Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size
A
A
A

Health Highlights: September, Healthy Aging Month

No matter what your age, you can stay at your personal best with these expert tips.
By
WebMD the Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Each issue, WebMD the Magazine's "Health Highlights" focuses on a national health theme for the month with expert tips, reader comments, and eye-catching factoids. September is Healthy Aging month – follow these tips to stay at your peak!

1. Get moving

Recommended Related to Healthy Seniors

Caregiving Support Assessment

Things to Consider Select the number (on a scale of 1-3) that best describes your situation for each item or issue. You can total your scores if you wish to get a big picture of the situation. Lower scores indicate less manageable situations -- situations requiring additional support beyond the primary caregiver -- and higher scores indicate situations that may be more readily managed. For the care recipient and caregiver: _____ (1) There are no community support services available ___...

Read the Caregiving Support Assessment article > >

Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body and brain.

2. Stay social

Take a class, volunteer, play games, see old friends, and make new ones.

3. Bulk up

Eat beans and other high-fiber foods for digestive and heart health.

4. Add some spice

Add herbs and spices to your meals if medications dull your taste buds.

5. Stay balanced  

Practice yoga or tai chi to improve agility and prevent falls.

6. Take a hike

Brisk daily walks this September can bolster both your heart and lungs.

7. Sleep well

Talk to a sleep specialist if you don’t sleep soundly through the night.

8. Beat the blues

If you’ve been down for a while, see a doctor. Depression can be treated.

9. Don’t forget

To aid your memory, make lists, follow routines, slow down, and organize.

 

Expert Tips on Healthy Aging

Tips from Gary W. Small, MD, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and director, UCLA Longevity Center

*Take a daily brisk walk with a friend -- you’ll get an aerobic workout, and the conversation will exercise your brain and reduce stress.

*To help control the urge to overindulge, just imagine eating that sweet treat. Research shows the fantasy dessert will satisfy you, and you’ll actually eat less.

 

Tips from Carla Perissinotto, MD, MHS, assistant professor of medicine, division of geriatrics, department of medicine, University of California, San Francisco

*Every few months, review your over-the-counter drugs with your doctor for any potentially unsafe ingredients. I do this for my parents whenever I visit their home.

*Try yoga. All types help maintain physical and emotional health. My favorite is Kundalini yoga, which focuses on meditation and strengthening.

 

Tips from Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, MPH, director of geriatrics, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Ore.

*Follow a Mediterranean diet to help prevent memory impairment and heart problems. I love salmon covered with fresh thyme and lemon slices and grilled on a plank.

*I do tai chi three days a week, and it dramatically improves my balance. Seniors can do it, too, and cut their risk of falls by almost half.

 

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of "WebMD the Magazine." 

Reviewed on July 15, 2012

Today on WebMD

Senior man doing press ups in gym
Slideshow
reflection of couple kissing
Quiz
 
man reviewing building plans
Quiz
Women working out and walking with weights
Community
 
fast healthy snack ideas
Article
how healthy is your mouth
Tool
 
dog on couch
Tool
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 
champagne toast
Slideshow
Youth listening to headphones
Slideshow
 
Man feeding woman
Slideshow
two senior women laughing
Article