You Are Not Too Old

September is Healthy Aging Month. Healthy Aging Magazine says they created the month to remind people 45 and up that they’re never too old to take control of their health or start something new. Here at 9Health:365, we’re here for your health, every day of the year! Here are some tips and tricks to take control of your health today.

Taking Control of Your Health

It all starts with healthy habits. It is no surprise to anyone that one of the first things you need to be doing to age healthy is to be active. That’s why we all say, “if you don’t use it, you lose it,” right? If making time to exercise has been hard for you, here are a couple of strategies to consider:

  • Go for walks – walking might be the easiest exercise you can get. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that any activity is better than none at all, but try to aim for a half-hour five times a week. 
  • Find an exercise you’re passionate about – If you don’t like to exercise, maybe you just haven’t found the thing that’s right for you. For instance, if you don’t like walking, running, yoga, Zumba, etc., maybe “exercise” in that sense isn’t what you need. Perhaps you need a sport, such as hockey, volleyball, or tennis. Finding something you enjoy means you’re more likely to do it.
  • Talk to your doctor or attend a 9Health Fair- A medical professional, such as your doctor or a medical professional at one of our 9Health Fairs can help suggest the kind of exercises that are best for you. Never heard of a 9Health Fair?! 9Health:365 offers affordable and convenient health screenings throughout Colorado. Whether you’re hoping to monitor your overall health or discover your personal health risk factors, we have the screenings you need – at a price you can afford – to empower you to take health into your own hands. Find an upcoming fair location: Find A Fair – 9Health3
  • It is also important to be mindful of what you’re eating. Numerous health issues are related to aging, but combine that with obesity, and your health risks go way up. Diets typically never last long. The more strict the diet, the harder it is to maintain. Instead, think back to the food you’ve been eating over the last couple of weeks. Is there an area you can improve? Maybe instead of making drastic changes to your diet, you pick one place to focus on. 

    If you snack on a lot of junk food, maybe you pick one snack a day to replace with something healthier, like fruits and nuts or veggies and hummus. If you have many big, unhealthy meals, maybe you replace one meal a day with a lighter, healthier meal. For instance, instead of bacon, eggs, and potatoes at breakfast, try steel-cut oats with fruit and nuts added to it.

    After a month or so, it just might become a habit, and you might feel motivated to have more healthy eating swaps.

    Start Something New

    One of the most significant benefits of trying something new also addresses one of the biggest concerns many of us have about aging – Alzheimer’s and Dementia. A recent study that you can read about in Medical News Today suggests that those with stimulating jobs were found to be 23% less likely to develop dementia. 

    If you’ve retired, don’t worry. We’re not suggesting you need to go back to work. But what this might mean is that it’s very beneficial to keep your brain engaged in something. Here are a few ways you can go about this:

    • Find a free online course – A study by Harvard found that between the years 2000 and 2012, dementia rates decreased 24%. During that same period, the average number of years of education rose from 12 to 13. Nowadays, it’s easy to find free classes online. Most likely, you can find a lesson about something that has always interested you and keep your brain engaged. It’s a win-win.
    • Join a club or volunteer- While it can be hard to put yourself out there and meet new people, being socially active is just as crucial to your healthy aging and brain health as learning something new. This is a great way to do both. You could join a club to learn about local birds in your area, or volunteer your time at an upcoming 9Health Fair!
    • Have a friend or family member teach you something – Do you have a friend or relative who is super crafty? Or maybe really great with power tools? Find someone you know who has a skill you admire and see if they will teach you? It’ll also be a great excuse to spend more time with this person. You’ll both have fun!

    Key Takeaways

    The big thing is, if you want to age healthily (and we all do), you have to take steps to make it happen. You are never too old to develop new habits or start something new.

    The big thing is, if you want to age healthily (and we all do), you have to take steps to make it happen. You are never too old to develop new habits or start something new.

    Here are the biggest takeaways:

    • Get active
    • Eat healthier
    • Try something new

    We want to encourage you to pick one takeaway and work on it for the month. Find someone to do it with you and help hold you accountable. Maybe you get together, and once a week go for a walk. Or perhaps you encourage each other with your once-a-day healthy snack. Not only will you both be working on healthy aging, but it’s also very likely you’ll both be having fun doing it.