September 27, 2022

Tips to Age Healthfully: 6 Things You Can Do Today

Daily walks, phone calls, and one healthy meal are small steps that immediately feel good.

It’s never too late to aim to be healthier. Just one new habit can change your mood and energy. The National Institute on Aging has some key health actions. Here are six tips we think are worth repeating.


  1. Get walking: and, yes, around the block counts. Having a walking route, a walking partner, or a pet makes this goal more doable. A daily walking routine gives your day structure and helps strengthen your bones and appetite. Fresh air and daylight regulate mood and sleep, and walking with a friend is healthy for socializing. Start small if you need to—just stroll around the block for the first week. Pretty soon, you’ll crave your daily walk and be adventuring further. Prepare for the seasons and all weather—and remember—any type of movement counts.
  2. Healthy eating can start with small changes. Shopping and cooking for just one or two people can be challenging. Still, we can all improve our diet with some tiny adjustments. Start with one meal you can improve on: perhaps add your favorite cut fruit to lunch and see how it goes. It all adds up. Fortunately, Landmark’s care team, social workers, and nutritionists are all part of your health team and have helpful nutrition resources. Let them know you’d like to make some changes to your meals.
  3. Prioritize a good night’s sleep and reap the benefits tomorrow. The best way to improve your sleep is to follow a regular sleep schedule. Try to fall asleep and get up at the same time each day. While napping is fine, you should skip napping late in the day to avoid staying awake at night. You should also avoid screens for at least 30 minutes before bedtime.  And remember your daily walk or exercise routine also helps you fall and stay asleep at night.
  4. Quitting smoking at any age makes a difference. It is never too late to quit smoking.  Research confirms that quitting smoking (no matter how long you’ve been a smoker) will improve your health. We know it’s not easy to stop smoking alone. Reach out to your Landmark team for support and read these tips for more motivation.
  5. See your Primary Care Provider regularly. Patients managing ongoing care for chronic conditions may easily overlook scheduling a regular physical exam with their PCP.  Landmark patients thrive most when their primary care physician’s care plan is followed. Regular physical examinations can help your PCP monitor your physical and mental health, including changes in hearing and vision, vaccines, and retinopathy screenings. When you see a primary care professional regularly, they get to know you and your health better, and you can feel more confident and comfortable with their care.
  6. Being social increases happiness and longevity. Staying connected to family and friends sounds simple, but it’s more challenging as we age. Taking time out of your day to connect with others can help you maintain relationships. Phone calls count. Check-in on friends and ask them to check in on you. Take a class to learn something new or hone an existing skill to meet new people. According to studies, older adults who are socially isolated or feel lonely are at higher risk for heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline. Memory loss can also be affected by loneliness.

Senior couple taking a walk

You are your own best advocate. Even if you focus on just one new healthy habit this month, you’ll immediately feel more in control of your body and mind. It’s an excellent reason to schedule that walking date with a friend or call your sister after dinner.