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NYC Office of Actuary NYC Department for the Aging
Health and Wellness

Research show that by leading a healthy lifestyle you can help reduce your risks for heart disease, cancer, strokes and diabetes. All it takes to increase your chances for a long and healthy life is your decision to take charge of your lifestyle. Here are some things you can do.

Be active – walk, exercise, take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and little or no fatty foods.

Don’t smoke, and don’t drink alcohol beyond recommend limits.

Have a primary care provider who knows your history and who you visit regularly. Take advantage of preventive screenings and immunizations like flu and pneumonia shots.

Pay attention to your mental health. Keeping your mind stimulated and having an active social life are every bit as important to your overall wellness as exercising and being smart about what you eat.

Stop Smoking

New York Quits is a great resource if you’re looking for information on how to quit smoking, coping with withdrawal or seeking a local smoking cessation program.

Visit New York Quits or call 311 for a smoke-free program near you.

Medicare Preventive Services

Medicare Part B covers the cost of annual wellness visits to develop or update a prevention plan tailored to your health. Take a Medicare Preventive Checklist to your doctor or other health care provider and ask which preventive services are right for you.

Download the Medicare Checklist of Preventive Services

Health Literacy

Health literacy is the ability to understand health information and to use that information to make good decisions about your health and medical care. Approximately one third of the adult population in the United State has limited health literacy.

Read more about health literacy from the National Library of Medicine

Wellness Programs at Senior Centers

Senior Centers are great places to find physical exercise, Tai Chi, stretch, yoga and other wellness classes. To participate in a center wellness program, you must be a registered center member. 

Many centers' wellness offerings include one or more of the following Department for the Aging's Health Promotion Programs:

Big Apple Walking Clubs
These clubs are active in a variety of senior centers and other facilities throughout New York City that provide services to seniors. Each club walks to achieve a target number of steps, anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000+. Members use pedometers to count their steps. Individual totals contribute to the club’s goal.

To register a walking club, click on and complete the Registration Form. (in PDF)

Alert and Alive Discussion Groups
Informal Alert and Alive discussion groups are offered at centers throughout the City. They are led by trained senior volunteers in sessions that run continously. Members share their beliefs, attitudes and concerns about aging in a warm and congenial atmosphere.

To find a center near you that offers Alert and Alive, select your borough below.
Bronx   Brooklyn   Queens (in PDF)

Keep on Track: Blood Pressure Monitoring Program
Trained senior volunteers measure the blood pressure of their peers in bi-weekly screening and monitoring sessions. Adhering to a special protocol developed in association with the Department of Health, the volunteers keep records and follow-up with anyone whose blood pressure is too high.

To find a center near you that offers Keep on Track, select your borough below:
Bronx   Brooklyn   Manhattan   Queens (in PDF)