September 12, 2022
September is National Healthy Aging Month! This annual health observance was created to promote the positive aspects of aging and share health tips to improve your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. National Healthy Aging Month emerged over 20 years ago to target the aging generation of Baby Boomers; People born between 1946-1965 (September is Healthy Aging Month, 2016). Now, Healthy Aging Month is for every generation to observe. By 2040, there will be 80.8 million adults over the age of 65 (CDC, 2022). Whether you are younger or older, it is never too late to start working on your health by exercising, eating healthily, reducing stress, and regularly going to your providers to get check-ups.
With over 54.1 million U.S. adults being over 65, it is important to spread awareness around the struggles older adults may face. The prevalence of common diseases and ailments, such as hypertension, diabetes, dementia, and arthritis, increase as we age. 6.2 million Americans aged 65 and older struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and 27.2 million have arthritis (CDC, 2022). All these conditions can negatively affect your health, your ability to do things, and put you at a higher risk for further complications. 80% of older adults cite having at least one chronic health condition and 1 in 3 older adults cite restrictions on daily activities (CDC, 2018). Other ailments include loss of vision, hearing loss, cognitive decline, and more. Aging is a normal part of life but struggling with your health does not have to be!
Tips for Healthy Aging
- Eat and Drink Healthy: Be sure to eat healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Drink water throughout the day to help keep your body hydrated and in good shape. Minimize sugary, alcoholic, and caffeinated drinks.
- Engage in Physical Activity: Engaging in physical activity helps not only keep you in shape, but your body in good condition. Adults aged 40 and older taking 8,000 steps or more per day, compared to taking 4,000 steps per day, were associated with a 51% lower risk of death (HHS, n.d.). Try taking walks, doing yoga, or going to the gym!
- Regularly Schedule Doctor Visits: Providers can catch early warning signs that you may not be able to. Regularly visiting your doctor(s) can help diagnose conditions before they get worse, provide preventative measures, and overall health tips and goals specific to you.
- Get a Good Night’s Rest: Everyone needs enough sleep to stay healthy. Often, older adults are not getting the correct amount of sleep due to being in pain, medication side effects, feeling ill, and more. Adults aged 65 and older who had poor sleep quality had a harder time problem solving and concentrating than those getting quality sleep (HHS, n.d.). Try following a routine sleep schedule, avoid napping late in the day, and talk to your provider about poor sleep quality.
- Manage Your Stress: Long periods of stress are harmful to your body. Stress can not only affect your memory but increase the risk of dementia (HHS, n.d.). Work to lower your stress by mediation, therapy, physical activity, and taking part in hobbies you enjoy.
If you or a loved one want to learn more tips about healthy aging or have questions/concerns about your health, schedule an appointment today. Call (509) 935-6004 to get started.
CDC. (2018, February 28). Healthy Aging: Promoting Well-being in Older Adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved August 30, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/grand-rounds/pp/2017/20170919-senior-aging.html
CDC. (2022, June 6). Promoting Health for Older Adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved August 30, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/promoting-health-for-older-adults.htm
HHS. (n.d.). What Do We Know About Healthy Aging? National Institute on Aging. Retrieved August 30, 2022, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-do-we-know-about-healthy-aging
September is Healthy Aging Month. (2016, August 18). Healthy Aging®. https://healthyaging.net/healthy-aging-month/september-is-healthy-aging-month/
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