Healthy Aging® Campaign Celebrates 30 Years
Healthy Aging® is celebrating its 30th year. The national health campaign draws national attention on the positive aspects of growing older, particularly among adults ages 45-plus. The mission is to encourage everyone to take personal responsibility for their health.
The campaign which includes September is Healthy Aging Month was created in 1992, 30 years ago, by Carolyn Worthington, publisher of the Healthy Aging® multi-media platform and president of the non-profit Educational Television Network, Inc.
“Our goal in creating the campaign is to draw attention to the positive sides of growing older. We felt there needed to be a second season during the year in addition to May is Older Americans Month. The fall focus was chosen because so many people feel they can “get started” more easily then. Maybe the back-to-school routine never really goes away.”
Now, after three decades, Worthington sees the national interest in continuing healthy lifestyles well into older ages has never been stronger.
“When we started back in the 90s, not many people really wanted to talk about growing older. Not that we do now, but the focus is loud and clear that there are many ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle well into later years,” Worthington said. “Aging is no longer a taboo subject. It’s almost become trendy to be an active older adult.”’
” We were proud to assist The U.S. Senate when they unanimously passed the resolution marking September as National Healthy Aging Month in 2021,” Worthington said.
“For 2022 and 2023, we have created a new poster designed to help health educators promote positive lifestyle efforts,” Worthington said. “We are proud to partner with The Parkinson’s Foundation on this year’s poster.” The full-color poster depicts a couple who appear to reach a peak in life with a world of possibilities ahead. “We love it and hope the wellness coordinators will find it useful in their efforts,” Worthington said.
Ways to Celebrate Healthy Aging®
“Choosing healthy lifestyle options is important no matter what your age. Use the fall season as the motivation to take stock of where you’ve been, what you genuinely would like to do,” Worthington said.
“And try it! Who says you must follow a career related to your school studies? Who says you can’t start your own home business later in life? Why not choose a new athletic goal (5K, anyone?), or do something wildly different from anything you’ve done before? Only that person you see in the mirror!”
10 Lifestyle Tips from Healthy Aging®
It’s never too late to strive for a healthier lifestyle, and now is the perfect time to make a plan.
Recapture that “back to school” feeling with a personal commitment to renew yourself. To improve yourself physically, socially, and mentally, here are ten tips to inspire you from The Healthy Aging® Campaign:
1. Move more, sit less.
Why? Physical activity is your weapon to help control blood pressure, help prevent heart disease and stroke and possibly lower your risk for depression, anxiety, and conditions like certain cancers and type 2 diabetes. What to do? Choose something fun so you can keep at it, like cycling, walking, dancing, swimming, or aerobics.
2. How much do you need to do?
Current national recommendations are 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week and two days of muscle-strengthening training. That’s only 20 minutes a day, seven days a week, or around an hour a day if you do three days a week.
3. Get motivated
Seek out free websites and apps like All Trails to find parks and trails around the world; American Heart Association with ideas on how to join a walking club or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for individuals with a disability
4. Try to cut back on salt.
A diet rich in sodium has been linked to high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack—all good reasons to try not to over-salt your food. Adding more fiber to your diet can help lower cholesterol, control your blood sugar, as well helping maintain good digestive health.
Be of service. An excellent way to bring happiness into your life is to not focus on yourself. Refocus on others by volunteering your time and expertise. United Way, the American Red Cross, VolunteerMatch, and AmeriCorps are all helpful resources.
6. Beat back loneliness
Don’t wait for the phone to ring. Be proactive and call someone for a lunch date. Set up a calendar of lunch dates and challenge yourself to have at least two lunch dates per month (once a week is even better!) It doesn’t have to be expensive … pack a picnic, and head to a park. Try to mix up your get-togethers with old friends and new acquaintances.
7. Rekindle or follow a new passion
Take a hard look at what you like rather than what other people tell you to do to meet new people. Pick some activities where you might meet new friends.
8. Get a dog
If you don’t have one, get one and walk. You will be amazed how many people you will meet through your dog. Can’t have one? Check your local humane society to see if they need dog walkers.
9. Be realistic with what you can accomplish.
Learn to say no … don’t overwhelm yourself with a to-do list. See more tips for reducing or controlling stress from Mental Health America, the non-profit dedicated to addressing the needs of those with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all.
10. Plan for your next exciting passage.
Capitalize on your career experience and start a new one. Yes, enjoy a brief “retirement.” Travel, and spend more time with family and friends. Develop new hobbies. Redefining your purpose to maintain a sense of identity and purpose is essential to a healthy lifestyle. What is your next passage?
So, grab onto that “back to school” feeling and make September the perfect time to renew or set your lifestyle goals.
Remember, it’s never too late!