May is Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate healthy aging everywhere. Each year, the Administration on Aging chooses a theme that is relevant to wellness for adults over the age of 65. In 2018, the theme Engage at Every Age was announced and we are happy to give a few ways you can become involved in healthy lifestyle choices no matter if you are 24 or 104.
Make a new friend
Socialization has recently been studied in regards to healthy aging, and researchers have consistently found that friendships and feelings of support or encouragement can decrease the chance of depression or feelings of loneliness in senior adults. Do you feel connected to friends, neighbors, or a peer group? If you don’t, you could be seeing negative physical and emotional health consequences. Try to connect with your peers by making a few new friends.
Try a new activity
Pursuing hobbies is important at any age, especially when you are retired. However, it isn’t all about hobbies that you already know. Learning a new hobby or skill has been linked to decreased progression of dementia. Take a class series to learn a new language, try out a camera class at your local library, or learn how to plant a container garden. Any type of new learning can benefit you cognitively and emotionally!
Move your body
We have covered this topic before, but the studies continue to demonstrate the more seniors move their bodies, the healthier they are. Aim for some type of activity every day, whether that is a stroll around your local nature preserve or a Zumba class with your friends at the senior center. Regular movement helps build strength and flexibility, as well as decreases the stiffness sometimes felt with arthritis.
How do you stay engaged at your age? We would love to hear your successes and your challenges. Submit your story to us for the chance to be published on our website.