Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy an active, fulfilling life. Although we know that slowing down as we age is inevitable, it’s amazing to see how resilient our bodies can be when we practice healthy behaviors. Our lifestyle choices are heavily influenced by certain social determinants of health such as access to nutritious foods, stable income and affordable housing, among other factors. A survey from AARP and IMPAQ tells us that individuals whose needs are met – socially, economically and environmentally – are more likely to be in better health in the long term. September is Healthy Aging month, so we’d like to draw attention to the importance of adopting some of these healthy habits that can help carry our bodies through all of life’s phases:
- While maintaining a balanced diet at any age is important, making sure you are consuming key nutrients at an older age is an important part of ensuring your body is functioning well. Having access to healthy options is the first step, however according to the previously mentioned survey from AARP and IMPAQ, more than half of low income elderly people are food insecure. Blue KC’s Well Stocked partners offer several programs that help make healthy foods more affordable and accessible. Additionally, many grocery stores offer senior citizen discounts during promotional periods.
- Being physically active helps maintain muscle strength and a healthy weight, which is important as aging puts many adults at risk for new conditions. Many health insurance plans and community health centers offer resources related to physical health at discounted rates – check in with your providers and local groups to see what options are available for you. For example, Blue KC’s Medicare Advantage provides access to a program called SilverSneakers® which offers virtual fitness classes.
- Staying on top of your doctor appointments, screenings and medications can help prevent illnesses and address early threats. Keeping a written chart or using a smartphone app to manage your routine is a great way to stay on track.
- Those who are involved with hobbies and social activities are at a lower risk for developing health problems as aging occurs. Spending your time in a meaningful way helps keep spirits high and improves mental clarity. Local community centers are a great place to find programs that may interest you. You can also visit the KC Parks and Rec senior activities website to find events near you.
Blue KC offers programs that support healthy living for seniors through our Medicare Advantage plan. For more information on our Medicare Advantage plan, call 1-855-208-8246 or visit MedicareBlueKC.com.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The HMO products are offered by Blue-Advantage Plus of Kansas City, Inc., and the PPO products are offered by Missouri Valley Life and Health Insurance Company, both wholly-owned subsidiaries of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.
SilverSneakers is a registered trademark of Tivity Health, Inc. © 2020 Tivity Health, Inc. All rights reserved.