Around the Island

Richard’s Almanac: Resolutely looking forward to 2017

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | You don't have to do strenous exercises to keep your resolution of staying fit. Try a walk.
BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | You don’t have to do strenous exercises to keep your resolution of staying fit. Try a walk.

As we look towards the New Year, we are sometimes driven to plan resolutions. Resolutions that are generally changes in behavior that will make our lives better as we move through the new year.

2017 here we come!

There are numerous changes that are very good for seniors and not too difficult to keep. I received a list recently from Laurie Fanelli that I thought was worth passing on.

The first resolution is good for overall health and it’s very simple — “Take a walk.”

I remember Dr. Grunwaldt urging me to adopt this some 20 years ago.

“Twenty minutes per day without interruption,” he said.

It is generally agreed that seniors can reap many health benefits from walking. Walking has been shown to reduce high blood pressure and heart disease and decrease the risk of developing diabetes. Experts also agree that walking can become a social event when done with friends.

Inclement weather, particularly on this island in the winter can pose a problem -— do not be intimidated. Instead, just meet it head on with appropriate clothing and foul weather gear.

Another change that will help all of us is to cut back on sweets. Not just at dessert but also those snacks during the day. I just love a pack of Chuckles, a jelly donut or a Hershey bar.

I remember seeking these out as substitutes for my beloved Camels, but they turn out to be almost just as bad.

Sweet desserts and snacks can lead to weight gain and the risk of high blood sugar.

As I write this, I am sipping a cup of coffee and eating a brownie. Not the best for my health.

In the new year, let’s skip desserts and go for healthy snacks.

Another suggested senior resolution is to try to keep in touch with family and friends.

Don’t just wait until you hear about someone’s demise. Contact old friends before reading their names in the obituaries. Individuals with whom you had loads of fun when you were young, may be ready to experience activities together in this new phase of existence.

Keep in regular contact with children and grandchildren. Whether you talk on the phone, write letters, text, e-mail or visit in person, it’s very important for you and them. It’s rewarding to watch the passage of time through young eyes.

Most of us have entered retirement after very busy careers and now find ourselves with lots of unstructured time.

We now have more time to read, to write, to engage in those hobbies and interests that we had only a little time for when we were working. Let’s create renewed interest in those hobbies.

Do you have projects that were abandoned? Start them up again. They’ll also bring back good memories.

Another resolution could be to make a decision to volunteer in 2017. We have a plethora of opportunities here on the Island. Stop by the Senior Center and find out about the activities you could do and would want to do. You will be involved in a symbiotic relationship  that will make you feel good and benefit others at the same time.