Congratulations on waking up this morning! You’re continuing to age!
OK, aging may not sound like a reason to celebrate, but with some thought and planning, you can age gracefully and happily for years to come!
There are some specific things you can do to protect your physical and mental health — and safeguard your happiness for a lifetime.
Given that leading causes of death include heart disease and cancer, you should pay special attention to recommendations 3, 4 and 5.
These suggestions from Kaiser Health News* apply to most everyone — and are especially appropriate for those of us who are fortunate enough to be aging.
We want to highlight tip 18: Stay connected with friends and family.
A decades-long study, the Harvard Study of Adult Development, tracked a group of males starting in 1938 (the study group was all male because Harvard was all male then). The group included students at Harvard College (including a young John F. Kennedy) and boys from Boston’s poorest neighborhoods.
Researchers checked in with the group every two years to conduct medical exams and interview the group and their families. What did they learn?
The study’s director, Robert Waldinger, says, “The clearest message that we get from this study is: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier!”
The study yielded three key takeaways:
So join a club that focuses on something you enjoy. Find volunteer opportunities that allow you to pursue your passions with others. Take classes to learn new things, or teach others about topics you’re knowledgeable about. Travel groups can help you develop great new friendships. Make a point to engage with others who share your interests.
Regardless of your age, whenever you have questions about the changes we go through with time, visit with your health care provider. You can make an appointment right now!
A growing area of medicine focuses on helping people maintain the highest possible quality of life throughout their lifetimes. The Aurora Center for Senior Health and Longevity is a great example of a team specializing in patient-focused comprehensive care.
Rather than frowning about aging, take heart. Research shows people often have the happiest years of their lives starting in their late 50s and after. Enjoy!
* Bruce Horovitz – Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit health newsroom whose stories appear in news outlets nationwide, is an editorially independent part of the Kaiser Family Foundation.