Bob Pitman has served as Executive Director of Mill Race Center, Inc. since 1985. Under his leadership, Mill Race Services became the first nationally accredited center in Indiana, developed the first senior leadership program in the state, forged a private partnership with a large private staffing service, and initiated a successful community –wide lifelong learning program.
Healthy Resolutions for 2014
New Years is a time where many folks vow to jettison bad habits and start new ones. A common mistake is trying to take on too many resolutions rather than focusing on a few priorities.
Here are some ideas for self-improvement for 2014 that are based on research for successful aging:
• If you don’t have any, start one regular physical activity that you can repeat at least three times per week. (It could be walking, stretching or participating in one of the many exercise programs at MRC like Body Motion.)
• Eat more Healthy. Sometimes we focus on dieting instead of eating food that is good for us. Consider joining the MRC TOPS group or attending the weekly Healthy Eating class.
• Make at least two new friends in 2014.
• Learn something new by taking a class, starting a hobby, or attending a new activity.
• Try to think positively and surround yourself with upbeat people.
• If you take medicine, make sure you have a list of all your medications, take them as directed, and store them in a dark cool place.
• Plan for your future with an advanced care document, and share your plan with key family members.
• If you are prone to falls or worry about them, sign up for a Matter of Balance class.
• Volunteer to help others at MRC or elsewhere in the community. (Often the volunteer receives as much benefit as the person they are helping.)
• HAVE FUN---It’s not against the law! Think about how you can make everyday activities more pleasurable, and be willing to do something “out of character” just to surprise friends and family.
Think Positive About Aging and Live Longer
Research shows that how you perceive aging affects how long you will live. Those with more positive perceptions of their own aging lived 7.5 years longer.
The longitudinal study looked at persons responding to surveys measuring their attitudes toward aging 23 years ago. Those who were more positive then lived longer.
No one knows for sure why a positive attitude leads to a longer life. It may be that positive thinking can increase the will to live, making us more resilient to illness and more proactive about health. Positive thinking has also been linked to stress reduction.
The following health factors are believed to add years to life:
Low Blood pressure (4 years)
Low cholesterol readings (4 years)
Healthy Weight (1-3 years)
Notsmoking (14 years)
Regular exercise (1-3 years)
Are you a positive person? Do you try to surround yourself with positive persons? Do you avoid “psychic vampires” (people who latch onto you and drain the emotional life out of you)?
When I am feeling a little low, or preoccupied with problems, the best tonic for me is to walk around Mill Race Center and talk to people. There are a lot of positive things and positive thinking happening here!