Try cutting out packaged foods with too much sodium, and make sure you aren’t eating out too much. Add more nutrient-dense whole foods like fruits and vegetables to your diet and consult your doctor concerning your specific dietary needs.
Exercise your brain.
As important as physical exercise is, mental exercise is just as important. As we age, our brains can decline in function, which is natural and normal. However, regular cognitive stimulation can help slow cognitive decline and keep your brain functioning at a high capacity. To keep your brain healthy, try learning a new skill or language! Take dance classes, attend lectures, learn a musical instrument or read a book. Even word games and puzzles can help keep your mind active and your brain healthy.
Take an active role in your health care.
Take charge of your health by scheduling a physical exam and addressing specific concerns with your healthcare provider. Start a conversation with your physician about things you can do to keep your body healthy as you age. Be your own advocate by speaking up when something doesn’t seem right. Taking an active role in your health care allows you and your doctor to work as a team to keep you healthy.