New Year, New You

Happy New Year! We are ringing in 2013 and all the memories of 2012 are now behind us. As always, the New Year is a traditional time for “starting fresh.” Making changes or improving on what we already have changed; setting goals and planning on how you will see those goals through. One of the most popular life changes has to do with health and fitness.

It’s not an exact statistic, but it seems like more than half of North America makes a resolution to start living healthier. Whether it is a diet adjustment or more exercise, many of us strive to make these changes that will help us lead happier and healthier lives. It isn’t always easy, but what we have to remember is to set realistic goals.

Want to know how I think you can do it?

First thing’s first: start small. Set a goal that you feel will be easier to achieve, and with time you will be able to set bigger resolutions. For example: If you want to lose weight, and are trying to go from one extreme to the other, it can be fairly detrimental to your point of view if you expect to see results right away. The fact is that losing weight takes time, but when you do it right, it gives you results. Like I said, start small, aim for a five-pound weight loss and track your progression. How long did it take you to do it? What activities did you participate in? What did you eat? These are all factors that you can monitor that will help you achieve your overall goal!

What’s more important to note is that implementing an activity into your day doesn’t have to be strenuous, and you don’t have to go at it alone. Ask a friend to join you on a walk. Participate in swim classes or take up beginners Yoga. Get your brain working and start playing challenging brainteasers. There is an abundance of activities out there for aging adults to take up!

Shelley Scott, the executive director of Flamborough Information and Community Services, suggests five resolutions that are recommended to older adults each year:

  • Participate in cognitive health activities. Mental health is an important aspect of health that we tend to overlook as we extol the benefits of staying physically fit. Keep your mind engaged and stimulated through a language class, book club or by playing brain games and trivia on the computer.
  • Exercise or start a new physical activity. Exercise doesn’t have to be exhausting, and it certainly doesn’t have to feel like work. Older adults are increasingly looking to classes such as Yoga and Tai Chi to increase physical health, meet people and widen their social circles.
  • Eat more fresh foods. Processed foods are easy to throw together for a meal, but they come with a host of health issues and concerns, and frankly, they’re not worth the hassle. Make a promise to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and you’ll see a noticeable difference in the way you look and feel – and it takes very little work on your end.
  • Make your home safer. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year. Many of these falls are preventable, especially if home safety tips are implemented, including moving cords out of walkways, having good lighting near beds and taping down edges of carpets and rugs.
  • Go for checkups regularly. Unfortunately, with age, comes an increased risk of illness and other complications such as high blood pressure and osteoporosis. Making sure that you schedule an annual checkup can help in early detection and prevention.
Whatever resolution you choose to tackle, it’s important to ensure that it benefits you in the long run, and that it brings you a happy and healthy new year!

This year is also SERC’s 10 year anniversary- stay tuned for exciting things to come throughout 2013!


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