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Healthy Habits to Jumpstart Your Year

  • Category: General Health
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: ATRIO Health Plans
Healthy Habits to Jumpstart Your Year

Giving a Healthy Start to the New Year

3,2,1—Happy New Year! With plenty of people making resolutions to improve their overall health and wellness in the New Year, the health experts at ATRIO are here to help you achieve your goals. Read on to find some inspiration to help make 2022 your healthiest year yet!

Give Your Brain a Healthful Boost

Just like it's important to look after your physical body, it’s important to support healthy cognitive brain function as you get older. With Alzheimer’s disease (AD) being the most common form of dementia affecting older adults, it’s important to do what you can to prevent cognitive decline.

Find Hobbies that Challenge Your Brain

After retirement, older people have a lot more free time on their hands compared to earlier on in their lives where school, work, and home life may have been quite busy. Although this is a great opportunity for seniors to take it easy and relax, spending too much time doing activities that don’t require complex thought can damage your critical thinking skills.

A simple way to combat this is to find hobbies that you enjoy that also challenge you mentally. Whether you prefer to join a book club, start building puzzles, or take a class to learn a new skill—these activities help to stimulate the connections between your brain cells.

Look After Your Mental Health

Taking care of your emotional wellness also plays a key role in supporting healthy brain function. In fact, older adults suffering from mental health issues like anxiety and depression tend to underperform when testing their cognitive function.

Some simple ways to give your mental health a boost in your golden years include:

  • Prioritizing spending time with friends and family.
  • Set boundaries with others.
  • Getting regular exercise.
  • Practicing yoga and meditation.
  • Pick up journaling.
  • Seek professional help when needed.

Step Up Your Hand Hygiene

From brushing our teeth to opening doors and driving, we use our hands for almost every activity throughout the day. Unfortunately, this makes our hands the perfect conduit for transporting illness-causing germs from person to person.

Germs and bacteria are able to spread in the following ways:

  • By touching soiled surfaces.
  • Preparing or eating food with dirty hands.
  • Coughing or sneezing into your hands.
  • Rubbing your eye, nose, or face with unwashed hands.

When washing your hands, be sure to follow these 5 steps every time:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water.
  • Lather your hands with antibacterial soap.
  • Scrub your hands for 20 seconds or longer.
  • Rinse your hands with running water.
  • Dry your hands with a disposable hand towel or air dry them.

When soap and water are not available, be sure to use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.

Drink More Water

As you continue to age, it becomes increasingly important for you to stay adequately hydrated. While becoming dehydrated can be relatively harmless for most, when it’s left unaddressed, it can cause the following health issues for seniors:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI).
  • Kidney stones.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Hypovolemic shock.
  • Heat exhaustion.
  • Heatstroke.
  • Seizures

Along with getting the recommended 8-11 cups of water each day, the following tips can help you up your water intake:

  • Replace juices with flavored or sparkling water.
  • Cut back on drinking coffee and tea.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables with high water content.
  • Drink plenty of water when feeling sick.
  • Stay on top of any chronic health conditions you may have.
  • Keep a water bottle you like handy and filled up.
  • Try adding sliced fruit and cucumber to water for flavor.
  • Drink water when exercising.

Stay Up-to-Date on Your Vaccinations

As we continue to age, our immune systems can become weaker, making it imperative that you actively support your immune health. Getting vaccinated helps your body to fight off foreign invaders and prevent infections that can make you seriously ill.

The following vaccines are recommended for seniors:

  • The seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine
  • Td or Tdap (tetanus shot)
  • Shingles vaccine
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13)

Prioritize Getting Enough Sleep

Many of us feel as though there are not enough hours in the day, sacrificing hours of sleep to have more productive days. While this can be fine to do every now and then, sleep plays an essential role in supporting your general health and wellness.

In fact, getting the recommended 7-9 hours of good quality rest each night helps to support:

  • Immune health.
  • Healthy body weight.
  • Mental and emotional health.
  • Mood regulation.
  • Critical thinking skills.
  • Healthy heart function.

Show Your Lungs Some TLC

When it comes to supporting your overall health and wellness, it is essential that you take care of your lungs. With the responsibility of providing your body with oxygen and removing carbon dioxide, your lungs help to support every area of your health. These tips can help you to show your pulmonary health some love.

Some simple ways you can give your pulmonary health a boost include:

  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Vacuum and dust your home weekly.
  • Wash and change your bedding weekly.
  • Keep pets off of furniture and your bed.
  • Routinely change your home’s air filters.
  • Change your clothes when returning from the outdoors.
  • Prevent getting sick with respiratory infections.
  • Practice good hand hygiene.

If you have specific health concerns or need additional suggestions for supporting your health this year, reach out to your primary care provider.