Senior Center

New Year's Resolutions

By Jan Bolder - January 1, 2014

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Welcome to the first day of 2014! While the efficacy of New Year's resolutions is debated, that's never stopped people from making them. Here are a list of resolutions to make that can be very easy to keep.

1. Visit More: Whether you're a senior reading this or a boomer reading this for your senior, make a pledge to visit each other more often in 2014. Time is limited and runs out far faster than we think, so make the resolution to stockpile as many memories and conversations as possible.

2. Volunteer: There's no better way to spend your time than by giving it to someone else. Volunteer at a food bank, pet shelter, homeless shelter, holiday food drives, medical center drivers, or at a hospital, and give back to the community that has done so much for you. And even if you're a senior living at an assisted living facility like a retirement home or nursing home, volunteer your time in some aspect there.

3. Drink More Water: Far too many people don't get the right amount of water they need each day, and loading up on enough of this vital fluid will have immediate impacts on your digestive system, skin, and health in general. While experts can never seem to agree on whether you should only drink when you feel thirsty or drink to avoid feeling thirsty, there's no denying a couple more glasses of water each day works wonders. 

4. Take a Walk: Even if you can only manage a jaunt around the block, getting up and on your feet is one of the best things you can do for your body. This weight-bearing exercise strengthens your heart by getting blood flowing; decreases the risk of acquiring diseases like asthma and diabetes; keeps osteoporosis in check; tones your arms and legs; and manages your weight. 

5. Get Some Sun: Sunlight is one of the best and richest sources of Vitamin D you can get, a vitamin essential for absorbing and metabolizing calcium and phosphorus (excellent for bones), regulating the immune system, reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (in women), and can reduce the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms. As people age, Vitamin D can go far in helping to slow the aging process. And because it's not easy to get Vitamin D from food, heading outside is a snap-your-fingers fast way of getting it.

6. Eat Healthy: This can be a dicey resolution to make, as many boomers and seniors swear to start eating healthy...then stop. Beat the odds by starting slowly with one healthy meal a day, and work up from there.

7. Drive Safely: The American Medical Association's site lists seniors aged 75 and older as "involved in significantly more motor vehicle crashes per mile given than middle-aged drivers" for a number of reasons: decline in visual ability (e.g. cataracts, glaucoma, impaired contrast sensitivity, stroke, etc.); decreased cognition; and decline in motor function, especially during left-hand turns. Take the time to go for a set of driving lessons because no matter the cost, it's a small price to pay for your life and those around you.

This year, make resolutions that matter and are easy to stick to.