Over 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day in America, which is rapidly changing the face of our country.
The USA Today, the National Council on Aging, United Healthcare and the National Association for Area Agencies on Aging recently partnered to survey more than 1,000 seniors about their health, quality of life, financial situation and whether their communities were prepared to serve an aging population.
More than one-third said they exercise every day and rely on themselves for the motivation to live a healthy lifestyle. They also said high activity levels correspond to a positive perspective on life.
Those who exercise daily are far more likely to say the past year of their life has been better than normal.
So how can you influence your own motivation and live a healthier life? Adding more community activities and socializing makes a difference. We’ve created a simple, three-step one-month activity plan to help.
Let us know if it makes a difference!
THE ONE-MONTH ACTIVITY PLAN
Surrounding yourself with new people and new social settings will help you remain active. By testing this plan for a month – a total of twelve tasks, if you do all three every week – you’ll have enough variety to see if it is making a difference.
1. CHANGE YOUR SURROUNDINGS. Find one community event to participate in each week.
Not sure where to start? Check out the Sun Health Community Education calendar, where we offer dozens of free and low-cost classes each week. Yoga and Tai Chi at the Center for Health & Wellbeing are great examples of classes that meet weekly.
2. EXPAND YOUR CONNECTIONS. Set yourself a goal of meeting one new person each week and inviting them to do something simple with you.
Sharing coffee, lunch, a movie or some other social activity will get you out of the house and around other people. By changing who you meet with every single week, you’ll create new friendships and connections that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
3. DEEPEN EXISTING CONNECTIONS. Join or create a themed small social group that meets weekly, such as a walking club, a jigsaw puzzle team, a Wii bowling league, a bible study or a swing dancing group.
Because the same group of people meet once a week, this can be a fantastic way to become more social and deepen friendships.
A second interesting finding from the study is that most seniors regret not having remained close to other family members.
As you start to plan your weekly community education event or activities, consider inviting a family member to join you occasionally.
(Originally published July 31, 2014; last updated Jan. 12, 2019.)