It’s the time of year where we all resolve to eat better and exercise more in the coming new year. But did you know that as adults age, these health and wellness resolutions become more important than ever?
If you keep just a handful of your New Year’s resolutions this year – make them these five that we’ve compiled from our experts at Bethany Village:
1) Take more precautions to safeguard against falls. As you age, your body takes a little longer to bounce back from what life throws at you. Older bones are often more fragile, and that means that what would have once been a minor slip or fall could result in a serious break or concussion. Always use the handrails when going up and down stairs, ensure throw rugs are secured or removed from your home, and keep sidewalks and steps ice-free. Don’t be afraid to rely on the assistance of a cane or walker if necessary. It can save you from weeks or even months of recovery from a fall.
2) Eat and drink in moderation. Remember that as your body ages, so do your organs. Processing excessive amounts of alcohol will not only place a greater strain on your body, but can cause depression and may interfere with many medications. Overeating can also cause more problems for older adults, as you will be at greater risk for heartburn and acid reflux. Aging also means a slowing metabolism and less active lifestyle that may also contribute to weight gain. Everything is fine in moderation, but moderation is key.
3) If you’re feeling down or anxious, speak up. Mental health is important. If you had a physical ailment like a broken bone or serious wound you would seek professional help, and mental health is no different. Professional guidance and treatment is just as vital to your mental health. If you’re overly anxious or depressed for longer than a few days, speak to your doctor. Make 2016 the year you care for your whole health.
4) Stay active – physically and mentally. Daily walks, hiking, biking, or low impact exercises like water aerobics can help you stay physically fit. While staying active is on many New Year’s resolution lists, don’t forget to add in time devoted to improving your mental fitness, too. Learn a new language, take a cooking class, put together a puzzle, or give yourself a reading challenge this year to keep your mind sharp.
5) Make – and keep! – regular doctors’ appointments. Regular doctors’ visits are important to maintaining your overall health. You may also be able to catch potential health issues before they become major problems. Ensure that you have, at minimum, a yearly physical exam. Also ask your doctor about their recommendations for immunizations. Older adults are especially vulnerable to the flu and pneumonia, both of which can be prevented through vaccinations.
Once you have resolved to change your habits, be sure to put a plan in place to help you achieve – and stick to – your goals. Happy New Year!
This article is brought to you by Bethany Village, a retirement care and senior living community.