Eight Healthy Aging Resolutions for 2024
Seniors, people who provide care for seniors, and people who are looking ahead to their own senior years will want to add a few of these great ideas to their list of resolutions.
The New Year is the traditional time when many of us are motivated to make positive changes in our lives. Why not add a few resolutions that can impact your health and well-being through the New Year and beyond?
Resolution #1: Increase physical activity in your daily routine. Study after study demonstrates the vital role that exercise plays in keeping us well and independent as we grow older. No matter what a senior’s health status, there is some form of exercise almost everyone can do. Talk to your healthcare provider about an exercise program that is right for you.
Resolution #2: Give your brain a workout by learning a new skill. Did you know that today’s imaging technologies allow neurologists to observe the effects of mental stimulation in our brains? Experts tell us that activities that stimulate the brain in a new way are especially effective. Take a language class, try a new instrument, or improve your computer skills. It’s never too late to learn.
Resolution #3: Discover a great new walking path. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise, but we can lose motivation and become bored with our same old routine. Check out local parks, neighborhoods, even shopping malls when the weather is bad. And invest in a pair of good quality walking shoes.
Resolution #4: Ask your doctor about vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration has recently approved a new vaccine for RSV, a respiratory infection that can be particularly harmful to babies and older adults. Individuals age 60 and older are approved for this vaccine. While you’re at it, ask your doctor if you are up to date on COVID-19 boosters and flu shots.
Resolution #5: Watch a funny movie. Studies confirm that laughter is good for the heart and immune system, relieves depression, and is a great social “icebreaker.” Your public library probably has a good collection of comedy films that you can borrow at no cost—or check out the latest offerings on YouTube.
Resolution #6: Take a fall prevention tour of your home. Look for situations and conditions that could be hazardous as you move from place to place. Removing clutter and fixing unsafe conditions helps older adults avoid falls and live more confidently. Improve lighting indoors and out, and add grab bars and other modifications that make the home safer for everyone.
Resolution #7: Ask your doctor to review your medications. During your next appointment, arrange in advance to bring in a list of all drugs you take, both prescription and over-the-counter. (Some healthcare providers suggest bringing along the containers.) Ask about side effects, possible interactions, and whether switching to a generic might save you money.
Resolution #8: Spend more time with other people. This year, several more studies confirmed the damaging effects of loneliness, for both our bodies and our minds. Good relationships are one of the top ways to stay active and achieve emotional well-being. Companionship has even been shown to strengthen our immune system, and offers a host of other benefits.
No matter what your age and health condition, taking positive steps to follow healthy aging guidelines can pay off and help you have a happier 2024!