If you’re looking to make this year one of your healthiest and happiest years yet, read this.
Happy New Year! It’s not uncommon to hear of health resolutions like exercise more, lose weight, quit smoking or eat healthier. We’ll explore why health goals like these are important to become and stay healthy. So, if one or more of these items is on your personal goal list, hopefully this will encourage you!
10 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for Older Adults
The American Geriatrics Society’s Health in Aging Foundation recommends these top 10 healthy New Year’s resolutions for older adults to help achieve your goal of becoming and staying healthy.
While this is likely no surprise — physical activity can be safe and healthy for older adults — even if you have heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis! In fact, many of these conditions get better with mild to moderate physical activity. Exercises such as tai chi, water aerobics, walking, and stretching can also help you control your weight, build your muscles and bones, and improve your balance, posture, and mood. Check with your insurance plan to see if you are eligible for the SilverSneakers program, which can provide access to local fitness centers.
See your provider regularly
Stimulate your mind
Participating in the arts through music, painting, writing, dance or theatre can stimulate people in unique ways that bring cognitive and mood benefits, according to McMaster University.
Did you know that cigarette smokers are twice as likely to develop heart disease as non-smokers? It is never too late to quit. You can still reduce your risk of many health problems, breathe easier, have more energy, and sleep better if you quit smoking. Ask your healthcare provider for help. Don’t lose hope if you failed to quit in the past. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good.
One in every three older adults falls each year — and falls are a leading cause of injuries and death among older adults. Exercises such as walking or working out with an elastic band can increase your strength, balance, and flexibility and help you avoid falls. Also ask your healthcare provider to check that you’re not taking any pills that can make you more likely to fall. Eliminate items in your home that are easy to trip over, like throw rugs. Insert grab bars in your bathtub or shower, and install night lights so it’s easier to see at night.
Try to avoid fatty meats by choosing lean-meat options like chicken or turkey. Also, you can eat heart-healthy fish a couple of times each week. Add sources of calcium and Vitamin D to your diet like milk, yogurt or cheese. Healthy fats are great options (like olive and canola oils). You can spice up your food to add extra flavoring when cooking. You can seek out healthy choices through your physician or a dietitian.
Limit your alcohol
Speak up about your mental health
Get some sleep
It’s important to get enough sleep to feel your best. Older adults should get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Avoid daytime naps if this keeps you up during the night. You can access https://sleepfoundation.org/ for additional information and tips on how to sleep better. You should contact your medical provider if you have ongoing issues with getting adequate sleep.