When it comes to New Year resolutions, vowing to exercise more, lose weight or “just get healthier” are repeatedly top of the list. But according to an Ipsos poll, 73% of Canadians who set New Year’s resolutions will eventually end up breaking them.
As seniors, resolutions which keep our minds and bodies active, whilst motivating us to get out and socialize have never been more important. So, what’s the secret for setting New Year’s resolutions that we can actually stick to?
Seniors with staying power
The key message for success? Be realistic and make it fun. We’ve compiled our own list of resolutions with a special significance for seniors:
Eat more healthily
There’s no better time than the present to commit to a more nutritious diet. Team up with a friend or family member and embark on your healthy eating plan in tandem. A healthy diet doesn’t have to be boring!
- Seek out healthy recipes that are rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Try to avoid sodium, fats, sugars and preservatives.
- Create meal plans and cook together.
- Eat salmon, shrimp, oily fish or tuna to get heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Magazines and newspapers are full of healthy eating tips at this time of year and if you’re computer savvy, the internet has an abundance of wonderful recipe suggestions for you to try. Not only will you start looking and feeling healthier, but you’ll be exercising your mind and having fun at the same time!
If you’ve not done exercise for some time, even the smallest changes will make a difference. The most successful exercise resolutions are very specific. For example, try committing to a 10-minute walk on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Some people find it easier to commit to a goal that’s written down as an affirmation, such as “I love walking for 10 minutes in the fresh air every day at 10am.” The affirmation turns a resolution such as “do more exercise” into a situation you can visualise, and an end result you can experience.
When you feel you can change up a gear, find an activity you’ll enjoy. Look for group activities in your community. Why not try a dance class? They’re a great way to get fit and you’ll make a whole new set of friends at the same time.
Quit bad habits
Smoking tobacco puts pressure on the cardiovascular system which can cause heart attacks, strokes and lung disease. In addition, excessive alcohol consumption may cause depression, interrupt sleep, and adversely interact with medications, whilst contributing to the risk of falls.
In 2019, make a realistic plan to cut down. Draw up a set of achievable milestones. Try an affirmation, such as “I love not smelling of smoke when the grandchildren come to visit.” Don’t be afraid to seek help. There are a variety of local charities and organizations which can offer support, as can your GP and your local pharmacy.
Learn something new
Ever wanted to speak Spanish, sing in a choir or play the piano? For many seniors, retirement provides the perfect time and space to learn a new skill. It’s a powerful way to improve cognitive function, and a great way to socialize.
If learning something new feels a little too ambitious, there are plenty of other ways to keep your brain active. Commit to doing a number puzzle or crossword every day, or spending an hour on your favourite craft or hobby. Even just sitting down for a good chat with friends or family members will help you maintain your cognitive skills.
Make time to talk
This resolution is not quite so fun, but it is perhaps the most important. While you are able, talk to your family about the kind of care you would like should the time arise when you need a little more help. In addition, estate planning and finding time to discuss your will can help prepare everyone for the inevitable and ensure that your wishes are recorded and understood by all.
Resolve to visit a Manor Village Life Center
At The Manor Village, we have everything you need for a happier, healthier 2019. Our in-house chefs are trained to focus on nutrition, whilst our outstanding Activity and Lifestyle team organizes a monthly calendar of activities which are social, active and stimulating for all. Call us and book your personalized visit to any of our Calgary senior living communities today.