Top Healthy New Year’s Resolutions For Older Adults

The countdown to midnight is almost here. For many people, the opportunity for a fresh start will soon present itself. What will your resolution for the New Year be?

Resolutions Provide Purpose

Resolutions provide us with goals and purpose in our lives. They also help slow down aging.

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, older adults with a solid sense of purpose tend to retain strong hand grips and walking speeds – key indicators of how rapidly people are aging.

To avoid letting a resolution get brushed under the rug, think about the things you’re truly passionate about changing and make it a priority in your life.  Doing so may solidify your resolve and can make a big difference in your general outlook on life. It’s a way to enter the year with an upbeat attitude.

Here are 7 New Year’s resolutions to consider:

1. Set Healthy Eating Goals

After spending several weeks eating holiday cookies and sweets, many people embrace “eating better” as a New Year’s resolution.  If you choose a diet overhaul this January, remember that as you age, your body requires healthy foods but fewer calories. Strive to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and healthy fats. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day in a variety of colors. Try to avoid fatty meats by choosing lean-meat options like chicken or turkey.

2. Pick Up An Old Hobby

When was the last time you occupied yourself with a task that was purely for your enjoyment or relaxation? It doesn’t matter what you choose to do. It could be a daily knitting session. Or you might prefer a weekly game of chess.

3. Get Some Exercise

As people age, many let exercise fall by the wayside. While it can seem daunting to get back into the routine when you haven’t worked up a sweat in a long time, it’s not impossible!

Keep your expectations manageable. Start with a short workout time-five or ten minutes. Pick an activity that’s fun and lighthearted, like going for a walk. The goal is to move your body as the first step to achieving your resolution.

4. Guard against falls

To help you avoid falls, resolve to exercise: walking or working out with an elastic band can increase your strength, balance, and flexibility.  Eliminate items in your home that are easy to trip over, like throw rugs.

5. Stimulate your mind

Challenging your brain with regular mental exercise is just as important as physical activity! Learn something new through book or movie clubs or even a photography group. Lifelong learning helps build cognitive reserve: the brain’s resilience and ability to cope with stress and challenges.

6. Preserve Family History

This is a good year to resolve to ensure your family history is preserved for the next generations. How about recording stories or making a time capsule for descendants to find?

Families are often familiar with their parent’s stories but may know little about their grandparents and great-grandparents.  Family history helps to keep memories alive and allows each generation to have a sense of who they are and where they come from.

7. Increase Joy

You want to be happier this year! What a great goal to set for yourself. But how can you accomplish this? It depends. There are lots of ways that you can be happier in your day-to-day life. Here are some things that you could try:

  • Try to get a good night’s sleep every night. Restful sleep will always give your mood a boost.
  • Take up creative hobbies like needlepoint, knitting, sketching, and more.
  • Listen to more music.
  • Explore meditation.
  • Take breaks from your television and computer screens.
  • Call your loved ones more often, even if you only want to say “hello.”
  • Make a gratitude journal to help you appreciate what you have.

You want to start 2023 on the right foot. So, pick the New Year’s resolution that speaks to you and try your best to stick to it. You can do it!

Christmas time is here, and friends and family are near!
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