In addition to Fruits and Veggies month, September is also Healthy Aging Month! This annual observance serves to remind people to focus on staying positive as they grow older. Far too often people associate the coming of age with achy joints, loss of memory, and health problems. However, there are certainly easy ways to go about preventing these things. First things first, get your mind wrapped around the fact that age is but a mindset. Then, follow these few steps in order to maintain your health as the years go on.
This does not have to mean rigorous workouts, long distance runs, or heavy lifting. (But if that's your thing, then power to ya!). 30 minutes spent walking around the mall, playing with your kids, or simply strolling around the neighborhood after dinner will keep your circulation moving, joints lubricated, and muscles stimulated. Whether you prefer to be active during the day or in the evening, it is important to simply get up and get moving. Heck, you may even want to have some fun and dance around once in a while.
Whether you're spending time with your family or friends, it's always important to make sure you continue having regular interactions with others. Even if you tend to enjoy alone time more, interacting with others will keep your mind sharp and healthy. There are many ways to go about meeting people and maintaining friendships. Join clubs, work out at your local gym, do some weekend volunteer work, or just stroll around the park and say hi to people. Go ahead and try it, you'll see the difference it makes on your overall mood.
If you already have a healthy diet, good for you, stick with it. However, if you tend to have poor eating habits and food choices, now would be a better time to change than ever. Genetically some people are more prone to certain health risks, and metabolism changes over time, so there will be some minor changes that you will need to make based on your health. Overall, it is important to be conscious about your body and make sure that you are nourishing it properly.
Chances are at this time in your life you've already established a steady routine. I challenge you to step out of that routine and do something different. Try planting new veggies and herbs in your garden, volunteer for a cause you're passionate about, or challenge yourself to complete a DIY project at home. Regardless of what it is, by switching things up, you'll keep things interesting in your life and keep your mind sharp.
Going back to the idea of age as a mindset, you are as young as you act. Growing up does not mean you have to become cynical and apathetic to the world around you. The only real thing that has changed is you! Take time to really enjoy the beauty of nature that surrounds you daily. Look up at the stars to remind yourself just how insignificant your frustrations are in the larger scope. Compliment someone completely random. Find fun and harmless ways to pull pranks on your family. Whatever you do, take time to enjoy the fact that you're alive (and well) and smile about that fact.
The coming of age does not and should not be associated with negative connotations. While illness and aging cannot be stopped, you can definitely protect yourself by treating your body right. Take these steps to be healthy, both physically and mentally, and you will begin to have a more positive outlook. Most important, smile and have fun!