Healthy Aging MonthSeptember has been designated as Healthy Aging Month, the perfect time to refocus our energies on making better lifestyle choices.

Now in its second decade, Healthy Aging Month was developed to encourage those 50 years of age and older to start practicing better health practices, and to use these years to “re-invent” yourself. It’s never too late to learn a new sport, hobby or career, according to the month’s creator, Carolyn Worthington, editor-in-chief of Healthy Aging® Magazine.

Try these ways of re-inventing yourself as summer comes to a close and you turn to getting new tasks started this fall:

  1. Pick positivity: Maintaining a positive attitude helps tackle each new day with extra pep in your step. If you catch yourself complaining, quickly change the subject and discuss something more positive. Try not to dwell on the negative aspects of life – look instead at the positive aspects of life after 50. 
  2. Increase your exercise: Regular physical activity will help you maintain your overall health better than anything else. Even moderate levels of exercise – try walking for at least 30 minutes each day – will improve your physical and mental well-being. Being active will help fight off conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, depression and arthritis. 
  3.  Make good food choices: It’s OK if you were a little lax on your diet during the summer. September is a perfect time to start paying more attention to what you put into your body. Reduce fatty meats, packaged foods, salt and sugar, while increasing the amount of vegetables, whole grains, fruits and nuts.
  4.  Don’t put off appointments: Make September the month to schedule your physical and health screenings. Once the appointment is made, commit to going and have peace of mind in knowing you are taking a proactive part in your health. Plan to get your annual flu vaccination.
  5.  Work your brain: Stimulating your brain with mental exercises can help stave off cognitive decline due to the aging process. Take a class or attend lectures at a local college, learn a new dance, language or musical instrument, and do brain-teaser puzzles such as crosswords or Sudoku. 
  6.  Don’t sleep on your rest: Getting the proper amount of sleep – at least seven to nine hours – can help aid memory, improve mental health and help prevent falls.