The Best New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors

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The countdown to midnight is almost here. For many people, that means 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 ageing.

According to a study 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 that you’re truly passionate about changing and make it a priority in your life. Then, write down your resolution and the thoughts around it.  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 and positive 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. Also, you can eat heart-healthy fish a couple of times each week. Read our nutrition blog post for help on how to optimize your diet.

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. Some people just enjoy fiddling about with a blank canvas and some water colours, or you could pick up an enjoyable activity that doesn’t require perfection, but rather allows you to free your mind.

hobby art

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 or dancing to one of your favourite songs. The goal is simply move your body as the first step to achieving your resolution.

Over time, it will get easier. You can exercise for longer and try harder activities. Ask your Activity or Wellness Director about exercise classes offered in your All Seniors Care retirement community. Many locations continue to offer outdoor or distanced exercise classes during the pandemic.  Or, you can start with the Fitness Friday sheet that is distributed in the weekly activity booklets.

What if your motivation dwindles? You can try a few things. One of the best workout motivation tips that is guaranteed to help is to enlist a friend to join in on your goals. You have to attend the same classes — you don’t even have to be in the same city! Just encourage each other to get moving and share your victories with one another.

Another good motivation tool is music. It’s proven that music helps people exercise by getting you energized and making the time go by faster. A few fast-paced songs can get make your entire workout a breeze.

4. Guard against falls

One in every three older adults falls each year. 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. If you don’t already have them, insert grab bars in your bathtub or shower, and install night lights so it’s easier to see at night. Also, ask your healthcare provider to check whether you are taking medications that can make losing your balance more likely.

5. Stimulate your mind. 

Challenging your brain with regular mental exercise is just as important as physical activity! Learn something new through on-line classes, 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 make a resolution to ensure that your family history is preserved for the next generations. How about recording stories or making a time capsule for descendants to find? Or digitise important family documents and photographs and pass copies on to key family members to look after?

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 allow each generation to have a sense of who they are and where they come from. These shared stories are essential to understanding ourselves and give us a sense of belonging.

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 watercolours, 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.
  • Watch our Life is Good series online. We made these videos to inspire positivity and put smiles on viewers’ faces.

What if your living space is affecting your mood? If you’re living alone and feel like you need more company, you should consider moving to a space that will make you happier. The same can be said if you find that managing a household is getting way too stressful.

Click the link to see all of our seniors residences across Canada and find the ones that are closest to you. Our residences are redefining senior living in Canada and giving residents incredible opportunities to be socially adventurous every single day. Moving into one of our communities could be the key to achieving your resolution.

You want to start 2021 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!

Editor and Writer:    Julianna McLeod

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