In honor of National Active Aging Week, we’re celebrating aging and the benefits of active aging. We’re so inspired by all the vibrant people we’re surrounded by and believe those individuals are living proof that with each chapter, you can continue to grow and better yourself. Whether pursuing a new hobby or adjusting your habits, there are many ways to lead an active lifestyle and receive the benefits of being active.
What Is The Meaning of Active Aging?
Active aging is changing the lens on the perception of individuals over age 50 and how they can live their lives to the fullest in all aspects of wellness — including physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual and vocational. According to the World Health Organization, the meaning of active aging is “the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.”
What Does Active Aging Look Like And What Are Some of The Benefits?
Lifestyle factors and behaviors have a huge impact on your health — how we eat, exercise, think and interact with others all contribute to aging actively. In fact, according to The Danish Twin Study, only about 20% of how long a person lives is determined by their genes — meaning that in some respects, you are able to influence your health through the kind of lifestyle you lead. Let’s break it down to some key areas of focus and benefits of active aging:
Cognitive: Cognitive health is one of the most crucial aspects to living a healthy lifestyle. Many professionals have found that keeping your mind challenged with puzzles, arithmetic or even reading each day can stimulate your mind and is beneficial in helping prevent memory loss.
Social: Staying engaged with those around you — from family members to friends to neighbors — provides endless opportunities to seek out intellectual engagement and maintain a social network. A common misconception is that social isolation or loneliness can’t negatively impact your overall health.
Creative: Creativity often gets put on the back burner as we age; however, studies show that expanding your mind each day and allowing yourself to tap into your creative side reaps amazing cognitive benefits.
Physical: It’s no secret that keeping the body active is a great way to promote a better lifestyle. Don’t worry — staying active doesn’t mean that you have to start lifting dumbbells. Many communities offer an array of active aging exercises that are both fun and engaging.
Keep Calm: A well known factor that can contribute to negative health effects is stress. Taking time out of your day to reflect or meditate allows for a healthier mind and body. This can be done with several different active aging activities, such as nice walk, yoga, or simply making time for yourself to have some quiet in your day.
What Is Most Important to You?
In this chapter of life, what’s most important is doing more of what makes you happy. Cultivating a lifestyle that continues to fill your days with purpose and peace will lead to healthy living. That’s why our communities support individuals in their quest for active aging as well as create a vibrant atmosphere for each of our residents. For more ideas about how to get involved with new hobbies or becoming more social, check out our other blogs.
To locate an LCS community near you that promotes an active lifestyle, use our Find a Community tool.