If you had a choice and could either age well, enjoying your golden years with energy and vigor, free from disability and illness; or age poorly, and be straddled with health issues that keep you from fully living your later years – which would you choose?

You have a choice, or at least you can chose the strategies that keep you healthy and aging well. This month Deaconess Faith Community Nurse Ministries focuses on positive aspects of growing older and encouraging positive aspects of one’s health – physically, socially, mentally and spiritually. We invite you to join in Healthy Aging Month by learning and beginning practicing four key strategies that research has demonstrated to lower the risk of disability, chronic illness and mental health problems.

The first strategy is focused on not smoking or chewing tobacco products. Research has consistently demonstrated that smoking tobacco enhances one’s risk for cancer, cardiovascular and lung disease. Chewing tobacco has been linked to mouth and throat cancer. Faith community nurses work with individuals in providing referral access and support to smoking cessation programs. Stopping the use of tobacco can add years and quality of life to the years that are to come.

The second strategy is focused on diet and exercise. A healthy diet with moderation in all things can add years to one’s life by reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Eating five vegetables and three fruits a day can add energy and vital nutrients. Exercising regularly, 30 minutes every day, can improve your mood and spirit as well as your body.

The third strategy is focused on stimulating one’s mind by engaging in activities with others.  Our minds need thought stimulation to remain healthy. Whether it is playing cards or just engaging in conversation with others of like thought, faith communities provide opportunities for people’s minds as well as spirits to be engaged.

Lastly, the final strategy is focused on spiritual growth through gratitude recognition. Our hearts and lives are uplifted when we are able to say at the end the day,” thank you to God for today”. Life goes better when in the morning we say to ourselves,” thank you God for this day, it will be a good day because I will make it that way with you”.  Positive, spiritual thinking gives life depth of meaning and helps us to live longer and healthier.

In all, research has shown if you do these four strategies consistently, you can add up to 50% more quality to your life. Deaconess Faith Community Nurse Ministries can help you begin to incorporate these strategies and others to help you age well.

To learn more, contact Rev. Donna Pupillo at dsmith-pupillo@eden.edu.