Healthy at Any Age: Top 10 Resolutions for Older Adults
By now, you’ve seen the calendar roll over a few times. And you’ve probably had some success making and keeping New Year’s resolutions. So what’s your plan for 2020?
Age is just a number. But if you want to age well and enjoy a positive quality of life as you get older, there’s a few things you can do to add years to your life and life to your years.
Want to be healthier and have more energy in 2020? Follow these top 10 resolutions for older adults:
1. Eat more whole foods
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, legumes, and plenty of water. Eat at home more often, eat at restaurants less where food is more often deep fried or made from processed ingredients.
Not sure where to start? Just check out our selection of Senior-Friendly meals made from fresh ingredients, and pick your favorites. You’ll have meals ready to eat in minutes with no mess to clean up in the kitchen.
2. Take a multivitamin
Aim to eat healthy (see above). It’s the best way to get the vitamins, nutrients, and calories you need for best health. But sometimes that’s not enough if you have trouble absorbing nutrients from food or take medications that prevent absorption. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements first.
3. Be active 30 minutes a day
Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Swim. Take a fitness class. Work in the garden. Exercise during commercials. Aim to be active 30 minutes a day. You’ll burn calories and strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles.
4. See your doctor
See your doctor for annual visits and check-ups. Get the flu vaccine. If you’re not feeling well or notice something unusual, don’t ignore it. As you get older your risk for chronic diseases and certain types of cancer increases. Preventive care is always better than the alternative.
5. Avoid or limit alcohol
Drink too much, and your risk goes up for falling, poor sleep, negative reactions to medications, and other health problems. If you do drink, follow these guidelines: No more than one drink per day for women, 2 for men. One drink = a 12-ounce beer or a 5-ounce glass of wine.
6. Prevent falls
Balance, flexibility, and mobility exercises can help. Your doctor, physical therapist, or a personal trainer can help you with this. You can also fall-proof your home by keeping halls, floors and walkways clear, removing throw rugs, installing night lights in dark areas, and using grab-bars and slip-proof mats in the bath or shower.
7. Train your brain
Research shows keeping your mind active may help reduce the risk for age-related memory loss, Alzheimer’s and dementia. Try Sudoku, crossword puzzles, trivia, reading, learning a new skill or hobby, and socializing with others more.
8. Don’t smoke or quit if you do
It’s no secret smoking is bad for your health. If you smoke, you’re two times more likely to develop heart disease (the leading cause of death in the United States), than a non-smoker. Don’t smoke. If you do, get help to quit.
9. Talk about ‘It’
“It” is depression and anxiety, which many older adults experience, but don’t talk about. If you’re feeling down, it can have a negative impact on your overall health, appetite, sleep patterns, and more. Mild depression may come and go, but if you’re feeling that way for more than two weeks talk to your doctor, a counselor or healthcare professional.
10. Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night
That’s the ideal amount of sleep for most adults. Sleep has restorative health benefits that help reduce stress and inflammation and improve mood and metabolism.
Hungry for better health in 2020? Make and keep these 10 resolutions. And Celebrate your success with a healthy meal.