September 15, 2021
September is Healthy Aging Month so there isn’t a better time to focus on what’s important for your health right now, tomorrow, and in the future. Achieving wellness is a lifelong journey and an ever-evolving road map to managing and improving your health.
What motivates you to take better care? Hobbies and passions are great motivators to help you on your wellness journey! When visiting your care provider, telling them your health history is important, but so is letting them know what you would like to continue doing. For older adults, this is especially useful so providers can support you in achieving your goals. Aches and pains, health concerns, and chronic conditions may be in the way, but taking action can make it more manageable. Plus, creating a commitment to yourself and sharing it with a provider may be just the incentive needed to start fresh.
To help keep you on track, consider tracking your progress to monitor your health over time to see where you are and how far you’ve come. There are a number of ways to track your wellness starting with your smartphone. You can use your smartphone to log workouts, food and water intake, calories burned, weight, and sleep so that you can use this data to track milestones, identify areas of strength or improvement, or to use with your care provider. Keeping a fitness journey with your days’ activities and intake is another great option for those that prefer to keep their records on hand. Don’t forget to celebrate even the small wins to help you stay motivated and confident to keep moving forward!
If you happen to take a few steps back, don’t feel defeated! There are going to be a lot of twists and turns and events that may interfere with your ideal progress, but it’s okay; that’s why it’s called a journey, not a race. If you do find yourself slipping and aren’t consistent, there are a number of positive ways to meet your goals. Have a friend be your accountability buddy, or better yet, be there for someone that needs some accountability as well! We sometimes need a push and a friend or two to help us when it gets boring, tough, painful, or inconsistent.
Another great benefit of an accountability buddy is their unique link to the Seven Dimensions of Wellness (social, environmental, intellectual, physical, emotional, occupational, and spiritual). You can participate in national and community events, exercise classes, and even personal workouts together. Help them (and yourself!) to achieve their fitness goals and realize your and their “I wish I could” list, such as running in a fun run or participating in charitable organized events, to showcase your support.
Whatever you do, make sure you’re having fun! No amount of discipline and willpower can replace an experience that is fresh, engaging, and really fun. Seek classes and programs that make you smile (like our Laughter Yoga session) and that take you back to your youth. Reconnect with traditional fitness equipment at your local community centers and clubs if you like to weight train, visit a group swim class, or go to a dance class. The sky is the limit when it comes to taking care of you!