September 8, 2017 | by The Polyclinic

September is Healthy Aging month – a month dedicated to positive aspects of adding candles to your birthday cake. Celebrate your years and your healthy accomplishments – like losing weight, getting good sleep, or simply moving more. Get inspired by Polyclinic providers and how they celebrate healthy aging.

Do what you love.

Dr. Robbie Sherman celebrates birthdays by planning a vacation to a new destination. Studies have shown planning a trip can be as much fun as taking it. Dr. Robert Cassman goes hiking. “For those who say they can’t handle the elements, I say there is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing,” says Dr. Cassman, internal medicine provider at The Polyclinic. (Check out these hiking tips to get out on a birthday trek).

Disconnect from tech.

No internet, no cell phones or TV -- it’s become a birthday tradition for Dr. Jennifer Gorman, rheumatologist at The Polyclinic. She swaps screen time for long nights with tall tales and Scrabble games on her annual Ross Lake family trip. This family time, disconnected from technology, centers her she says. “My boys look at the world as if anything is possible, everything is up for grabs, no wall too high (be a ninja) or too thick (be a cannonball) – it’s such a liberating way to look at life,” says Dr. Gorman.

Engage in activities that reflect your values.

Someone who values adventure may enjoy discovering a new city, neighborhood or restaurant. A person who values relationships and intimacy may enjoy a close gathering with friend and loved ones. “Be aware of tendencies to focus on what is missing and engage in more helpful thinking about what is present and available in your life,” says Becky Rosenthal, licensed clinical social worker in The Polyclinic Behavioral Health Department.

Stay in tune with your health.

Making confident decisions about your health starts with information and education. Regular doctor visits and healthy lifestyle choices give you the energy to you pursue the things you love.

  • Sign up for a free class . View classes offered at The Polyclinic.
  • Establish care with a primary care physician. Use our Find a Doctor tool to help you select your doctor.
  • Schedule regular screenings. “I schedule my annual well woman exam around my birthday – it’s an easy reminder,” says Dechie Bello-Rapoport, physical therapist in The Polyclinic’s Physical Therapy Department.
  • Calculate your heart age. Ever wondered how old your heart is? Rapoport determines her “heart age” with this from the World Heart Federation.
  • Manage stress with mindfulness. You can practice mindfulness anytime, anywhere and even while birding.

Act your age (or not).

Every five years in sprint triathlons, participants ‘age up’ by moving to the next age category; ie. 40-44; 45-49; etc. “’Aging up’ becomes a real benefit because you become the youngest guy in the next age division,” says Dr. Steven Counter, a general surgeon at The Polyclinic and avid runner. The best part? “When you can beat the younger division even though you’ve ‘aged-up.’ Let’s hear it for the old guys!”

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