The Doctor Will See You Now – Goal-Oriented Mindset Can Ring in Health Benefits for the New Year

Setting Resolutions for 2023 is a Simple Way to Start

By Optum New Mexico

A new year brings new resolutions that can lead to improvements in daily habits as well as health benefits for many older New Mexicans.

In fact, according to a 2019 report published in JAMA, having a sense of purpose may not only extend their lives but may also result in fewer chronic conditions, less disability, and reduced mortality. For people who are already suffering from chronic conditions, setting simple and realistic goals that are manageable with their health challenges is important.

As you consider changes and goals for 2023, here are five achievable resolutions that can help kick off the new year on the right foot.

  1. Pursue an active lifestyle.

Staying active is an admirable goal to have every year. Adults can engage in activity at home including aerobic activity, resistance training yoga, and walks around their neighborhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular physical activity is vital for healthy aging. Talk to your doctor before significantly increasing your activity level and ask about the type and amount of activity that may be best for you.

  1. Eat healthfully

Prioritizing home-cooked meals and healthful snacks is the best place to start. Depending on how they are prepared, home-cooked meals can often have lower levels of sodium, sugar, and fat when compared to meals at a restaurant. If you have allergies or conditions that require a special diet, talk to your doctor about your meal plan. Check out Optum’s two-minute tips on meal planning.

  1. Challenge your brain and stimulate your mind.

It is important to practice a form of daily brain stimulation as age can cause changes to brain size, vasculature, and cognition, according to the National Institute of Aging. A healthy life, both physically and mentally, may be one of the best defenses against the changes of an aging brain. Completing crossword puzzles or playing games, such as chess, can be fun ways to keep your mind active while enjoying a new hobby. Check out this fun activity to keep your mind active.

  1. Stay connected with friends and family

Time spent with family and friends can be very beneficial. The National Institute of Aging mentions that older people with strong social and community ties are more likely to live a longer life and cites research stating that isolation can contribute to high blood pressure. Even a virtual visit is better than no visit at all, when it’s not possible to get together face-to-face.

  1. Nurture an interest

People who engage in activities or hobbies may feel happier and healthier, according to the National Institute of Aging. Learning new skills may also help increase cognitive function. Music, theater, dance and creative writing are just some ways that older adults may be able to help improve their well-being through hobbies. These specific interests may help with memory, boost self-esteem, reduce stress and increase social interactions. If you are looking for something new to learn, try this art exercise that you can do from your home to stimulate your brain and improve your mental health.

A simple way to introduce almost all of the above into a regular routine is to visit Optum New Mexico’s new Community Center, 4010 Montgomery Blvd. NE, on a regular basis. Albuquerque residents 55 and older can access health and wellness classes, educational and entertainment events, and a full-size state-of-the-art gym at no cost from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For details, see full story

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