Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday. On July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence from Britain and democracy was born. The United States is truly a diverse nation made up of dynamic people. Each year on July 4th, Americans celebrate their freedom and independence.
Independence Day is a day of family celebrations with picnics and barbeques. The activities surrounding this celebration place emphasis on the American tradition of political freedom. Activities affiliated with this day include eating competitions amongst family members and games like baseball, tug-of-war and water balloon launching – a fun-filled celebration.
As we age, a goal of most Americans is to maintain our independence. Increasing life expectancy has led to higher expectations amongst people to not only live longer, but to live longer with lower levels of morbidity, fewer years of disability and with a high quality of life. Medical advances are increasingly making longer, healthy life spans possible.
Each of us can contribute to assuring our own independence by making healthy choices. There are a number of choices you make that can enhance your ability to remain independent.
- Choose to make regular exercise a part of your routine. Thirty minutes is a good start. Walking may be an exercise you enjoy, and opportunities are readily available to walk outside or inside at the mall. Find what you enjoy and stick with it. The key is to keep moving. It’s not only essential for overall physical health but also important for your cognitive health.
- Proper balanced nutrition is also key to health as well. Take advantage of fresh produce throughout the summer. Make good choices about what you are putting in your body. The long-term results are well worth eating all those fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Make a choice to stay involved. The best way to combat isolation, loneliness, and depression is to socialize and be around people. Get involved in your community. Visit an art center, attend local concerts, or make a goal to visit all the city parks in your community.
- Keep your mind stimulated. Stay curious about things. Make a commitment to life-long learning. Enroll in a course at your local adult education center to learn something new.
We live in a country that allows us freedoms. Exercise the freedom of choice when it comes to your health, personal independence, and the quality of life.
By Susie Ray, Marketing Director of The Arbordale, a 55+ active living community in Urbandale, Iowa. Learn more about having a comfortable and convenient summer season at TheArbordale.com.