Visiting Angels, Cincinnati West Blog

Embrace Healthy Aging Month

September is Healthy Aging Month, our annual opportunity to inventory our lifestyle choices and to consider making healthy adjustments. We don’t need to overhaul our whole routine, but identifying some elements that don’t serve us well and altering those to accommodate better habits can have a big impact. It’s what this awareness month is all about.

As you contemplate your routines and habits this September, consider this: what nags at you? What is a change that you know that you should make? What keeps you from making that change? How could you alter that?

Every little bit helps. Little changes can have important results. Start with changes that you feel confident that you can stick with, and build from there. Consider these tips to embrace Healthy Aging Month. Feel strong and proud this September, and take that with you into the months ahead.Senior couple exercising

Tweak your diet

We all have those dietary weaknesses - fixtures in our daily habits, mindless indulgences that are worth examining. Some example of these routine excesses may include sugar in the coffee, an evening dose of ice cream or a daily side of chips with lunch. Try experimenting with these crutches and see where you can find room to change. Try using less sugar, for example, or use a healthier substitute in your morning cup of coffee. Start looking at frozen yogurts or churned alternatives to ice cream; they taste delicious and are not quite as rich and sweet as the real deal. Maybe have chips just two days a week and eat a soup or a salad every other day.

Pay attention to choices that you make on a routine basis. Challenge yourself to push against those decisions. Experiment with the good stuff - lean proteins and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Talk with your doctor or consider meeting with a nutritionist or a dietician if you feel like you need some new ideas for how to bulk up the health content of your diet. Also, consider talking with your Visiting Angels caregiver and request healthy, prepared meals. Having quality, prepared meals is vital to healthy aging; make sure you have a good dietary plan.

Read about food. Learn more about what serves you well. Then decide what sounds right and realistic as you revise your routine.

Decide on your winter exercise plan

We all hate to hear the “w” word, but it’s important to have a plan for how to stay in shape this winter. It looks like the threat of COVID stands to be here through, at least, some of the winter months. It’s important to know how to stay healthy and fit when the cold and the snow becomes a part of our daily lives.

Exercise benefits our bodies and minds by keeping us fit and helping us to keep our stress level under control. Online yoga, stationary exercise equipment, streaming exercise classes and physical therapy appointments are some good examples of winter exercise options. Hopefully some gyms, community centers, indoor swimming pools and yoga studios will be hosting classes this winter.

One of the wonderful things about summer is that it’s easy to exercise. How will you continue to build that into your routine when the weather makes it more challenging? Healthy Aging Month presents a good opportunity to make your plans.

Secure your network

Summer made us feel a little less tied down than the spring, even though we were still dealing with COVID. Once winter and flu season hit, we may find ourselves restricted again. Prepare for that by securing your network. This means talking to your family and your friends and deciding how to emotionally manage the possibility of another lockdown. That can be challenging both logistically and also spiritually. Having an emotional care plan can help.

That may mean calling on each other for wellness checks. It may mean stocking up on supplies now to ensure that you have all you need to get through the chilly winter months. It may mean sharing information about therapists who were helpful and available via telehealth. Healthy Aging Month means making the arrangements you need to stay safe and healthy both inside and out.

Get in the right mindset

Frankly, 2020 has not been the easiest year. It’s hard on the body and the mind to live with stress, anxiety and worry. Do good things for yourself. Read good books. Research what your local library has to offer in terms of online programs and services like curbside pickup. Talk with your doctors about what they recommend for healthy living, including flu and other vaccines.

Then start preparing for a beautiful holiday season at home. September ushers in a wonderful time of the year. Enjoy your health this September, and keep the momentum going!

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.