When’s the last time you set a goal and met it?
That you made a promise and kept it?
Or, that you set a resolution and saw it all the way to day 365?
Let’s admit it. Resolutions are hard to keep. In fact, 42.4 percent of Americans never succeed at their resolutions each year.
So why try? Well, what do you have to lose if you don’t try? Not much, probably.
Many people say that the key to keeping a resolution is changing your mindset— be specific, set deadlines, start small, measure progress and share it with the world.
Whatever recipe works for you, use it!
And, if you are going to set resolutions this year, we’d like to suggest three easy goals to add to the mix. And trust us, your body will thank you now and later.
Add moisturizing to your daily skin routine
Do you have age spots or wrinkles on your face and hands?
What about your veins? Are they more visible? Are scratches and cuts taking longer to heal?
These all may be signs that your body needs more love and moisture.
As you age, your skin loses its suppleness. But, a recent study showed that women with well-hydrated faces developed persistent wrinkles more slowly than those with dry skin.
There are several factors that can lead to dry skin, including hormones and medication.
Also, the water content of the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, determines the level of skin plasticity. The water moves upward from the deeper epidermal layers to hydrate cells and then evaporates into the environment.
But over time our skin loses its ability to hold that water, which causes your skin to become drier and drier until it leaves behind lines and wrinkles.
When you moisturize daily, you:
1. Repair damage to the epidermal barrier caused by sun, injury or trauma
2. Increase the water content in the skin
3. Create a soothing, protective layer
4. Decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Non-fragrant, thick moisturizers like Cetaphil, Aveeno and coconut oil work best to help your skin retain moisture and improve its appearance.
Exercise your mind to stimulate new connections
We’ve talked about the importance of exercise in several of our posts. But, there’s one muscle we’d like to highlight this year.
Your brain. Just as workouts add muscle to your body, researchers now believe that having a healthy lifestyle can increase your brain’s cognitive reserve.
Your brain’s cognitive reserve helps you withstand neurological damage due to aging and other factors, without showing visible signs of memory loss or slowing down.
A sedentary lifestyle, from watching TV to avoiding social interaction, can be detrimental to that reserve and your overall mental health.
Your brain wants to learn new things, like playing an instrument or taking a cooking class. This activity stimulates new connections between nerve cells and helps the brain generate new ones—providing a hedge against future cell loss.
Nix the bad habits, once and for all
What’s your bad habit? Smoking? Over-eating? Under-eating?
We all have one, but when we’re young, those bad habits might not seem so, well, wrong. But now that you’re aging and your body is working hard to keep up, those habits make living the way you want to more difficult.
For example, studies show that smoking can shorten your lifespan and increase your risk for heart and lung disease.
Crash dieting (you know, those fad diets you try every January) can reduce your energy levels, decrease your concentration and cause depression and irritability.
What about sleeping? Are you getting seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night?
And sex? Regular sex elevates your mood, releases endorphins, improves the function of your immune system and may reduce risk for certain types of cancer.
Whatever bad habit you need to break, take some time this year to understand the consequences of your actions, find recommended methods for moving forward, and seek help and support.
Moisturizing, exercising your mind, and breaking unhealthy habits are just a small sampling of resolutions that seniors like you can keep this year.
And whether you break them in a month, week, or even a day, taking steps to treat your body right is one step closer to aging with more grace and vitality.
To learn more about healthy aging, contact us for a free consultation to discuss what services may be a good fit for you.