Don’t be fooled by “Eat an Extra Dessert Day” (September 4) and “Drink Beer Day” (September 28), September is actually Healthy Aging Month, an annual health observance intended to bring national attention to the positive aspects of aging and promote better physical, mental, social, and financial decisions among the 45-and-older circuit.
Throughout the month of September, we’ll identify different ways to promote healthier aging, with the hope that the ongoing discussion will empower you to make some meaningful, positive changes in your own life.
Healthy Aging Is a Real Thing
Most will agree that the concept of aging receives a negative connotation across society, and maybe, just maybe, not all of it is deserved. Many adults 45 and older have reached important personal and professional milestones, unlocked significant earning potential, and are basking in the joys of parenthood (or even grandparenthood). Indeed, there’s much to celebrate for a group in society that seems to be increasing in numbers almost every day.
So much of the focus among the aging population goes toward Baby Boomers, whose transition into retirement represents a bona fide mega-trend across US society, culture, and business. But the first of the Generation Xers are also reaching their mid-40’s and 50’s now, too, and when you consider the 76 million Baby Boomers today over 50, and the more than 82.1 million Gen X-ers who are either there or coming (relatively) soon, a movement towards positive lifestyle change among folks 45 and older could really revolutionize the overall way of life in our nation.
Make Healthy Aging Month a Turning Point for You
To make the most of Healthy Aging Month, start by taking stock of where you are now, be it personally, professionally, health-wise, and with respect to your finances, and then think about where you really would like to be. Wherever you notice significant gaps, there’s probably some room for improvement, and by making a plan and setting some short- and longer-term goals, it’s possible to create positive changes, whether it’s in your health and wellness, lifestyle quality, social life, or perhaps finances or parenting skills.
Much of the reasoning behind the creation of Healthy Aging Month is to dispel the prevailing myths and misconceptions that one can become “too old” to take control of their health and overall wellness, or that people are largely powerless to affect positive changes in their lives once they reach a certain stage of adulthood.
Just some of the common lifestyle facets you might elect to address during Healthy Aging Month include:
- Obesity & Physical Fitness
- Mental Health Issues
- Positivity in Actions & Conversations
- Overcoming Loneliness
- Shutting Out Negative People & Influences
- Drug & Alcohol Dependency/Addiction
- Oral Health
- Learn a New Skill or Trade
- Buy or Adopt a Pet
- Get a Job or Volunteer Your Time
In the days and weeks ahead, we’ll examine more specific ways to bring about meaningful, positive lifestyle changes during Healthy Aging Month. But in the meantime, why not start thinking of improvements you’d like to make in your life and overall lifestyle? It turns out this month is a perfect time to join millions of your adult peers and take strides towards a happier, healthier future!