I know that we are still in the middle of August, but coming up in September is Healthy Aging Month. This is something that people of all ages should be aware of because no one is exempt from aging and there is no time like the present to lay the foundation for a lifetime of good health.
According to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, there are more than 4 million Floridians who are currently over the age of 60, which makes it all the more vital that we are taking the time to promote good health and embrace the aging process, rather than constantly fighting it. It is time to look beyond the concept of aging as simply wrinkles and crows feet, and see how we can make it a pleasant process full of happiness, ease, and overall good health.
Daily exercise is often overlooked in the aging community due to fear of injury or a belief that after a certain age, it is no longer necessary. It is actually recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of physical activity in, five times per week. Ideally, you should try to make the majority of this aerobic exercise, while adding in some minor strength building exercise whenever you can and to the extent that you feel comfortable. Living in Florida, the world is your oyster when it comes to exercise options because you can get a brisk walk, a bike ride or a swim in just about all year long. Not to mention that many communities have a gym and offer classes like yoga, spinning and water aerobics. Take advantage of this and watch how your physical and even mental health can improve with even these simple changes.
Another issue with aging health is getting adequate sleep. It is common among the aging community to experience a variety of sleep disorders, especially insomnia, and that can sometimes be attributed to disorders, medications, distress or irregular sleep schedules. Napping less often and being more active during the day may reduce stress and tire you out, making for a restful night of sleep and a healthier lifestyle.
At any age, it is just as important to pay homage to the seemingly trivial things. I know all to well that there comes a point where people throw their hands up and say that it doesn’t matter anymore or “what difference could it possibly make?” Let’s just say, why even bother finding out? Seniors are often at a higher risk for certain illnesses, so protect yourselves any way you can! Stay healthy by remembering to stay hydrated to avoid heat stroke, take your vitamins and eat a good diet to keep your immune system at its strongest, wear sunscreen when you’re getting sun exposure to prevent skin cancer and visit your doctors regularly to make sure you are always in the know about your health.