Nine Principles of Active Aging
An essential facet of Nia is our ongoing commitment to inclusion in our journey to wellness. This is extremely significant in reference to our aging population which is so often ignored or underappreciated in the fitness industry. Specialized classes like Nia’s Moving to Heal allow individuals, no matter their age, health or mobility, to be supported in ways that fit their specific needs. The aging population is larger than ever.
"What is active aging?"
Active aging promotes the vision of all individuals―regardless of age, socioeconomic status or health―fully engaging in life within all seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, intellectual/cognitive, physical, professional/vocational, social and spiritual.
Seven Dimensions of Wellness
Active aging embodies the philosophy that individuals can live as fully as possible within the seven dimensions of wellness.
Coping with challenges and behaving in trustworthy and respectful ways signal emotional wellness, attributes that can be encouraged through peer counseling, stress management, humor/laughter and personal histories.
2. Intellectual, cognitive
There are many ways to stay intellectually active, including taking college courses, journaling, painting or joining a theater company, and challenging oneself with games and puzzles.
3. Professional, vocational
Older adults contribute to society as experienced professionals, caregivers, mentors, teachers and volunteers. Leisure-time vocations in the arts and through hobbies maintain vocational skills.
Social interactions with family, friends, neighbors and chosen peer groups can be valuable for maintaining health. Personal contact by joining clubs, traveling, visiting friends and family, and engaging in intergenerational experiences is beneficial for everyone.
Group and individual faith-based activities, personal meditation, mindful exercise (yoga, tai chi) and experiencing nature can create the opportunity for spiritual growth.
Ways to bring people into the natural environment and encourage active living through urban and property designs which emphasize walking paths, meditation, vegetable gardens and similar options.
Lifestyle choices that can maintain or improve health and functional ability include engaging in physical activity, choosing healthy foods with adequate nutrition, getting adequate sleep, managing stress, limiting alcohol intake, not smoking, making appointments for checkups and following medical recommendations.
By implementing these principles, organizations and agencies will be able to build a foundation for their efforts and encourage active, engaged living for people of all ages.
For more information on the ICAA and on the principles of active aging, visit their website at http://www.icaa.cc/
For more information on how Nia can benefit healthy active aging, please contact me or leave a comment below.