Caroline Khalil wants you to live your best life—regardless of your age. At the 2016 TEDxNashville stage, Khalil outlined the simple formula in her talk, “Does Aging Mean Decline?” She challenged audience members to dismiss negative cultural perceptions of declining health as we age. “I have spent my career focused on helping older Americans age better,” she explains. “It is so important to be our best through healthy eating, exercise, being socially connected—and most importantly, it is never too late to improve your lifestyle.” Like many members of the audience, you are probably thinking, “That can’t be it,” but Khalil assures us, “While it’s a simple formula, it is a powerful formula to be our best.”
As the Vice President of Strategy and Program Management for Healthways Network Solutions, helping older Americans age better is more of a personal passion than a business initiative. Khalil reminds us, “As I shared in my talk, my greatest hope for living our best lives at every age is achieved through the following: Have fun. Eat more plants. Walk. It really is this simple.” So simple, in fact, Khalil has been motivated by the positive response from her audience members to not only talk the TED Talk, but to adopt these behaviors in her own life.
Since her TED debut, Khalil continues to focus on tailoring health, fitness, and connectedness solutions to older generations around the country through her work at Healthways. Looking back, she has been blown away by the individual responses that she has received. “It is such an honor to know that my talk could change lives by striking a chord.” Khalil has been humbled by the amount of people of all ages and backgrounds who have connected with her to share their appreciation for her talk. She recounts, “It has been wonderful to hear that so many [TEDxNashville] attendees are making a conscious effort to stay connected with their circle of friends and truly take my thoughts to heart.”
Khalil says the best part of being on the TEDxNashville stage was the caliber of fellow speakers. “It is humbling to be in their company and so powerful to share our unique perspectives. The overwhelming response and engagement from the audience was unforgettable.” Like the theme of empowerment in her TED Talk, Khalil is most inspired by individuals who have the ability to self-motivate and constantly improve their lives. Similarly, a few of her favorite TED Talks share the same theme, including Johann Hari’s “Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong,” Lecrae’s “Is Hip-Hop A Cancer or Cure?” and Dr. Ivan Joseph’s “The Skill of Self Confidence.” Moving forward, Khalil hopes to continue to challenge the normal perception of decline and age by teaching us that, “It is possible to reverse aging, achieve your dreams at any age, and embrace a vibrant journey ahead.”