As we embrace the golden years, prioritizing our wellness becomes essential. In this journey, setting attainable wellness goals can pave the way for a fulfilling and healthy life.
1) Stay Active with Daily Gentle Movement
One of the most accessible and beneficial wellness goals for seniors is to prioritize daily movement. Some examples of gentle movement:
- A nice walk in the neighborhood
- Chair exercises
- Gentle stretching
Incorporating regular physical activity can improve flexibility, balance, and overall cardiovascular health. Finding which activities you love makes it easier to be active consistently.
2) Prioritize Mental Health And Well-Being
Make a commitment to prioritize your mental well-being by incorporating mindfulness practices into your routine. This can include:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Taking a few moments each day to be present
Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, enhance cognitive function, and contribute to overall emotional well-being. Start with just a few minutes each day and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable with the practice.
Some books we recommend to help you practice mindfulness and well-being:
- The Power of Now
- Tuesdays with Morrie
- Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life: Living The Wisdom of the Tao
- The Gift of Aging: Growing Older With Purpose, Planning and Positivity
3) Nourish Your Body Through A Balanced Diet
The Mediterranean diet can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, improve your heart health, and lead to a reduced risk of other diseases. Focus on incorporating foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts and legumes, healthy fats and whole grains.
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Grass-fed butter or ghee
- Extra virgin coconut oil
- Wild Salmon
Whole grains we like:
- Organic rice
- Whole grain rye
- Organic oats
- Bulgur wheat
Fruit and vegetable tips:
- Locally grown fruits and vegetables from a nearby farm or farmers market is always the best option
- Buy organic when you can, or look at the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” lists by the EWG to learn more about which produce is “clean” or “dirty”!
- Try to incorporate fruits or veggies into every meal
- Try japanese purple sweet potatoes, a staple food in one of the “healthiest” regions of the world
Nut and legume examples:
- Fava beans
- Pumpkin seeds
- Nut butters
Recipes we like:
- Walnut Basil Pesto – this versatile pesto can be used on proteins, vegetables, legumes, eggs, you name it!
- Mediterranean Salmon – we recommend wild salmon over farm raised salmon for maximum nutrients.
- Mediterranean Salad – we recommend adding beans or nuts!
Staying hydrated is also crucial to your health, so be sure to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day. If you tend to dehydrate easily, you can add electrolytes to your water or a small pinch of sea salt. Small, sustainable changes in your diet and water consumption habits can lead to significant improvements in your overall health.
4) Cultivate Social Connections
Make it a goal to cultivate and strengthen your social network. Whether it’s joining a club, participating in community events, or connecting with friends and family, maintaining social ties can combat feelings of loneliness. Schedule regular phone calls or in-person gatherings to stay connected with your loved ones and build a supportive community around you.
- Look to your local senior centers
- Religious gatherings/community
- Bowling leagues
- Book clubs
- Class reunions
5) Embrace Lifelong Learning
Don’t underestimate the benefits of continuing to learn and explore new interests. Set a goal to embrace new hobbies, classes, or activities that stimulate your brain. This not only keeps your brain active but also provides a sense of fulfillment. Whether it’s learning a musical instrument, finally trying watercolor paint, or joining a book club, the possibilities for ongoing learning are endless.
- Try a paint course
- Take a piano lesson
- Learn a new language
- Try pottery
- Take an online college course or certification
- Go to a cooking class
Start small and gradually progress – a key! Here’s to a vibrant year ahead.