Senior-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions That Are Worth the Effort
Why is the New Year a time of festivity? What makes this occasion one that billions of people celebrate? Though a select few may think of January as just another month on the calendar, many more consider the New Year a new beginning and the chance to realize their life goals. And seniors are no exception.
No matter your age, a new year can provide a starting point for a healthier, safer and more fulfilling future. In fact, setting — and sticking with — your New Year’s resolutions can make the difference between enjoying your senior years in the comfort of your home and having to relocate because of medical needs. Staying Put at Home strives to help every individual who wants to age in place achieve that goal, and our list of senior-friendly New Year’s resolutions can see to it that you get the most out of 2015 and beyond.
Knowing Your Health Numbers
Let’s start with the basics. As the adage goes, knowledge is power. When you know your health numbers, you can make the necessary changes. This information becomes especially important when it concerns your heart and bone health. Hypertension, high cholesterol and osteoporosis typically show no symptoms until a heart attack, stroke or fracture makes their presence known. Only a qualified healthcare provider can assess your health numbers and recommend treatment strategies if a problem is found.
Finding Activities You Love
Working out is not a privilege of only the young. As the National Institutes of Health notes, it is essential to health at every age. So if you don’t exercise, now is the time to start. The benefits of physical activity are seemingly endless—lower blood pressure, better bone density, improved balance and reduced incidence of dementia. Key to reaping these benefits, though, is exercising regularly, so choose an activity you love. You can walk, jog, swim, bike, hike, ski, lift weights… And the New Year is the perfect time to start exploring what interests you the most.
Getting Enough Fruits and Vegetables
Fat, salt and sugar may taste good, but they can lead to serious health issues like obesity, clogged arteries and type 2 diabetes. To protect yourself from these life-threatening conditions, get familiar with the produce section of your local grocery store. Fruits and vegetables should make up at least half of every meal. Like exercise, though, produce doesn’t have to be one size fits all. You have hundreds of options ranging from apples and Brussels sprouts to watermelons and yams to help you become healthier and happier.
Making New Friends
Your emotional happiness can have as much an effect on your health as your physical fitness. Specifically, the social ties you build can lower your stress levels, blood pressure and risk of cognitive decline. If your loved ones live more than a car ride away, though, you can still have an active social life. Communities large and small have senior centers and charities that you can join and support. The Internet too can help you stay in touch with long-distance friends and family through Facebook, Skype and other social media channels.
Fall-Proofing Your Home
One of the most important changes you can implement in 2015 is making fall prevention a top priority. Fall injuries account for thousands of senior lives lost each year, and many more elders must contend with life-altering disabilities. When you eat right and exercise, you can significantly cut your fall risk. However, a few at-home changes, including clearing walkway clutter and securing loose cords, can greatly reduce your chances of suffering a fall accident that puts you in the hospital with a fracture or head injury.