New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors
When the year changes over to the new one, it’s a good time to reflect on the year we left behind, and look forward to the year to come. New Year’s resolutions are a popular part of that process. Start by looking back over the previous year, considering the person we were and the things we did and the habits we kept. Then consider what of those things we might like to put an end to, and what we might like to carry over into the new year. It’s also a great opportunity to conceptualize the person we might like to become, and what habits and activities we’d like to develop.
For older adults, New Year’s resolutions are a great time to start building healthier habits that will let them enjoy their twilight years in optimum health and happiness. Here’s some great suggestions for senior citizens to consider trying to stick to, to help make 2022 and beyond happy, healthy, and enjoyable.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats: As we age, our nutritional requirements change. While we still need healthy, nourishing food, we need less calories. This means that we need to maximize the benefits we receive from everything we eat. Try to target eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and remember that darker colors and more variety tends to mean more nutrition. Switching to whole grain breads and pastas and brown rice is a great way to add sources of fiber and complex carbohydrates into your diet. Low-fat dairy is a great source of both calcium and vitamin D, critical for the health and strength of your bones.
- Be more active: Research has borne out the result time and time again that getting your recommended weekly allotment of physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health. Mild and moderate exercises such as walking, water aerobics, tai chi, and yoga, can help control weight, build muscles and bones, and improve your balance, posture and mood.
- Quit smoking: Just for one example, cigarette smokers are twice as likely to develop heart disease as non-smokers. The detrimental health effects of smoking are so widely researched and understood that there’s almost no area of health that it doesn’t impact. Quitting smoking now greatly improves your health, so consider leaving the pack and lighter behind in 2021.
- Fall-proof your home: One in three adults falls every year. Injuries from falls are the most preventable cause of hospitalizations or deaths in seniors, and for many who fall, the shock to their body causes permanent, lasting effects that reduce quality of life sharply. Increasing your physical activity will improve your muscular strength and balance, but you can also make sure to remove hazards and obstacles from your home, improve the lighting, and more.
- Learn a new skill or hobby: Not only is pursuing interests and discovering a new passion fun, the work your brain does in learning will protect it from developing alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.