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New Year’s Resolutions Definitely Worth the Effort

Posted: 1/10/2020 8:00 AM by Interim HealthCare
Most of us have made New Year’s Resolutions over the years, and maybe we’ve even kept one or two of them. But most of them probably fell by the wayside in time. 
 
If you’ve let more resolutions slip than succeed, you’re not alone. Only 25 percent of people keep resolutions for at least 30 days and only eight percent actually accomplish them
 
Instead of approaching them as annual to-dos, which doesn’t sound very fun at all, view these New Year’s Resolutions instead as inspiring advice to keep you and your loved ones happier and healthier this year:
 

1. Make time for exercise

We know that you’ve heard this one before (many times), but exercise is one habit worth building, and one resolution worth pursuing. That’s because it’s beneficial for both your physical and mental health. 
 
Research shows that physical fitness can lower the risk of dementia by 30-90 percent. Even just getting 10,000 steps in each day (about 5 miles, which includes going about your daily activities as well as a moderate or brisk walk of two or three miles) can lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by as much as 60 percent. 
 
Exercise also can prevent or delay other chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, back pain and asthma.
 
Fun, everyday activities like gardening, dancing (easy ballroom, swing and square dancing count), walking the dog, cleaning house and strolling around the neighborhood with your spouse and/or grandkids all count too!
 

2. Focus on balance

That is, help our senior loved ones (and ourselves) stay strong and flexible to avoid falls. More than one in four people older than 65 fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Avoiding falls is critical, because 20 percent of those falls result in serious injury such as head injury or broken bones.
 
Yoga, tai chi (an “extremely effective exercise for fall prevention,” and recommended by the CDC for that reason), walking and exercises with elastic bands can all help with balance, flexibility and strength, and are all very accessible for adults of all ages and capabilities. Talk to your (or your loved one’s) doctor for recommendations and resources.
 
In addition, place night lights in dark corners, remove throw rugs and even install grab bars in the bathroom to help prevent falls.
 
Feel wobbly when walking? Consider a cane or walker (talk to your healthcare provider). If you’re embarrassed, watch someone who’s obviously weak try to walk and then compare them to someone who uses a cane. Who is more stable and looks to be enjoying themselves more?
 

3. Make new friends and definitely keep the old.

The happiest older adults are those with a robust social network (and we don’t mean social media). Isolation, in fact, is becoming a key indicator of dementia risk. Spending time (in person!) with friends and family several times a week is key to a happy life, no matter our age, and is especially important as we get older
 
Whether it’s staying connected (or reconnecting) with old friends or making new friends, social time is critical to our health. Yes, making friends is harder as we age, but make the effort (here are some great tips) and reap the rewards.
 

We can help keep your loved ones happy and healthy.
 

From New Year’s resolutions to many more tasks, our compassionate, skilled home care workers can help Mom or Dad with a variety of tasks and medical needs. Visit our Locations page to find the Interim HealthCare location nearest you.