Seniors may not believe that New Year’s resolutions are worth the effort. After all, if they did not make progress on healthy living both physically and mentally in the early part of their lives, it may seem pointless to try now. However, there is no time like the present to begin making healthy changes that can affect one’s life no matter his or her age.
- Consider some healthy dietary alternatives.
Seniors can almost always find smart ways to decrease added sugars or increase fruits and vegetables in their diets. Seniors should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day and should choose grain sources that have plenty of fiber, such as whole-grain bread and cereals. In addition, consider swapping out saturated fats and unhealthy oils for healthier alternatives, such as olive or coconut oil.
- Increase physical activity.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per day of physical activity. This could be something as simple as a 30-minute daily walk or could include low-impact exercises, such as tai chi, water aerobics, yoga or light strength training. Not only is exercise good for the waistline and for longevity but also it improves mood, quality of sleep and brain activity.
- Keep the brain active.
Speaking of the brain, seniors should plan activities that give their brains workouts as well. An active brain is less likely to have Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Reading is one simple way to do this. Other options could include crossword puzzles, Sudoku, word searches and game time with family and friends.
- Increase family time.
Sometimes it can be difficult to round up the entire family for a celebration at this stage. However, loving family relationships can greatly improve the quality of life for seniors and maybe require something as simple as a phone call.
- Learn more about technology.
Seniors who take the time to learn about new technology may be able to do even better than a phone call. Investing the time into learning about smartphones, laptops and tablets can improve communication with family and even with doctors. Plus, seniors love being able to Facetime grandchildren.