8 great New Year’s resolution ideas for seniors

24th Jan 2019 | LIFESTYLE | NIAMH GUY

A New Year represents an opportunity for new beginnings. It’s a chance to press the reset button on parts of our lives or our characters we feel need improving or changing. This tradition of setting goals at the start of the year is a great way to give ourselves the energy and commitment we need to prioritise a part of our life that perhaps we’ve been ignoring.

Here are eight ideas for New Year’s resolutions, to get you thinking.

Get more exercise

Exercise has proven benefits. It can improve our mood and lift depression, it helps us lose weight, strengthens our bones (helping prevent osteoporosis), builds muscle and increases our energy levels. It also decreases our risk of chronic disease. A little bit of exercise can take us from feeling lethargic to feeling like we can take on the world! It’s even good for our memory and our brains.

Yet all too often exercise goes by the wayside. We get busy doing other things or we tell ourselves we don’t enjoy it, it’s too much hassle to get to the pool, or “I’ll go once this knee gets better”.

We can always find excuses not to exercise but, as we age, exercise becomes more and more important. The expression “use it or lose it” starts to come into its own as we get older. We need to exercise to maintain strength and balance. Here’s 7 more reasons to start a exercise plan today.

Try out new technology

Are you missing out on the benefits of technology? Would you like to use Skype or Facebook to talk to family members who live far away? Or be able to watch entertaining or educational videos on YouTube when you’re bored?

Technology can do amazing things these days and if you haven’t kept up with it, maybe it’s time to learn? Lots of local libraries have special courses to help seniors learn how to use the internet. Here’s 13 websites to familiarise yourself with.

Take up a new (or old) hobby

Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? Or an old hobby or activity you used to love that, for whatever reason, you stopped doing?

Whether it’s knitting, playing bridge, golfing, or ballroom dancing, maybe it’s time to pick it up again? It could be a chance to meet new people and make new friends, while doing something you love or always wanted to do.

If you have a home care package or receive private home care services, ask your provider what activities they have available or view our calendar of events here to see if there are activities and events that interest you. A good home care provider will be able to help you with transportation if you need help getting to wherever your activity takes place.

Spend more time with the grandkids

Time with family is always precious and as people lead busier and busier lives, those close family relationships can start to slide. All too often grandparents and grandkids miss out on spending time together. This is particularly sad because there are so many wonderful benefits to these kinds of intergenerational relationships.

If you’re lucky enough to have your grandkids or great grandkids nearby and you or they can visit, then think about spending more time together this year. It’s a great opportunity to learn from one another and to help keep your family bonds strong.

Volunteer in your community

More than six million Australians, including 31 per cent of people aged over 65, volunteer in some form or another. Some of them even volunteer in the aged-care sector!

Volunteering is great for your self-esteem, relieves stress and the symptoms of depression, has a positive impact on the community and can even improve your relationships (not to mention helping you make new friends).

Lots of groups in your community need volunteers for all sorts of reasons and of all kinds of abilities. Have a think about what you can contribute and where you’d like to help. You can find out more about volunteering (and find links to organisations that will help you find somewhere to volunteer) here.

Reconnect with old friends

Sometimes we lose touch with people whose company we really enjoyed. Is it time to reconnect?

If you still have a way to get in touch, give them a call or send an email. If not, try searching Facebook to see if they’re online, or ask mutual friends if they know where the person is.

Eat healthier

Are you eating as well as you could be? Perhaps a “new year, new you” might involve making healthier dietary choices – like increasing your vegetable intake and lowering your reliance on processed foods?

As we get older our metabolism slows down and, if we’re not exercising and we don’t change our diet, we can gain weight. It also becomes harder for our bodies to absorb certain nutrients.

Everybody is different (consider the different dietary requirements between a senior with low blood pressure and one with high blood pressure) so have a chat to your GP about what a healthier diet would look like for you.

Keep the grey matter working

Just as our body still needs exercise as we get older, so does our brain. But if you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution you can do without leaving your chair, deciding to challenge your brain every day is a good one.

Some great ideas include sodoku, crosswords and cryptic crosswords and any kind of puzzle that gets the grey matter working. If they start to get too easy, do more-difficult puzzles.

Include games and activities, like card and board games, that involve other people – that way you’re all training your brains while having fun together, too!

 

 

 

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