HEALTHY LIVING: Northwest Health celebrates Healthy Aging Month – Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Healthy Aging Month is designed to “draw attention to the myths of aging, to shout out, ‘Hey, it’s not too late to take control of your health, it’s never too late to get started on something new,'” according to Carolyn Worthington, founder of Healthy Aging Month.

There are more than 76 million baby boomers today older than 50 and the first of the Generation X-ers have reached that milestone. I’m certain most of us would want to fend off the stereotypes and the negative aspects of getting old. But it’s never too late to reinvent yourself and to stay active and vibrant for as long as possible.

So what promotes healthy aging?

The risks of health problems increase with age, hence, give importance and stay up-to-date with preventive health care because you can help prevent or catch disease early before it can cause complications, disability or even death.

Services like immunizations against the COVID-19 virus, influenza, Streptococcus pneumonia, shingles, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough are recommended in older adults.

Cancer screenings for breast, cervical, colon, prostate and lung (with significant tobacco smoking history), and disease screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol are all recommended and beneficial in maintaining health.

Develop a healthy lifestyle

Eat a healthy diet, with more vegetables, whole grains, fish, fruits and nuts, with less red meat and salt. Maintain a healthy weight. Engage in regular exercises like walking, biking or swimming. Include stretching and muscle resistance exercises.

Exercises that improve balance and strength are especially beneficial in older adults to help prevent falls. Practice sleep hygiene and get adequate restful sleep at night.

Do something you love like hobbies. It’s never too late to find a new career, a new sport, a new passion, a new hobby or work on your health issues.

Don’t forget brain health. Don’t watch too much television. There are things we can do to keep our brains in shape such as puzzles (word, number, jigsaw), reading, playing cards and board games.

Remain socially involved. Maintaining social interactions helps ward off depression, anxiety, feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth. Enrolling in classes, joining group activities and doing volunteer work are some ways to stay socially engaged. In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been especially hard on older and immune-compromised adults because of social distancing and isolation. The use of online communication and online group activities have helped.

So, Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers, start making a habit of healthy aging now! Keep thriving and stay positive.

If you need help finding a primary care provider, call (833) 757- 9355 (WELL) or visit where you can schedule your appointment online with a Northwest Health provider.

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