New Year’s Resolutions for seniors

Just because you’re over a certain age doesn’t mean that you have to stop making new year’s resolutions. You can make promises to yourself that you can actually follow through with, as long as you set your mind to making it happen. Not every resolution has to be about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. There are things that you can do to improve your life whenever you want to. All it takes is a positive attitude and a willingness to make good changes in your life. Here are some new year’s resolutions that you can make and keep at any age.

10 Minutes of Exercise

 Staying active is not just the key to healthy aging, but also, it may be the key to a longer life. Though the research behind the positive effects of exercise on aging is extensive, the findings from a 30-year study effectively sum them up. Per the findings, incorporating an exercise regime of walking, jogging, or cycling in seniors can drastically improve physiological characteristics such as blood pressure, resting heart rate, maximum pumping capacity, and muscle mass. For some people, the improvements are so significant that baseline levels match those from their early 20s. While you don’t have to get up and run a marathon, you should dedicate a portion of your day to fitness. Just 10 minutes of swimming, walking, or yoga can make a huge difference in your health, happiness, and lifespan.

Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking today is something that will improve your life, no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been smoking. It will also let you sleep better and have more energy for the rest of your life. On top of that, you’ll be able to breathe easier and that’s more than worth it. Start quitting today and enjoy the benefits of a smoke free life.

Be Social

Studies show that socially active older adults have better cognition, lower risks of disability and depression, and overall better health. Social media makes it easy to find and reach out to old friends, while elder living communities provide ample opportunity to make new ones. There’s never an age that you have to stop making new friends. Meet new people and get to know them. There’s no way that it will work against you. It’s also a great idea to find new activity partners that you can do fun things with.

Play with the Kids

Though the reasons behind the phenomenon are multi-faceted, research shows that elderly individuals who spend more quality time with their grandchildren live longer and have better physical and mental health outcomes than those who do not. For instance, a 2016 study found that half of the grandparents who occasionally participated in their grandchildren’s lives were alive five years post-study compared to individuals who had no involvement. Findings from a 2014 study showed that individuals who watched their grandchildren once a week scored higher on cognitive tests than those who never did. It’s never a bad time to play with your grandchildren!

Stay Positive

Research shows that maintaining a positive mindset comes with a host of health benefits. According to the findings, positivity has been linked to a lower risk of memory loss, quicker recovery from illness, injury or disability, a lower risk of chronic disease, decreased feelings of loneliness and isolation, and an increased likelihood for seeking preventative care. Positive thinking doesn’t mean wearing rose-colored glasses all the time or ignoring difficult feelings. Rather, it means stressing less about the things you cannot change, focusing on those you can, and, all the while, remembering what is good in life.

Eat Better Food

Finally, it’s never a bad idea to make a new year’s resolution to simply eat better. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to just choose better food. You want to get food that’s better for your mental and physical health. You’ll be shocked at the difference that the right vitamins and minerals make to your body. As you age, you will need to consume fewer calories but more nutrients. Your health care provider can help you make better food choices, but, ultimately, you should strive to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Choose whole grains over refined ones and lean meats over fatty options. Use healthier fats, such as olive or avocado oil, and cook with natural spices to reduce salt and fat intake. Give it a shot and see how much better you feel in the new year!