As we look forward to the year 2019, many 55+ active adults are making health-related resolutions. We focus on achieving good health or maintaining it. We want to eat better, exercise, watch our weight, and visit our health care providers for tune-ups along the way. The following are some basis topics recommended by the American Geriatrics Society’s Health in Aging Foundation.
10 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for Active Adults
For those active adults who have changes happening in our lives, its easy to forget our own health care and maintenance. Whether we are downsizing, retiring or simply reorganizing the empty nest, we should keep the following simple steps in mind as we enter each exciting new phase of life!
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy and healthy fats. We would add “cut down on refined sugar and saturated fat.” Even active adults don’t process sugar and calories like we used to.
- Take a multivitamin. For example, many of us get low on Vitamin D during the winter months. Talking with your healthcare provider will help you clarify which supplements provide the best benefits for you.
- Be active. Studies show that heart disease, diabetes and arthritis can actually improve with regular exercise. Walking is a great way to be active every day.
- See your healthcare provider regularly.
- If you are an active adult over 65, schedule an annual Medicare wellness visit with your healthcare provider. Do this around your birthday month so it becomes an annual habit.
- Discuss current and advance directives for your optimal health.
- Screening tests include vision, hearing checks, mammography, colonoscopy and osteoporosis tests.
- At each visit, talk with your provider about the medications you are taking, and whether or not you still need them. Increasingly, studies show that changes in diet can eliminate the need for cholesterol, blood pressure, heart and diabetes medications.
- Document your need for, and schedule to receive booster shots and immunizations.
- Toast with a smaller glass. Over-consumption of alcohol can make you feel depressed, have negative interactions with your medications and cause problems with balance and sleep patterns. Here are the limits:
- Men over 65: 14 drinks/week
- Women over 65: 7 drinks/week
- Guard against falls. The Centers for Disease Control reported in 2016 that every second of every day in the U.S., an older adult falls. Each year in this country, an estimated 27,000 older adults are victims of fall deaths. See the CDC’s website for tips on how to prevent falls. These include balance and strength exercises, good vision and inner ear health, preventative home design and use of Universal Design features, as well as implements such as canes or walkers.
- Keep your brain active by using it. Reading, socializing, doing puzzles and games all help to keep your brain working well. Many universities and community colleges allow older adults to audit classes for free, and there are myriad free or low cost classes available from internationally renowned institutions of learning. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Mountains 101-University of Alberta
- Modern and Contemporary American Poetry, or “ModPo”-University of Pennsylvania
- Extinctions: Past & Present-University of Cape Town
- The Science of Happiness-University of California Berkeley
- Quit smoking. I don’t think this one needs any explanation. If you want to be around to play with your great-grandchildren, do this now. In addition to support groups, there are abundant pharmaceutical and over the counter smoking cessation aids to help you do this, so you really have no excuse.
- Speak up when you feel down or anxious. One in five older adults suffers from depression or anxiety, or both. If you experience any of the following symptoms with regularity, seek help:
- Lingering sadness or loss of pleasure in doing things you once enjoyed
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Prolonged irritability
- Periods of worry and/or anxiety attacks
- Seeking help is as simple as talking with a trusted friend or relative AS WELL AS to your healthcare provider. There are solutions and these feelings are treatable.
- Get enough sleep, at least 7 to 8 hours per night. If avoiding daytime naps helps, try taking a brisk walk instead of a nap in the afternoon when you get sleepy (many people get “nappy” after a big lunch, so eating smaller meals with less refined sugar may help you regulate your energy patterns. Drinking caffeine in the afternoon may take its toll on your ability to drowse off in the evening. Keep tabs on your consumption of go-juice.
Celebrating Our Community of Active Adults--To Your Good Health!
Rental living is a great alternative for active empty nesters who are downsizing and seeking greater freedom to travel and socialize. Treplus Communities are the exclusive rental option that fits the lifestyles of 55+ active adults perfectly. Our spacious luxury apartments have no steps, premium finishes and expansive floor plans with gourmet kitchens and attached garages. Treplus is the leader in 55+ apartment living in Central Ohio. Check out our 55+ luxury apartment communities in Dublin, Pickerington and coming soon to Delaware. Treplus is redefining 55+ living!