Setting Goals: Committing to a Healthier New Year

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Setting Goals: Committing to a Healthier New Year
The holidays can be a tough time to set new goals for your health and well-being. Cocktail parties, cooking, baking, and seasonal foods can wreak havoc on your willpower. The busy days also make it difficult to stick with your exercise goals.

The new year may be a better time to commit to a healthier life. What goals should you set to start 2020 on a positive note? We have four steps to improve your overall health and well-being.

4 Steps to a Healthier 2020

1. Get a physical examination.

People often neglect an annual physical. For some it is due to “white coat syndrome,” a phrase used to describe the fear and anxiety related to seeing the doctor. Others think they don’t need one since they feel healthy.

A yearly physical gives your primary care doctor a chance to discuss routine screenings and spot small issues before they develop into serious ones. As 2020 approaches, commit to scheduling an appointment with your physician in the first quarter. If you are a Medicare recipient, your benefit includes a yearly wellness visit.

2. Take an objective look at your diet.

Because cooking for one or two people may seem like more work than it’s worth, older adults may rely on convenience or fast foods. Most are loaded with unhealthy fats and sodium. One of the best ways to live a longer, healthier life is to improve your diet.

Talk with your physician about what you should—and shouldn’t—be eating. Two popular diets to discuss with your doctor are the DASH Diet and the Mediterranean Diet. Both require eating fewer meats, dairy products, and carbohydrates, and more fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.

3. Start exercising.

Committing to thirty minutes of exercise each day is another essential. If this seems unrealistic based on your current physical condition, break it into smaller increments. Research shows small amounts of physical activity can yield the same results as thirty continuous minutes of exercise.

Many forms of exercise also reduce stress. That’s important because chronic stress can contribute to health problems ranging from heart disease to depression. Walking, chair yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, and swimming are a few stress busters.

As always, talk with your physician before starting any new form of exercise.

4. Nurture your spirit.

Find people and activities that bring you joy and work them into your weekly routine. Volunteering, meditating, gardening, and art classes are a few options. So is enjoying a good laugh with friends and loved ones.

Laughter aids in lowering blood pressure and preventing depression while boosting the spirit. Whether it is lunch out with friends or seeing a comedy at the local movie theater, do more of what makes you laugh.

Live Well at Five Star Senior Living

The Five Star Difference is apparent from the time you walk through the front door of one of our communities. From our chef-inspired meals to our Lifestyle360 program, you’ll discover an environment that promotes healthy living. Call the community nearest you to schedule a visit and see for yourself!