8 Steps to Healthy Aging

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It is never too late to make choices that will extend your lifespan and expand your happiness. Teri Koenig, MS-Gerontology, of the LiVe Well Center at Dixie Regional Medical Center, offers a Prescription for Longevity, as she meets with seniors throughout the Southern Utah community.  

  1. Move Well – “Keep moving and walking,” recommends Koenig. “The health benefits of walking and moving are immeasurable.”  Moving well can boost metabolism, reduce risk of falls, stroke, and diabetes, as well as delay the onset of dementia. Get moving!

  2. Eat Well – Eating well consists of eating less salt, fat, and sugars and eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. “Be conscious of what you put in your mouth,” suggested Koenig. “Most of us know what we are supposed to be eating.”

  3. Think Well – Koenig counseled, “Surprise your brain! Learn something new. Start an encore career based on passion. Volunteer, travel, do puzzles, paint, the possibilities are endless.” Thinking well means keeping your brain challenged and active.

  4. Sleep Well – “Older people still need as much sleep as younger people,” Koenig indicated. “Sometimes older people just don’t get as much sleep as they would like.” Sleeping well suggests learning to manage personal sleep hygiene and sleep time.

  5. Do Stress Well – Shifting to a positive attitude can do wonders for coping with stress. “Many people think that retirement means no stress,” explained Koenig. “Learn what works for you to manage your stress well now and it will work throughout your life.”

  6. Love Well – Loving well is maintaining meaningful relationships. “One thing I’ve noticed working with older people,” admitted Koenig, “is that they need people to give them hugs.” Hug someone every day.

  7. Connect Well – “Retirement means changing how we work,” suggested Koenig. “Give of your time, money, and wisdom. Pursuing a second career or going back to school will keep you connected with others. Staying involved will give you reasons to live long.”

  8. Prevent Well – Preventing well means staying on top of essential screenings such as cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure. Annual dental and eye exams are a must. Cancer screenings such as colonoscopy, Pap smear, and mammogram can be real life savers.

This Prescription for Longevity can assist people to age well and live better. There are many positive aspects of growing older. Healthy lifestyle changes can begin at any age and add a positive dimension to all stages of life.