Resolutions often fail, but making a few healthy choices can improve your outlook in the new year. And, by setting small, yet attainable goals, you'll feel better and possibly gain a new attitude. Here are a few simple tips to help seniors actively engage in the new year.
1. Eat better. Instead of setting unreasonable goals and pledging to lose mammoth pounds, opt for eating habits that signal a lifestyle change. Dare to include more fiber in your diet through whole grains, fruits and veggies. Secure bone health through calcium-rich, low-fat dairy products. Limit red meat and head for the sea - or local lakes - with fresh fish choices abundant in Omega 3s. Limit fat and sugar intake, but don't deprive yourself. Everyone needs to splurge every now and then. And, finally, hydrate yourself! Drink plenty of water. Unless your doctor has recommended fluid restriction, our body truly needs at least 64 oz. every day.
2. Get moving! No, you don't have to run a marathon, but you do need physical activity every day! While experts recommend 30 minutes of movement at least four times a week (even better if every day), seniors can break the time down into smaller moments of physical activity. You don't need a gym membership or special equipment. Walking is a perfect sport for seniors - whether in their neighborhood or by joining some local mall walkers at an area retailer. If physical constraints, limit your abilities, simple chair workouts can be a solution. Improve your tone and endurance by using weights or cans of fruit. Most important, make sure your work out is safe. Proper attire such as form fitting clothes (clothes that are too loose could get caught or make you trip) and properly fitting shoes will keep your workout safe. If you want to share your experience with others, join a senior work out like The Cottage of Mulberry's Fit for Life, a twice-weekly low-impact work-out for adults age 55 and better. For more information, contact Wahneta Schley at 765-296-2911.
3. What you think and how you think can make a big impact. Stretch your mind by keeping it fresh. Simple word puzzles or playing a card game with the grands can keep you sharp. Reading books and magazines or cyber surfing keep you engaged int he world around you.
4. And, finally, be social. I'm not necessarily talking about Facebook, but developing and maintaining relationships is proven to improve the overall health of seniors. Depression is rising rapidly for those over age 60. Join a book club. Volunteer. Attend outings, such as those sponsored jointly by Area IV and Mulberry. Being around other people can help beat the winter blues.
Good luck on your journey and happy 2012!