As you map out your 2024 New Year’s resolutions, focus on attainable goals and lifestyle modifications that boost your health and wellness. While resolutions will vary based on the individual, below are eight ways to positively begin the new year!
1. Commit to An Exercise Routine
Productive exercises change as we age, but some type of physical activity should always remain a part of our routine. For joint-friendly exercises, focus on low-impact, such as walking or water aerobics. For strength and balance, focus on exercises such as wall pushups, sit to stand, or yoga. If you are using weights, always make sure to start out light. And stretching both before and after is just as important as the actual workout.
2. Challenge Your Brain
Like a muscle, our brains benefit from regular use and exercise too. Boosting cognition can be as simple as doing a daily crossword or working on a puzzle. Not only do these activities challenge your brain, but they also use those fine motor skills. If you want to get your entire body involved, learn some new dance moves. The combination of remembering dance sequences and using your body to match the tempo of the music is a challenge to both your brain and body. Plus, we can all benefit from doing something fun that gets us out of our comfort zone!
3. Connect with Friends – Old & New
As we age, the likelihood that we will become socially isolated increases. For senior adults, social isolation can lead to an increased risk of developing dementia by about 60%. An excellent way to combat social isolation is to connect with friends, both old and new. Host a monthly game night with old friends. Or if you’re looking to make some new friends, connect with your local senior center for a list of outings and activities.
4. Learn Something New
A seasoned dog can always learn new tricks! Challenge yourself to learning something new this year. Attend that cooking class you’ve been hesitant to try or teach yourself how to play a new instrument. Whether your endeavors are successful or not, you’ll be proud of yourself for trying.
5. Spend More Time with Family
We are sometimes limited when it comes to spending time with family, especially with busy schedules or if family does not live nearby. But that does not mean this resolution is out of reach for you. Utilize technology to stay close to family – maybe that means weekly virtual visits with your grandchildren. Or if you prefer the non-technology route, become pen pals with a family member. And if your family lives close, try to set aside time to spend together each month.
Distance does not matter – whether you want to take a trip outside the country or are more comfortable staying in your home state, make plans to travel in the new year. Not only can a vacation be relaxing and rejuvenating, it can also be a great learning experience.
Volunteering can be a great way to fill up that calendar, while giving back to your local community. Whether you volunteer multiple times a week, or just when your schedule allows, the gift of your time will be much appreciated. You might even find that volunteering gives you a newfound purpose. If you are looking to volunteer in the West Michigan area, you can check out organizations like Feeding America West Michigan, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, or even volunteer for us at Sunset Senior Communities!
8. Move Into a Senior Living Community
My only regret is that I did not move in sooner. This statement is what we hear often from our residents. The right senior living community can help you maintain those New Year’s resolutions. Commit to an exercise routine with onsite amenities like fitness centers and pool classes. Meet new friends right within your community or invite old friends to join you for lunch at one of the dining venues. Join groups to challenge your brain and teach you a new skill.
Enjoy active senior living at Sunset Senior Communities! Have questions about our communities and services? We’d love to answer your questions and show you around. Call us at 616.457.2770 or send us a message online.