Most of us are happy to say goodbye to 2022. The never-ending parade of dramas on the world stage–the climate crisis and war in Ukraine, the roller coaster economy and the pandemic. All have all taken a toll on our health and our spirits. But it’s a new year and with it, a chance for a fresh start. We compiled a list of suggestions–resolutions seem too harsh–for women over 60. Pick one, pick all, whatever helps you get the most out of 2023.
1. Keep moving
Walking is a totally underrated exercise but very effective. Walking builds bone density and strengthens muscles that support your joints. It’s also been shown that moderate walking is all that’s required to keep your heart healthy to ward off strokes and heart attacks. If you find aimless walking too boring, target a destination—a coffee house where you can enjoy a latte or a friend’s house for a short visit.
2. Update preventative health measures
Have a checkup with your doctor and confirm that you are up to date with pneumonia, shingles, and tetanus vaccines. Pneumonia is a leading cause of death among our age group.
3. Stay hydrated
Dizziness is one of the primary symptoms of dehydration. But dizziness can lead to falls that result in hospital stays—or worse. Drink a full glass of water (with a squirt of lemon) before eating every morning. A good rule of thumb for our age group is a cup of water every hour and a half of awake time. For instance, if you sleep seven hours, you are awake 17 hours. This means you should aim to drink 10 cups of water a day. If you don’t like flat water, try water flavored with fruit essence. Flavored water doesn’t add calories or sugar. Check out this article for easy ways to stay hydrated.
4. Sleep eight hours at night
Sleep is very important for our age group because it supports the immune system, and it lessens the likelihood of depression. Walking each day will help you to sleep. There are many supplements and ideas that are supposed to help induce sleep but physical exercise is one of the most reliable ways to fall asleep. Don’t forget to keep your room cool. When you are snuggled under covers, you are more likely to fall asleep than if you are throwing covers off in the night.
5. Strengthen your immune system
Our natural immunity decreases as we age, so it’s important to make a conscious effort to streghthen it. Eat a healthy diet with sufficient protein to support muscles and green, leafy vegetables for a wealth of nutrients our bodies need. Yoi may need to increase your daily intake of vitamins like D, C, and zinc. Your doctor or a good naturopath can check your blood levels and recommend any supplements or dietary changes you may need. [Read more: How to boost your immunity if you’re over 60]
6. Have new travel experiences
While the mutating coronavirus may put some travel plans on hold, there are plenty of new experiences close to home. Take a day trip to a seaside town and enjoy the far horizon. Or to the mountains. Even if you don’t ski you can enjoy a hot chocolate in the warming hut.
If you live near a large city there often are ethnic markets that can transport you to the busy streets of (name your destination). Chinatown in New York is a virtual day in Hong Kong. The Mitsuwa Marketplace just over the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey is like a stroll through Tokyo Neighborhoods. You can buy household goods, cosmetics, and tempura and sushi.
Walk down a new street in your own town. Peek in store windows. Go to a museum–anytime. Exhibits are always changing. Read books that are set in a place you’ve never visited. You might be surprised at the adventures that await you.
7. Try new cuisines
The seasons offer opportunities to try cuisines from different regions of the world. In winter make a Boeuf Bourguinon or a Moroccan lentil stew or Swedish meatballs. (Homemade ones will be nothing like IKEA, but the lingonberry sauce is a must). Spring brings salmon and asparagus so turn to Ireland and Scotland, where a new breed of chefs is reinventing traditional dishes and creating new ones. What could be more natural in summer than the Mediterranean? Explore the specialties from the Spain, South of France, Naples and Sicily, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, West Africa, India. There’s a world out there to explore.
8. Downsize possessions
Yes, you read that right. Those things you treasured are not going with you. And if you are like most of us, you will find that their importance tends to dwindle over the years. There is always someone who will appreciate or need the things that you have already enjoyed for a long time. Make do with less. The less you have when you are at the end of your life, the easier it will be for the one responsible for managing your estate. Give those things away now when you can experience the appreciation and joy they bring to someone else.
9. Practice some self love
If you have been a giver all your life, practice giving to you. This is particularly true of devoted mothers who have looked out for everyone but themselves their entire lives. Spend the money on a really flattering haircut and get your makeup done professionally. Splurge on a regular pedicure and manicure. Turn off your phone and soak in a tub. At this stage in your life, everyone is where they are going to be without your direction. Learning to let go isn’t easy, but everyone, including yourself, will benefit.
10. Build a bucket list and get to work on it.
It doesn’t have to be a major outing like visiting the Galapagos Islands—or it could be. It could be getting a new degree in something you’ve been interested in forever. Or taking that French cooking course. In Frqnce. Learn a new sport. Touch your toes. Spend more time in nature. Working on your bucket list is no longer for the future—it is for now.
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Go to the Blue Hare home page for more articles for fabulous women.