As the leaves change their colors and the air becomes crisper, September not only marks the beginning of fall but also a significant occasion in the realm of health and wellness. It's National Healthy Aging Month—a time when we focus on embracing the golden years with vitality, vigor, and a commitment to well-being. Healthy aging is a holistic journey that encompasses physical, mental, and emotional aspects of life. It encourages individuals to make lifestyle choices that promote a fulfilling and active senior life.
Here are some key principles of healthy aging:
1. Stay Physically Active: Regular exercise is the cornerstone of maintaining physical health as you age. Activities like walking, swimming, and yoga help improve mobility, strength, and balance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week for older adults. Check the new Group Exercise schedule and get the latest yoga, strength and balance or even aqua exercise class times.
2. Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats provides essential nutrients for a strong immune system and overall well-being. The National Institute on Aging offers dietary guidelines tailored to older adults' needs. Or talk with our very own Nutrition Specialist, Kristal at Kristal.Twardy@franciscanalliance.org to schedule a private appointment to help start your healthy eating journey.
3. Prioritize Mental Health: Engaging in cognitive activities, such as puzzles, reading, or learning new skills, helps keep the mind sharp. Regular social interactions also play a vital role in maintaining emotional well-being. Whether through team training, group exercise classes or just having casual conversations on the walking track, the gym environment naturally encourages social connections among its members. The American Psychological Association emphasizes the importance of mental health care for seniors.
4. Get Regular Check-ups: Routine medical check-ups and screenings are essential for early detection and management of health issues. Consult your healthcare provider for a personalized plan based on your health status and goals. Don’t miss the next chance to get tested at our next Wellness Screening happening in our Chesterton Location ONLY on December 5th from 6:30am- 7:30.
5. Manage Stress: Practicing stress-reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or mindfulness can improve mental resilience and reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with stress. Yoga is a great way to incorporate all techniques into one. Check the new Group Exercise schedule for the most up to date class times.
6. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration is a common concern among seniors. Be mindful of your water intake to ensure proper bodily functions. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine suggest men should drink about 3.7 liters a day and women should aim for 2.7 liters.
Let September be a starting point for your commitment to a healthier and happier aging you. Remember, it's never too late to prioritize your well-being, and each small step you take can lead to a more active and vibrant senior life. So let Franciscan Health Fitness Centers help you live the healthy senior lifestyle you want. Cheers to National Healthy Aging Month, and to a future filled with vitality and joy!
Adding Physical Activity as an Older Adult
CDC Psychologists emphasize more self-care for older adults (apa.org)
Water: How much should you drink every day? - Mayo Clinic