The point of growing older is to enjoy it. So, each September we observe Healthy Aging Month to remind us how to bring with us the things we enjoy about life, as life moves forward. In many ways, living better and living longer go hand-in-hand. Because most of the top threats to our health are behavior-related, the lifestyles we pursue can be the key to both.
It’s especially important now to learn how to enjoy our later chapters, because life expectancy has been increasing, so chances are pretty good that we’ll around for quite a while. In fact, for more than 50 years, life expectancy in the U.S. has been rising steadily, with only a few blips.
Still Not to be Taken for Granted
One of those blips was in 1993 when deaths from AIDS, flu, homicides, and accidents rose. Another blip occurred in 2016, when the death rate increased by eight persons in every 100,000. Coincidentally, eight of our longstanding top-10 causes of death were responsible: Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, respiratory ailments, suicides, and accidents all rose that year. The data suggest that obesity and the rise of opiate addictions were among the causes.
The ways to celebrate Healthy Aging Month are many, and so are the lists of ways we can enjoy this chapter of life more fully. One of the best is – not surprisingly – organized by Healthy Aging Magazine. Its “Ten Tips for Reinventing Yourself during September” is as interesting for its scope – physical, mental, social, and financial – as for its items.
New Chapter Headings
One of the most often overlooked advantages of growing older is the blank canvas many of us get, on which we can paint new visions for our life. The responsibilities we undertake as young people gradually get fulfilled. Because we planned and saved and worked hard for them, they seemed to be natural guideposts. But when those goals are achieved, many of us have difficulty seeing a new purpose.
Taking charge of our lives again after the goals of youth have been met can be one of the most rewarding times of all. Maybe the reason we feel unprepared is because traditional stories and paradigms ended sooner. Those paradigms arose in a world with less longevity!
Making healthier lifestyle choices is primary, because without the time to enjoy it, our new canvas won’t have much to show. Those same healthy choices can foster a frame of mind that knows what to do with this new freedom.
Each September we welcome Healthy Aging Month for its ability give us a more positive paradigm and dispel the myths of aging. We see that our physical, mental, social, and financial horizons can be just as creative and exciting as ever before. Make this the month you catch up on your annual physical exam and health screenings. Your peace of mind and awareness of your well-being are as important as the results you learn. Let Global Family Health help with that. Just call us at 843-815-6468.