Top 4 Healthiest New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors

Written by TYE Medical on Dec 29th 2022

Top 4 Healthiest New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors

While you can determine to make positive changes in your life any time of year, it’s natural to consider a “reset” as a new year begins. There is something about endings that lead us to reflect and evaluate. This is why New Year’s resolutions can be effective, even for seniors. We want a better tomorrow than yesterday, and making the right kind of adjustments can help us achieve this goal.

So, as you consider the last year, what weaknesses do you see? Strategic changes in which areas could improve your quality of life? Not sure? We’ve chosen the top 4 attainable resolutions for seniors that will keep you thriving this year and the ones to come.

1. Stay Positive

positive thinking written on a blackboard with a drawn head

While science can’t explain the exact connection between a positive mindset and improved health, the effects are clear. People who live with a more positive attitude have a lower risk of developing chronic illness, memory loss, and even feelings of loneliness. Adopting a rosier outlook is a New Year’s resolution that can have loads of health benefits, especially for seniors.

But positive thinking doesn’t mean ignoring problems, avoiding reality, or denying your feelings. Instead, a positive mindset means focusing on what you can change rather than stressing about what you can’t. It’s an attitude that shifts from dwelling on what is negative to focusing on what is positive.

It’s possible to adjust your outlook on life if you’re willing to put in some effort. Try keeping a gratitude journal, which is a great way to record all that you’re thankful for both big and small. This can help you fight off your next pity party or emotional slump. You can also incorporate prayer or meditation and spiritual teachings to help you recognize the bigger picture.

2. Stimulate Your Mind

an animated brain lifting weights

If a positive mind is the key to a healthier you, then it’s no surprise that a sharper mind also adds to your wellbeing. But the prerequisite for this resolution is to dial back the time you spend in front of the TV. Research shows that moderate to large amounts of time watching TV actually shrinks gray matter and negatively impacts memory. For more information on this topic, check out our article, Is Too Much TV Harming Your Brain? New Evidence Says ‘Yes’.

As you decrease your passive screen time, you’ll have more opportunities for brain stimulating activities like reading, computer games, board games, or even developing new hobbies or talents. All of these engage your brain and stimulate your mind to promote brain and memory health. This type of mental stimulation can also reduce your risk of developing dementia.

3. Get 10 Minutes of Daily Exercise

senior couple strolling through the woods

We’ve all made New Year’s resolutions about exercise–and failed to keep them. But just 10 minutes of exercise is a highly attainable goal you’re more likely to keep. Who can’t carve out 10 minutes?

As you age, any amount of activity, no matter how small, contributes to your overall health. It’s worthwhile to commit to 10 minutes, and you might find that you sometimes extend your time and exceed your goal. So, aim for that 10 and then see what more you can do.

Daily exercise can lower your blood pressure, muscle mass, resting heart rate, and even extend your life. Try incorporating a routine that includes walking, jogging, or cycling.

4. Adjust Your Diet

This doesn’t have to be anything crazy. (Remember the cabbage soup diet?) No fads or starvation necessary. But if you’re middle aged or beyond, dietary changes are a necessity. As you age, you need fewer calories but more nutrition. This means that each calorie you consume must pack more of a nutritional punch. You no longer have the luxury of eating “empty calories” (or at least not many of them).

The simplest way to make this happen is to adopt a new “food lifestyle,” referring to a food plan like the Mediterranean Diet or the Anti Inflammatory Diet. These aren’t actually “diets” that are based on calories or portions (although it’s best to be mindful of these). Instead, these food plans provide a guide for what healthy foods to eat and what to avoid.

Both food plans focus on modest amounts of lean protein, whole grains, large quantities of produce, and healthy fats. You’re advised to avoid processed foods and limit white carbs, including sugars. However, some bread and pasta in reasonable quantities are a go! Even if you hate traditional diets, it could be worth it to check out this viable options.

Which New Year’s Resolutions Are Right for You?

Change is often not easy. As you look to improve your health and well-being, you could feel overwhelmed. It’s usually best to start with one or two areas where change would benefit you the most. Then spend the year, or at least the first several months, focusing on that goal.

As you reap successful results, you can add other resolutions or continue to focus on what is working for you now. Next year, you can consider which additional area of improvement is most helpful. Seek out supportive friends and family who will encourage you in achieving your goals. The most important thing is that you start somewhere and commit to it.

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