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New Year’s Resolutions for 2020

23rd January 2020

The New Year is well underway, and in January it is common for people to reflect on things and start to look at what they would like to achieve in the next year as it is seen as a fresh start.

New Year’s resolutions can be personal and specific to the individual, but there are more general aims that older people can make.

If you haven’t come up with one for 2020 or want a new resolution, then take a look at some of the best New Year’s resolutions for older people.

Older adults should aim to get out more

Walking has lots of health benefits as it can improve your health and wellbeing in lots of different ways, and it can help you to live independently for longer. Of course, walking isn’t for everyone, but it will benefit some older people.

Walking is very accessible as older people with mobility issues that need aids like stairlifts around the home can enjoy this light exercise. You don’t need to run marathons or be over the top, but instead, by stretching your legs and gently raising your pulse rate it can help you in the long term.

The Outdoor Guide, a walking portal set up by TV presenter Julia Bradbury and sister Gina, encourage older people to walk as much as possible.

“We know that walking brings huge health benefits – physical, mental and emotional. That’s true whatever your age but it is particularly relevant for strengthening bones and keeping older bodies more supple – by not seizing up!

“We are firm believers in making walking part of everyday life, not an activity to be seen as ‘exercise’. Walking rather than driving or hopping on a bus is an easy habit to pick up and, with a healthy diet, helps to keep weight gain at bay. Taking young grandchildren out for a walk is great fun and certainly lifts the spirits – especially if it becomes an adventure!

“Joining a local group for walks and sharing experiences heads off social isolation and may well lead to forming new friendships. Ideally, keep the pace brisk enough to feel slightly out of breath but still able to chat with companions. If you have any health concerns, have a chat with your GP.”

Getting out and going for a long or short walk is something that Nina Sabey, the founder of Sabey Wellness, agrees is a great New Year’s resolution for some as walking can help you connect to nature.

She said: “Our connection to nature has been lost for a lot of us. Both young and old being more interested in screen time than a walk in the park. Making the effort to take a walk among the trees, hear the birds and feel the warmth of the sun is important for all ages in improving quality of life. For older people, in particular, it can decrease boredom, isolation, and loneliness; as well as boosting one’s sense of purpose and accomplishment.”

Here are some of the benefits walking can bring:

  • Keeps your weight at bay
  • Strengthens muscles
  • Lowers heart disease, stroke and diabetes
  • Strengthens bones
  • Improves your balance and keeps joints flexible
  • Improves your wellbeing
  • Reduces anxiety

Try weight training and other fitness programmes

Staying physically active is key to ageing healthily and, therefore some older people should dedicate portions of their day and week to fitness.

If walking isn’t for you, then there are lots of other accessible exercises and fitness regimes older people can follow to stay fit, healthy and independent.

Chris Zaremba from Fitness Over Fifty explains the benefits of adding exercise into your life, especially for over-50s. He said: “The start of the New Year is the perfect time for it; time to turn a new leaf in the book – and that new leaf could be the first page in a new chapter, that leads to happier, healthier and more mobile decades to come.

“For most, adding exercise will mean reducing levels of body fat and adding muscle. Increased body fat is metabolically inactive – a dead weight for the body to carry around – which adds work to the heart and makes joints work harder to move. There are plenty of statistics and reports related to being overweight and reduced quality or length of life, one in particular, is that 80% of men under 18 stone live to beyond the age of 70; only 20% of men over that age do so. And of those, 70% have to use a mobility scooter to move around.”

Weight training (or resistance training) is known for having a positive effect on certain degenerative conditions, such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia. This type of training can also help older adults to live independently.

Chris Zaremba said: “As always, start with small weights, and if that goes well, build it up. Make sure you do the exercise properly and build it into an incrementally progressive plan. It prevents muscle loss, is a good fat burner too, as well as combatting a number of wasting conditions. The advice of a personal trainer would be good, someone who can advise you on the correct exercise form and take account of your own individual circumstances.

“One area that really is of benefit to my age group is that of mobility and flexibility, which are joint components of what is usually the most neglected part of an exercise programme. It’s particularly important for the over-50 not to miss these out, as range-of-motion, balance and co-ordination can easily be lost without this type of exercise. As with everything I’m discussing, start easily and progress incrementally in this.”

Eat healthily

As you grow older it is important that you eat healthy foods with fewer calories as this will make you feel healthier, stay active for longer periods of time and help you fight off illness.

It’s never too late to start eating healthier and it doesn’t mean it has to be boring or expensive as you can still eat your favourite treats, although it may mean eating them less often.

Examples of the foods you can eat include:

  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Oranges
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Whole grain bread
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish such as tuna and salmon

If you need a helping hand, there are lots of resources online. Workweek Lunch is a weekly meal plan subscription where members can get a new menu, grocery list and recipes every week. This can help you cook healthy meals and give you ideas on new foods to try.


Spend more time with your grandchildren

Grandparents across the UK will agree that spending time with their grandchildren is great, but older adults shouldn’t just meet up on special occasions and should look to see them more regularly.

There are lots of activities older people can do with their grandchildren, and this includes people who are not very mobile and need to use stairlifts to get around the home. Cooking, reading, playing board games and dressing up are just some of the different activities you can do without needing to leave the house.

If you are wanting to go on a day out with your grandchildren you should look at going to the zoo, aquarium, visiting museums or watching a film at the cinema.


Ensure you sleep enough

It is a myth that older adults need much less sleep than younger people, as in reality, they need it just as much.

According to The Sleep Council, people over 65 need 7-8 hours per day and a disturbed or restless night can leave people feeling tired and grumpy.

If you are looking to enjoy a good night’s sleep, then The Sleep Council has some tips that you can follow:

  • Make your bedroom completely dark
  • Maintain an ambient temperature in your room so it is not too hot or too cold
  • Put quality above the price when choosing your mattress
  • Maintain a regular bedtime routine
  • Use a hot water bottle if you get cold
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Switch off technology such as mobiles and TVs a couple of hours before bed


What are the top New Year’s resolutions for 2020?

Here is a recap about the best New Year’s resolutions for older adults in 2020:

  • Some older adults should try to walk more
  • Try weight training and other fitness programmes
  • Eat healthily
  • Spend more time with your grandchildren
  • Ensure you sleep enough

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.