September is Healthy Aging Month, a chance to assess where you are and where you want to be 10, 20 even 30 years from now.
No matter what your age and no matter how old you feel, you can often make small improvements to your mental, physical, emotional and/or spiritual habits that improve every aspect of your life, now and into the future.
What could you do?
How about using Healthy Aging Month to try out some new approaches to life right now? How about test-driving some behaviors or knowledge that might shift how you age over the next 12 months and beyond?
All the information you could possibly want is at your fingertips. The challenge is zeroing in on the one, two or three things that YOU know you would be willing to incorporate into your life to make it better now and over the long term. To me, Healthy Aging means moving through the years of my life with grace and joy. To do that, I need to feel healthy in my body, at ease in my mind, fulfilled in my purpose.
We’ve got some resources that might help.
Here at Dudley Court Press, we’ve published several books that offer help for healthy aging. This month I’m going to feature them in my weekly blog posts, covering
- physical and mental health,
- the importance of resilience and reinvention, and
- the mind/body/spirit connection that makes life joyful.
I believe that the more consciously we live our lives, the better they can be. A good place to start is to recognize the potential for a long life. If you’re 45 today, chances are even that you’ll live into your early 80’s. The average 64 year-old today will live at least another 20 years. 25% of us will carry on into our 90’s.
My grandmother used to say, if you have your health, you have everything. She lived to be 98. My mother is 92. So I’m assuming there’s a good chance I’m in that 25% from 1951 who will be around in 2040. I’m not interested in living these upcoming years in a state of waiting-to-die. I’ve likely got a quarter century ahead of me! Imagine all that I might get to witness, if I’m in good health. So I’ve launched my own personal training program – to be 90 in great health. For me, that means keeping my brain active, moving more, napping/meditating/resting more, and eating more consciously. (I could write a book about my recent conscious eating program!)
What could you do to enhance your ability to age healthfully and gracefully?
I encourage you to take some time during the first week of September to evaluate how you feel physically. Imagine your body feeling 20% better than it does right now. What would that be like for you? What two or three simple steps would you need to take to get there?
Sometimes, feeling better physically simply means re-aligning the skeleton and muscles, as Lee Albert points out in his book,
Life Pain-Free Without Drugs or Surgery (which you can purchase here).
Lee’s book could be just what you need if your body troubles you with any of these conditions: Tension Headaches, Neck Pain, TMJ, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Tennis & Golfer’s Elbow, Carpal Tunnel, Low Back Pain, Sciatica, Knee Pain, Fibromyalgia, Plantar Faciitis.
For other people, life is full of restrictions due to illness and chronic conditions. If you are diabetic, and you love wine, and you’ve been told to abstain, Ted Berland’s book might be useful to bring to your next doctor visit. The Diabetic Wine Lover’s Guide illuminates all the recent evidenced-based research that demonstrates that moderate consumption of red wine could be beneficial to your health.
If you suffer from a mental illness, your challenges could be more subtle. Perhaps Dr. Paul Golden’s book, An Insider’s View of Bipolar Disease, would help relieve some of your concerns and make your life a bit less stressful.
Whether these books are relevant to you or not, do take some time this week to reflect on your physical and mental health. Find one or two small things you can bring into your life – or eliminate from your life – so that you shift even a little bit into a more satisfying way of life for as long as you live.