Six tips to change the way you age right now
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“Don’t wait ‘til after the holidays or the new year to make lifestyle changes,” urges ICAA CEO Colin Milner
VANCOUVER--Now that fall is upon us, it’s tempting to wait until after the holidays or the first of the year before trying to make lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating healthfully, or exercising regularly. But “the best time to make such changes is right now,” says Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA).
“Until recently, aging has been viewed solely as a burden—with increasing years came increasing illnesses, costs and functional problems,” says Milner. “But when we take responsibility for own health and wellness, we transform aging into a time of opportunities, during which we can continue to lead productive lives. Let’s not wait to take those steps.”
Here’s what you can do to start changing the way you age right now, Milner urges:
1. Start or vow to continue healthy lifestyle behaviors—regular physical activity, appropriate diet--that permit you to stay as active as possible.
2. Ignore ageist stereotypes—the fact that you’ve reached a certain age does not mean you are doomed to decline mentally and/or physically.
3. Socialize with others--people who engage with others are less likely to feel depressed and isolated and more likely to feel happy and optimistic about their lives.
4. Expand your knowledge and skills—lifelong learning can help you find greater meaning in your life.
5. Avoid quick fixes—if something sounds too good to be true, it is. “Companies that sell so-called ‘anti-aging’ products are simply graywashing,” says Milner. “That means they’re exploiting the fear of aging by positioning their products as ‘cures’ or ‘fixes.’ But aging is a natural process, not a disease, and an older person isn’t a ‘broken’ version of a younger one.”
6. Join ICAA’s Changing the Way We Age® Campaign (www.changingthewayweage.com) today to help change society’s perceptions of aging. Apply to become an ICAA champion—a role model, educator and ambassador for change—or a campaign partner.
“A key message of ICAA’s Changing the Way We Age® Campaign is that everyone—in fact, every living creature—is aging from the day we’re born. There is no magic age at which everyone suddenly goes from being a younger person to an older person,” says Milner. “Similarly, there is no rationale for defining ‘older’ as a state of decay and decline. Through this campaign, ICAA is conveying positive and realistic messages about aging to the burgeoning 50+ population, not with pills and potions, but with an evidence-based approach to healthy, active aging.”
About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
ICAA, the professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging-an approach to aging that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness-and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies, including the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada's Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia ministries of Health, and Healthy Living and Sport. On October 1, 2011-the International Day of Older Persons-ICAA celebrated its 10th Anniversary and a decade of Changing the Way We Age®.
For interviews please contact:
Contact: Colin Milner, CEO, ICAA
Toll-free: 1-866-335-9777 (North America)
Telephone: 604-734-4466; cell: 604-763-4595
Contact: Marilynn Larkin
Communications Director, ICAA