September is a perfect time to celebrate Healthy Aging Month since it is the time when many people think about getting started on new tasks after the summer. Drawing on the “back to school” urge embedded in everyone from childhood, the observance month’s activities are designed to encourage people to rejuvenate and get going on positive measures that can impact the areas of physical, social, financial, and mental wellness. This observance raises awareness on the physical and mental health of older adults and serves as a reminder that as we age, our minds and bodies change. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to help deal with those changes and to help prevent some common age-related health problems.
You can take a proactive approach to aging by adopting healthy habits and behaviors, managing existing health conditions, and staying connected to your community. Consider practicing the tips below to help you stay active and independent as you age.
- Eat and Drink Healthy. Dietary needs may change as you age. A healthy eating plan includes nutritious foods that are low in cholesterol, fat, and artificial ingredients. You should also drink plenty of liquids, especially water, to stay hydrated. Eat nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products.
- Move More, Sit Less. Staying active can help you prevent, delay, and manage chronic diseases, improve balance and stamina, reduce the risk of falling, and improve brain health. Aim for moderate physical activity, like walking, at least 150 minutes a week (22-30 minutes a day) and muscle strengthening activities, like carrying groceries, at least 2 days a week. Always consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.
- Get Regular Checkups. It is vital to go to the doctor for regular health screenings for healthy aging. Regular checkups help doctors catch chronic diseases early and can help patients reduce risk factors for disease, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In some cases, regular checkups have been linked to improved quality of life and feelings of wellness.
- Be Aware of Changes in Brain Health. Everyone’s brain changes as they age, but dementia is not a normal part of aging. There are a variety of healthy behaviors that can be done to reduce age-related cognitive decline or manage dementia. Engaging in social and intellectually stimulating activities, getting enough sleep, and not smoking are a few actions you can take. See your doctor if you have questions about memory or brain health.
Healthy Aging Month is recognized as a time to celebrate life and the positive aspects of growing older. As we age, we become aware that our physical and mental health, as well as dietary and social needs, change over time. However, that doesn’t mean you’ve lost control. You can take charge of your well-being, by taking steps to age with a healthy body and a healthy mind.
At Glen Oaks Community, we offer daily fitness choices including classes, swimming, walking indoors and out. We offer ping pong, bean bags, ladder golf, swimming, walking, basketball in our full-size gymnasium, the popular pickleball and exercise equipment and classes. After a work-out, relax in our hot tub or hydro massaging tub. Locker rooms offer a place to shower and change. All amenities are included in your monthly package for both the TimberCrest Apartment residents and the Terraces Townhome owners. Call Kim to schedule a private tour of TimberCrest at 641-355-1203 or your favorite Realtor to see the townhomes.