Guest article written by Hazel Bridges from AgingWellness.org.
The start of a new year is always a wonderful opportunity to make lifestyle changes and improve your overall health and happiness. If you're a senior looking to upgrade your habits in the year to come, start by taking stock of your current situation. What do you want to maintain and what would you like to see change? Common wishes among Americans include exercising more, eating healthier, and spending more time with loved ones.
You may find that you were experiencing frequent bouts of loneliness while self-isolating during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. In this case, you may want to consider making the transition to an assisted living or an independent living community. Pathway to Living offers vibrant communities where seniors can connect with like-minded individuals.
Read on for more ideas on how you can revamp your life for the better in the year to come.
Find a form of exercise you genuinely enjoy.
Exercise helps maintain strength, flexibility, coordination, and cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week. Hate working out? The odds are you simply haven't found a form of physical activity you like just yet. Explore more exciting alternatives to the traditional treadmill workout, like swimming and Zumba dance workouts. Motivate yourself further by grabbing some cut and comfy workout clothes, like these soft and cozy racerback bras from Davy Piper.
Get creative with your cooking to make healthy eating fun.
A healthy diet prioritizes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Preparing nutritious meals for yourself can get tedious if you always make the same dishes. Resolve to spice up your cooking this year. Consider trying alternative cuisines. You might try your hand at Indian food, for example. All Recipes has easy curry recipes and these dishes are fantastic for storing and reheating, minimizing time spent in the kitchen.
To track your meals, check out the "My Food Diary" document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Embrace technology as a means of connecting with others.
If you are intimidated by modern technology, you aren't alone. Many older adults avoid new gadgets and platforms because they're afraid. However, technology can improve your life in many ways. You can use a tablet to view cooking tutorials or home exercise videos, for example, helping you achieve the above goals. You can also use tech tools to video chat with loved ones and take part in digital social activities, like book clubs or cocktail hours. Such digital connectivity is especially important if you are continuing to shelter in place in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Test yourself mentally by learning something new.
An active social life can help maintain your wellbeing and is even proven to minimize the risk of cognitive decline in older adults. To further boost your brain and stay mentally sharp, resolve to learn a new skill this year. You could try learning a new language, mastering an instrument, or picking up a new crafting hobby like knitting. You can even access free online courses from Harvard University. Topics include everything from world literature to programming.
The above tips can help you lead a more fulfilling life. Isn't that what your golden years are for? Make these changes and you will find your mental and physical well being improving, which can make it easier to enjoy every day.