To Your Health: Healthy Aging Tips

“Health is the thing that makes you feel that now is the best time of year.”—Chicago-born Franklin Pierce Adams (1881-1960), a prolific writer best known Andrea%20Kaplan.fw.pngfor his newspaper column, “The Conning Tower,” and his appearances as a regular panelist on radio’s Information Please.

                By Andrea Kaplan, R.N., Center for Healthy Living Community Nurse

As we age, what can we do to stay “on top” of the things that may make us happier and healthier so we can appreciate each day? I’d like to offer the following tips:

  1. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.
    • Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
    • Reduce added sugars, salt and trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils).
    • Eat the right amount of calories for your height.
    • Get more information at choosemyplate.gov
  2. BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE.
    • March in place while watching TV.
    • Park the car further away than necessary.
    • Get up and take two minute walks every hour.
    • Do moderate exercise for 30 minutes five days per week and muscle strengthening for all major muscle groups on two or more days per week (recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control). You can split this up into five- or tenminute chunks.
  3. PRACTICE BRAIN-BUILDING ACTIVITIES.
    • Go out with friends and laugh a lot.
    • Travel to new places and write about them.
    • Learn a new skill or talent.
    • Brush your teeth or eat with the opposite hand.
    • Do puzzles and crosswords with a timer.
  4. HAVE REGULAR VISITS WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS (INCLUDING YOUR DENTIST).
    • Get vision and hearing checks at recommended intervals.
    • Get recommended vaccines including a yearly flu shot and vaccines for shingles, pneumococcal disease and hepatitis B.
    • Review all your medications.
    • Know your numbers, including blood pressure,cholesterol, blood sugar and body mass index(BMI).
    • Manage your chronic conditions.
  5. TEND TO YOUR EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL WELL-BEING.
    • Seek treatment for depression. Depression and other behavioral health problems are common, but not a normal part of aging.
    • Do not isolate. Try to get out in the community and socialize more, volunteer or join a support group.
  6. MAKE YOUR HOME SAFER—ONE OUT OF THREE OLDER ADULTS FALL EACH YEAR!
    • Install proper lighting (including night lights).
    • Clear pathways and remove throw rugs.
    • Install grab bars and railings on stairways.
    • Stay flexible and strong with

Our Center for Healthy Living provides many ways to help you stay healthy, such as classes on balance and memory and various screenings. Our Older Adult Programs such as Scrabble Club, Yoga and Schmooze It or Lose It, help you socialize and stay engaged. For information on these and any other programs, contact 773.508.1000 or www.cje.net. To volunteer contact Volunteer Services at 847.929.3040 or volunteers@cje.net.