No matter what your age is, National Healthy Aging Month is as good a time
as any to take steps to
become a healthier, happier you. If that means you want to take up sky
diving, go on a cattle drive or
learn how to speak mandarin – go for it! Alternately, if you want
to start small and still make a big
impact, or if you don’t know where to start at all, we have some ideas:
YOUR HEALTH IS WHAT YOU EAT.
Remember when you were a kid and you “had to” eat vegetables and
fruits even though you wanted to stuff as much sugar and salt in your
mouth as you possibly could? Now think how you grew up into an adult
and started doing that very thing. Remember when you were a kid and
you could play outside all day and still not want to go to bed? Now think
how you grew up into an adult and can’t walk up a few flights of stairs
without breathing like you just ran a mile at a dead sprint. Wake up,
adults! You don’t have to be a vegan, just don’t get a milkshake with your
burger or dip your fries in mayonnaise. Start making better decisions
about what goes in your stomach.
The first step to having a healthy life is having healthy habits. You don’t
have to start by joining a P90X or jazzercise class. You don’t have to go
to the gym every day at 5 a.m. decked out in spandex like you are
training for a marathon. All you have to do is make choices to be active
in your life. Take the stairs if and when you can. Take the dog or the kids
(or just yourself) for a walk when you get home. Carry the grocery bags
in one at a time. Start making better decisions about what you do
during the day.
DON’T JUST SEE YOUR DOCTOR DURING FLU SEASON.
If your doctor doesn’t know your name, you might think that’s a good
thing – but you might be wrong. If you don’t get regular checkups, how can
your doctor have a baseline on your health so she can diagnose you when
there is something wrong? Keep a running list of questions for your doctor
and then make a couple of checkup appointments during the year. You
don’t need to ask your doctor to assign a nutritionist to be on call for you,
but at each check-up, ask for one new suggestion your doctor has
specifically for you on how you can improve your health. Start making
better decisions about how you take care of yourself.