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New Year's resolutions for seniors

New Year's Resolutions for Seniors

Have you considered making a few New Year’s resolutions for when the ball drops to signal the start of 2019? If so, you’re not alone. Here are a few to consider adding to your list, as well as methods of accomplishing them.

1. Exercise for 10 minutes every day

Staying physically active is key to healthy aging. That doesn't mean you have to spend all of your free time exercising, but you should certainly dedicate a portion of your day to fitness. If you're just getting started, Harvard Health Publications recommended committing 10 minutes of your day to exercise, with a gradual increase as it becomes a habit. Eventually, you should be able to dedicate the recommended amount of 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week.

2. Explore new volunteer opportunities

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, but it also benefits your own health. According to Helpguide, it provides a sense of accomplishment, increases self confidence and brings fulfillment to life. It also connects you with like-minded individuals, which is great for your mental well-being. This year, find an organization to get involved with to help your neighborhood and reap the health benefits.

3. Revive an old friendship

It's not always easy remaining close to friends who don't live right down the street. But there are dozens of resources you can use to rekindle old friendships. Make a telephone call, send an email or reach out to one of your childhood buddies via Facebook or another social media platform. Make it your goal to keep in touch and possibly schedule a get-together in the near future.

4. Spend more time with the grandkids

Most older adults can agree that there is nothing quite as special as spending time with the grandchildren. But you shouldn't only meet up for special occasions. Staying connected with your grandkids on a regular basis will strengthen the bond between you and keep the entire family closer together. This year, consider gathering with your loved ones every other week to catch up.

5. Make healthier dessert decisions

It's easy to reach for that sugary treat after dinner. But consuming those not-so-healthy choices every night may eventually lead to weight gain, high blood pressure and other chronic issues. Make 2019 your year to fall off the path that leads to unhealthy desserts and jump on one that drives you to make smarter choices. Fruits and dark chocolate make excellent natural alternatives if you need to satisfy a sweet craving.

6. Revisit an old pastime

When was the last time you spent time enjoying that favorite hobby of yours? At some point in the new year, consider breaking out the old needle and yarn, fishing rod, or bottle cap collection you used to be so passionate about. You may even consider introducing it to your grandchild so you have something new to bond over!

7. Challenge your brain regularly

You know that physical activity is important, but giving your brain a "workout" is just as crucial. Challenging your brain regularly keeps your cognitive skills sharp and reduces your chance of experiencing memory loss. This year, make time to play games that'll force your mind to work in overdrive. If you are accustomed to doing crossword puzzles to keep your brain active, be sure to increase the level of difficulty to challenge your brain to work even harder, which will promote plasticity. Or, consider learning a new language, as that is a great way to improve brain plasticity."

8. Be conscious about your overall health

Your body is always changing, so make it a priority to keep up with your health. Visit the doctor annually, if not more, to be proactive about your overall well-being. And take the advice and guidance he or she gives during your visit. Those tips will help you have a happy and healthy year.

9. Play a video game

Video games are not just for kids. Consider trying logic puzzle games, matching, or other challenges which make you think. In addition to helping your mind stay active, you can have fun challenging your family members and showing them who is boss.

Improve your financial health

From eliminating debt to setting aside money to travel, there are a variety of steps you can take to further improve your financial situation. If you’re paying high interest rates on your credit cards, you can save money every month by paying them off. Consider paying extra each month towards the card with the highest interest rate. If you’re close to paying off the mortgage, consider paying it off completely and saving that money every month. Since you’re not paying nearly as much interest towards the end of the loan, you won’t be benefiting from tax deductions by that point anyways. If you can’t completely pay off debt, consider refinancing it into a 0% promotional interest rate card. If you can find one with no interest for a year, that’s a full year of saving money, which can be used to pay off the debt faster.

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