The world is a place of so many different types of people who are all individually unique. One thing everyone has in common though is that we’re all aging every day. We spoke with Dianne Christensen, NMSU Assistant Professor & Family & Consumer Science Agent, to find out the keys to embracing aging.
Approximately 70,000 Americans are 100 years or older and as this number is expected to rise, we are learning more about their secrets to longevity. Many healthy centenarians are teaching us that aging can be a positive, joyful and exciting experience. They demonstrate that each new year of life brings increased knowledge, wisdom and a greater ability to engineer a positive approach to the aging process.
Aging is influenced by:
- 1. Society. We live in a culture that values youth – we grow up learning/thinking this. Therefore, older adults might think they’re a burden, that they have no purpose, or that aches/pains/frailty is “normal”
- 2. Ageism (negative stereotyping of older adults). The KEY is to keep a mindset filled with the positives of aging rather than staying focused on the negatives.
The 12 keys of optimal aging include
- 1. Positive Attitude
- 2. Eating Smart and Healthy
- 3. Physical Activity
- 4. Brain Activity
- 5. Social Activity
- 6. Tuning-in to the times
- 7. Safety
- 8. Know Your Health Numbers
- 9. Stress Management
- 10. Financial Affairs
- 11. Sleep
- 12. Taking Time for You
NMSU/Bernalillo County Extension is offering six weekly ZOOM sessions on Keys to Embrace Aging on Thursdays beginning June 18.
Bernalillo County Extension Service is staffed by experts who provide useful, practical, and research-based information to public residents, agricultural producers, small business owners, youth, gardeners, and others in our diverse New Mexican rural, urban and suburban communities. County Extension programs are designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives in the areas of agriculture, animals, horticulture, food, nutrition, wellness, family relationships, environment. community and economic development, and youth leadership.