10 healthy New Year’s resolutions
New Year’s resolutions can help you enjoy a healthier and happier 2021.
Experts agree the key to making and keeping resolutions is to focus on small changes, not quick fixes.
Every older adult has different needs and priorities – from improved health or better relationships to financial or physical fitness. What’s important is to make efforts to improve an element of your well-being.
Here are 10 healthy New Year’s resolutions for older adults. Pick one – or some – to kick off a better year.
1. Adopt a new activity
You know it’s important to include exercise in your daily life. Consider trying a new, safe exercise activity this year – perhaps a different walking route, an online video or yoga.
Mixing up physical activities can help increase your interest in sticking with exercise, too.
2. Step up your technology game
Technology can help older adults stay in touch with family and friends, especially as the coronavirus pandemic continues. So consider taking steps to stay up to date on how to best use a computer, laptop, notebook or smartphone.
You might even get on a new social media channel where you can post and follow what’s new in loved one’s lives. You can get online learning tips here.
3. Be more social
Avoid the possibility of feeling isolated and sad by committing to being more social this year. Staying in touch with people will help you stay positive.
Make a point to regularly call friends. Visit with neighbors at a safe distance. Video chat with children and grandchildren.
4. Absorb more healthy information
Try a New Year’s resolution that can help you stay mentally sharp and have more fuel for engaging conversations. Make efforts to absorb more healthy information.
Read or listen to books. Watch history, nature and hobby television channels to learn. Do word and math puzzles.
But avoid overloading on mainstream and social media, which can have negative effects on your attitude and mental health.
5. Stay ahead of your health
Become more proactive about your health and healthcare in the new year. When you visit your doctor(s), prepare a list of things you’d like to discuss and changes or concerns you have so nothing is missed or forgotten. Do the same with vision, hearing and other specialty appointments.
You might start to monitor some vitals such as your heart rate and blood pressure regularly, too, so you can identify potential issues – and see a medical provider – before there’s a problem.
6. Eat healthier
“Eating healthier” isn’t an ideal New Year’s resolution because it’s too broad. But choosing a small change to your diet can help improve overall health.
Consider limiting salt, eating an additional serving of fruit each day, cutting the grams of fat, eating red meat just once a week, or cutting back on sugar. Just one change is doable!
7. Prevent injuries
Pick New Year’s resolutions to make your surroundings safer so you avoid falls or other accidents – and stay safe in 2021.
A few keys: Check with your healthcare provider about the medications you take and any increased risk of imbalance they may cause. Have items such as small rugs removed from your home. Add more lighting so you see better at night. You can find other important safety modifications here.
8. Rest your mind and body
Older adults need adequate sleep for good physical and mental health. If you don’t get seven or eight hours a night, resolve to do it in 2021 by avoiding daytime naps and too much screen time just before bed.
Also, take time to rest your mind with mindfulness practices.
9. Curb some habits
Some habits have worse effects on physical health. Smoking and drinking to an excess often top that list. If you do either or both, resolve to scale back.
One key to cutting bad habit is to replace them with a good one. So instead of reaching for a cigarette or another drink after dinner, take short walk, read or make a phone call.
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