No matter your age, a new year is a great time to make healthy improvements in your life.
“Instead of traditional new year’s resolutions, set a goal to improve your health and well-being,” says Wendy Karsten, chief executive officer of Care N’ Care (HMO/PPO) Health Plan. “Don’t be afraid to start slowly. The secret is taking it just one day one step at a time.”
Not sure where to start? Care N’ Care offers these 20 tips to improve your mind, body and spirit in 2020:
- Walk. Walking is the easiest, low-cost way to be active. All it takes is a good pair of shoes and the willingness to keep moving.
- Try other moves. If walking creates too great of a strain on your hips and knees, try a stationary bike or swimming.
- Find a buddy. Many people find that having a buddy to share in your activity increases the commitment to walk or do other exercises.
- Choose colorful food. Consuming a variety of foods will ensure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need.
- Try new recipes. Explore cookbooks that focus on healthy eating. For many people cooking is also a creative way to relax.
- Eat proper portions. Consider working with a dietitian to formulate a personalized healthy eating plan.
- Quit smoking. It’s never too late to become a non-smoker. Smoking increases blood pressure, decreases exercise tolerance and increases the tendency for blood to clot.
- Stretch every day. As you age your muscles tighten and lose flexibility. Stretching will make it easier to perform daily physical tasks.
- Stay hydrated. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Drink lots of water throughout the day.
- Consider supplements. Talk to your doctor if taking supplemental vitamins is right for you to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.
- Mind your meds. Take all medications as prescribed by your doctor. Non-adherence can lead to significant health problems.
- Meditate. Studies have shown that meditating can have many positive impacts on your life, including better sleep, reduced anxiety and a sense of inner calm.
- Play brain games. Crossword puzzles and other mental exercises are important to maintaining great cognitive fitness.
- Get into the garden. Gardening is great exercise and the fresh air can do wonders for your mood and health.
- Volunteer. The benefits are many, including the satisfaction of helping others, meeting new people, and staying physically and mentally active.
- Declutter. Reducing the clutter around your house can help decrease your risk of dangerous falls and accidents that could lead to loss of mobility and independence.
- Phone a friend. Staying in touch with friends and family helps reduce the risk of depression.
- Check out local activities. Many communities offer programs and activities for seniors that are specifically designed to increase independence, reduce isolation and encourage healthy living … plus socialization is one of the keys to staying young. You can find some in your community at https://cnchealthplan.com/care-n-community/.
- Get regular check-ups. This will help you and your doctor identify potential health issues before they become a problem. Don’t forget about vision and dental exams as well.
- Do things that make you happy. Whether it’s reading, painting, playing with grandkids or watching your favorite sporting event, take time to enjoy the simple things in life.
“You may want to challenge yourself to do everything on this list in 2020,” said Karsten. “If that feels overwhelming, choose a few things and really commit to them. What matters most is that you focus on your health and take care of yourself.”
Care N’ Care is a Medicare Advantage health plan providing North Texas Medicare beneficiaries in Collin, Cook, Dallas, Denton, Erath, Rockwall, Hood, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker, Somervell, Tarrant and Wise counties affordable alternatives that improve and simplify Medicare coverage. For more information about Care N’ Care and its Medicare Advantage health plans, visit cnchealthplan.com.