Healthy aging is possible

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Did you know that September is Healthy Aging Month? This special observance is recognized annually by Healthy Aging Magazine and was designed to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older.

Celebrating positive aging and discovering ways to re-invent yourself at any age are great ways to impact physical, social, financial and mental wellness.

We are all aging — so why not take the opportunities surrounding you to learn new things and embark on new journeys — it’s never too late to take on new adventures or engage yourself in exciting and new territory.

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Take a look at some of the tips from Healthy Aging Magazine on ways that you can re-invent yourself during this special month:

1. Back to School – it’s never too late! Take courses to refocus your career, enhance your skill set, and increase your earning power.

2. Take a Volunteer Vacation. Visit new places, connect and give back. Many travelers today are opting out of the self-indulgent vacation and opting in for the chance to “give back” through a volunteer vacation. These trips are a great way to try something new, fulfill a dream, or experiment living in a different place for a short or longer time commitment.

3. Exercise! Older adults who exercise regularly are 60 percent less likely to get dementia. Exercise increases oxygen to the brain and releases a protein that strengthens cells and neutrons.

4. Travel. Travel is one of the top picks when people are asked what they would do if they had more time. There are several travel sites you can find online that can help with finding good fares and rates should money be a factor.

5. Learn to Paint! Complete a landscape, seascape, floral or still life painting. Local Senior Centers may offer art classes or know where you might be able to find an art class…then, register your artwork in our Agency’s Annual Senior Citizens Art Show that is held during May of each year.

6. Follow Your Passion. Try a new sport or pick up one you left behind in your early days. It’s never too late!

7. Eat Fresh. Make a commitment to add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. September is still harvest time in many areas, so seek out local farmers’ markets and buy local produce. Make it a point to try to make foods from scratch and skip the processed foods as much as you can.

These are just a few of the many ways you can support healthy aging in not only your life, but in those of your family and friends.

Our agency offers a Healthy Lifestyle Class in selected counties in our district that can help you identify healthy behaviors that you can adopt in your life. The class is designed to help those individuals and families who live with a chronic disease, but can also be beneficial for anyone who wants to learn more about healthy living.

For more information about healthy aging and articles surrounding this special month, log on to


Pamela K. Matura is executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7. The non-profit agency serves senior citizens in Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton counties. For more information, call our Agency at 1-800-582-7277.