The beginning of a new year is a great time for seniors to reevaluate their priorities and start with a clean slate. It’s never too late to set new goals and change habits, especially regarding health. Putting effort toward maintaining and improving health is critical for seniors who want to enjoy their retirement and ensure a high quality of life.
Below will discuss seven happy and healthy New Year’s resolutions for seniors.
- Commit to Daily Exercise
- Prioritize Nutrition
- Increase Social Time
- Challenge Your Mind
- Try a New Hobby
- Practice Positive Thinking
- Prioritize Mental Health
1. Commit to Daily Exercise
It’s difficult to overstate just how important exercise is for seniors. Regular physical activity is critical to preventing disease and keeping the mind healthy. As such, daily exercise should be part of every senior’s routine.
Exercise doesn’t have to include heavy weight lifting or intense cardio. Seniors can greatly benefit from a daily walk or low-impact activities like yoga or tai chi.
Older adults can also make getting fit a social activity by taking classes or finding an accountability buddy. Establishing an exercise regimen in the new year is one of the overall best New Year’s resolutions for seniors.
2. Prioritize Nutrition
Nutrition is also critically important for older adults. Nutrition is an ever-evolving pursuit, and nutritional needs can change over time. Getting adequate nutrients each day takes more effort than occasionally eating fruits and vegetables.
This New Year, consider adopting a personalized nutrition plan that ensures you’re getting the nourishment you need each day. Working with a nutritionist can help you achieve optimal nutrition for your sex and age group, but you can also try tracking your foods and engaging in simple trial and error.
Getting proper nutrition each day not only helps keep disease at bay but improves mental health, boosts energy levels, and enhances overall mood.
3. Increase Social Time
Healthy New Year’s resolutions for seniors don’t have to be exclusively about exercise and nutrition. Health is a holistic practice, and socialization is key to good health. Without adequate social time, seniors can quickly experience feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can be detrimental to both physical and mental health.
Feelings of loneliness can lead to a variety of negative health outcomes, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Weak immune system
- Cognitive decline
Seniors should prioritize their social time with friends and family in the new year. Spending even a few hours a week talking over coffee or sharing in a favorite pastime can do wonders for the mind, body, and spirit.
4. Challenge Your Mind
It’s easy for seniors enjoying their retirement to fall into habits that don’t include stimulating themselves mentally. While retirees have earned the right to relax, they still need to challenge their minds to stay healthy. Some of the best new year’s resolutions for seniors include activities that do just that.
Such activities may include:
- Arts and crafts
- Word puzzles
- Brain training games
Another good way to keep your mind sharp is by learning new things. For example, you could take a class or read an instruction book to learn a new skill or language.
Keeping the mind active is important for long-term brain health, as it can slow down cognitive decline.
5. Try a New Hobby
Hobbies are a great way to pass the time and stay engaged while doing something that interests you. For some seniors, hobbies can even turn into a new passion or a second career. Sometimes, though, it can take a bit of trial and error to pick up a hobby that sticks.
This New Year, commit to trying at least three new hobbies. Researching the things you’re interested in can help you find a hobby that fits your lifestyle.
Getting into a new hobby doesn’t have to require a lot of time or money. You can borrow materials, rent equipment, or simply shadow a friend.
6. Practice Positive Thinking
Positive thinking is important for people of all ages, but it’s especially crucial for seniors. Older adults face unique struggles and can experience a lot of stress as a result. A lack of positive thinking can make certain challenges seem to be more difficult and take a toll on mental health.
Positive thinking is a skill, which means it’s not something that can be perfected overnight — most people will have to work at it.
For inspiration, read a book on positive thinking or talk to a personal success coach to pick up practical tips for positive thinking. Changing your frame of mind can make a huge difference in your daily life.
7. Prioritize Mental Health
Healthy New Year’s resolutions for seniors are often associated with physical health. As mentioned, however, mental health is equally important. In fact, the two are so closely linked that it’s difficult to achieve one without the other.
When seniors don’t prioritize their mental health, they can lose motivation and fall into bad habits that cause their physical health to suffer. As such, it can be good to incorporate mental health-promoting practices into your daily routine. You might:
- Practice thankfulness
- Invest in self-care
- Give back to others
- Get adequate sleep
- Take time to relax
- Cultivate new friendships
Taking time to invest in mental health can make a huge difference in your day-to-day life.
New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors Can Make a Big Difference
Every New Year presents opportunities for seniors to start over and establish positive new habits. Take advantage of this time to make necessary changes and invest in your overall health and well-being.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.