Top Six Healthy Aging Resolutions for 2019
Make 2019 the Year of You! Regardless of age, forming healthy habits is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions—and though we may make the promise to ourselves to be healthier in 2019, finding realistic, measurable goals can be a challenge. So we’ve compiled some of our favorite methods for building a happier, healthier you.
Increase physical activity in your daily routine. Studies continue to show 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.
Read food labels! Your doctor can help you determine what ingredients to look for and what to avoid, and a diet is right for you. To start, look for “heart smart” foods that are rich in nutrients and fiber. Avoid foods with added sweeteners and trans fats. Look for foods labeled “low sodium” or “reduced sodium.”
Work Your Brain
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.
Ask your doctor about the shingles vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people aged 50 years and older get this two-dose shot, which can help seniors avoid this often painful, sometimes debilitating condition. While you’re at it, ask your doctor to be sure your other immunizations are up to date.
Keep Safety in Mind
Take a fall prevention tour of your home, especially as you return home for the holidays or straighten up after hosting the annual holiday festivities. Look for situations and conditions that could be hazardous as you move from place to place, like troublesome rugs or furniture. Removing clutter and fixing unsafe conditions can help 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 you and your guests.
Take Stock of Your Medications
Ask your doctor to review your medications. We often forget to keep our doctors updated on the many medications we may be taking and their correlated symptoms. During your next appointment, arrange in advance to bring in a list of all the drugs you take, both prescription and over-the-counter (some healthcare providers suggest bringing along the containers). Ask about side effects, possible interactions, any changes in your symptoms. and whether switching to a generic might save you money.
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 2019!