Why New Year’s health resolutions are more doable when you move into a retirement community

Excerpt: People often find it challenging to keep their New Year’s resolutions. But moving into a retirement community could be a catalyst and opportunity for you to realize and stick with your health resolutions. Easy access to recreational activities that increase mobility, endurance and flexibility, brain fitness and art enrichment programs, and tasty, nutritious meals with friends can help make your health goals doable and sustainable.

Whether your health goals for the year are to eat better, exercise more or have a more active social life, changing behaviour isn’t easy and success in sticking with New Year’s resolutions depends on more than willpower alone,* advises Psychology Today. Studies suggest that about 80% of people fail at their New Year’s resolutions* by mid-February, according to the Association of Psychology Newfoundland and Labrador.

What can you do to shift the odds in your favour and realize the specific health goals that matter to you?

Moving into a retirement community that supports and promotes a healthy, active lifestyle and behaviours – while making enriching social and recreational activities more accessible for older adults – could be the catalyst and a golden opportunity to realize and stick with your health resolutions.

Here are different ways retirement living can help make your health goals doable and sustainable:

  1. Increase mobility and endurance. Participating in walking clubs and Rhythm n’ Moves exercise classes will strengthen your leg muscles, build stamina, and be good for your heart. Older adults are also more likely to stick with exercise programs* if they do them with peers, reported a University of British Columbia study.
  2. Improve balance and flexibility. Doing stretch and relaxation classes, or gentle exercise classes, will help you to become more limber and reduce the risk of balance problems. Regular stretching routines can help prevent falls and relieve arthritis, back and knee pain too*, according to Harvard Medical School.
  3. Make new friends. When you do activities with peers who share a common interest, it’s easy to strike up new friendships. Whether you’re playing board games, creating or appreciating art, or trading travel stories at a travel-themed social event, a retirement community offers ample opportunities to make new, like-minded friends.
  4. Stay sharp with brain fitness activities. Join discussion groups, listen to guest lectures, play bridge, or attend a book club. Staying mentally active keeps your brain healthy*, along with regular exercise, getting plenty of sleep, a healthy diet, and being socially involved, according to Mayo Clinic.
  5. Eat tasty, healthy meals in a social atmosphere. About one-third of older adults in Canada are at risk of being undernourished*, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal. But when you have easy access to fresh, flavourful meals, enjoyed in the company of friends, eating healthy, nutritious, and balanced meals becomes a daily habit.
  6. Boost your mood doing creative activities. Express yourself creatively by taking in art enrichment programs. A University College London study found that participating in creative activities, such as a group painting class or singing in a choir, lifts mood and reduces stress*.
  7. Give back to your community. Special programs that give you opportunities to make a positive difference in your local community and the global community at large can bring meaning and purpose to your daily life.

Learn more about the engaging and supportive lifestyle at Chartwell by visiting our website, chartwell.com, or calling us today at 1-855-461-0685 to book a personalized tour at a Chartwell residence in your neighbourhood.

*The following sources provide references for this blog, in order of appearance:

  1. Psychology Today. "This Is Why Most New Year's Resolutions Fail" (2019), Online: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201912/is-why-most-new-years-resolutions-fail
  2. CBC. "Most New Year's resolutions will fail in 6 weeks. Here's how you can beat the odds"(2020), Online: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/new-years-resolution-janine-hubbard-1.5412777#:~:text=Most%20New%20Year%27s%20resolutions%20will%20fail%20in%206,Association%20of%20Psychology%20Newfoundland%20and%20Labrador.%20%28Paula%20Gale%2FCBC%29
  3. The University of British Columbia. "Seniors stick with fitness routines when they work out together" (2018), Online: https://news.ubc.ca/2018/04/27/seniors-stick-with-fitness-routines-when-they-work-out-together/
  4. Harvard Health Publishing. "Stretching: 35 exercises to improve flexibility and reduce pain" (2018), Online: https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/stretching-35-exercises-to-improve-flexibility-and-reduce-pain
  5. Mayo Clinic. "6 tips to keep your brain healthy" (2022), Online: https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/5-tips-to-keep-your-brain-healthy
  6. Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Older Canadians at risk of undernourishment" (2013), Online: https://www.cmaj.ca/content/185/10/E473#:~:text=Older%20Canadians%20at%20risk%20of%20undernourishment.%20A%20third,undernourished%2C%20according%20to%20a%20new%20Statistics%20Canada%20study.
  7. University College London. "Creative activities help the brain to cope with emotions" (2019), Online: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2019/may/creative-activities-help-brain-cope-emotions