Happy New Year! If you’re like most people, you see the new year as an opportunity for a fresh start. From improving health and wellness to building new friendships to planning for the future, now is a perfect time to create goals and build habits for a happier, healthier year ahead. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions worth considering:
Make nutrition a priority
Eating right is important at any age, but it can be even more important for older adults to maintain a healthy diet. As we get older, our changing bodies require nutrient-rich foods to help us maintain strength and boost immunity. Some healthy foods to incorporate in your daily meals include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, dairy, and healthy fats such as nuts or olive oil. As always, it’s a good idea to speak with your physician to determine the nutritional plan that’s right for you.
Revisit a favorite hobby or try something new
Research shows that having a hobby can help older adults reduce stress and ward off feelings of loneliness. This year, consider revisiting a favorite pastime or trying something brand new. From creative hobbies like painting, drawing, scrapbooking or knitting to outdoor activities like golfing and gardening, there’s no shortage of fun and enriching activities to try. Participating in a hobby is also a great way to meet new people and form friendships with others who share your interests.
Most of us know that we should stay physically active, but it’s not always easy to stick to our exercise goals. In the new year, challenge yourself to stay active and keep moving every day. Just 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise a few times a week can add up to incredible benefits, such as improved strength and balance, increased muscle mass, and better endurance. In general, people are more likely to maintain a consistent exercise regimen if they are surrounded by others with similar goals. Consider joining a group exercise class or walking club to stay motivated and make fitness a more enjoyable social activity.
Exercise your brain
Along with physical exercise, you can give your brain a workout, too! Challenging your brain regularly may prevent the risk of cognitive decline and memory loss. Activities such as playing games, completing puzzles, reading, and even learning a new instrument or language are all great ways to stimulate your mind and have fun at the same time.
Get a check-up
When was the last time you scheduled a check-up with your general physician? One way to be proactive about your health is by visiting your doctor at least once a year. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Regular visits to your doctor can help ensure you’re on the right track for a healthy lifestyle. Your doctor may also be able to detect the early symptoms of conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure and address them quickly before they develop into more serious concerns.
Have important conversations with family
Most older adults tend to avoid starting conversations with family members about subjects like health, aging, and their plans for the future. While such topics can be difficult to discuss, it’s wise to have these conversations sooner rather than later. This year, make a plan to sit down with loved ones and talk about your wishes and needs for the future, which might include things like downsizing your home and moving to a senior living community.
What do you hope to achieve this year? No matter what you choose to focus on in the months ahead, we wish you a safe, happy, and healthy 2019!