Critter Corner: Healthy Aging Month — How to Prevent Health Problems as You Get Older

Hayek 1Dear Hayek,

I heard that September is Healthy Aging Month. What are some tips for healthier aging?


Hal Thee-Ajing

Dear Hal,

September is Healthy Aging Month, and it’s a great time to be more mindful of your overall health. Even small changes can have a big impact, letting you feel and be your best!

Whether you want to start an exercise routine, take a class to keep your mind sharp, or eat a more heart-healthy diet, here are some ways to take better care of yourself as you age:

  • Exercise regularly: You can meet the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines by going to the gym twice a week and going on 30-minute walks on the other five days. But, research has shown that people can improve their health by doing as little as 10 minutes of exercise per week. While all exercise is good for your health, different forms help you in different ways. Check with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program. Click here for a recent CBS News report with more details on how exercise can help seniors live longer.
  • Prevent falls: Falling becomes more dangerous as you age, so it’s important to take the time to make your own home safer to limit your chance of injury. Here are some simple ways you can prevent falls and serious injuries in your home:
    • Wear shoes with non-skid soles that fit properly;
    • Limit rugs that could create a tripping hazard;
    • Store frequently-used items in easy-to-reach locations to avoid standing on chairs or step stools;
    • Keep a low level of clutter in your home;
    • Use an assistive device such as a cane or walker as needed.
  • Eat healthy: Eating healthy will decrease your risk of heart disease and other health issues. Your eating habits can impact your bodily health and your mental health, as well. A healthy eating plan includes nutritious foods that are low in cholesterol, fat, and artificial ingredients. You should also drink plenty of liquids (especially water) to remain hydrated.
  • Keep your mind sharp: Regularly challenging your brain is just as important as taking care of your body. Many activities can keep your mind active and improve your memory, such as learning new skills, reading, and playing games, such as sudoku, crossword puzzles, and Scrabble. Make your mental health a priority by practicing meditation and relaxation techniques.
  • Participate in activities you enjoy: Doing things you enjoy may help you feel happier. Keeping up with your hobbies, trying something new, or engaging in activities with friends may help lower your risk for some health problems. Try that new art project or yoga class you have been thinking about.
  • Listen to what your body is telling you. Pay attention to how it feels after you exercise or stick to a healthy diet. Similarly, take note of any pain you experience, whether in your joints, eyes, ears, or back. Don’t just power through as your body is changing — pay attention to what makes you feel your best!
  • Attend regular check-ups: Stay on top of regular medical appointments and check-ups. Your primary care provider will make sure you are up-to-date on necessary vaccinations, perform physical evaluations, and screen for medical issues such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Even if you have missed an annual wellness visit, don’t hesitate to make an appointment this year. The care and support can help you live your healthiest life.

While aging does require a little more health maintenance, small steps and changes in your lifestyle can have a big impact on your overall health.

Stay healthy,


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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.