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Aging optimally in 2021

A new year is upon us, and for many, a new year signals a fresh start. 2020 was a challenging year for many of us as we navigated a global pandemic that changed much of what we were used to. As we look toward a new year, we often make resolutions, many of which are centred around health and wellness. While we continue to navigate lockdown restrictions in many parts of the country, we have compiled a few ways you can stay healthy, both mind and body, while at home.

Play board games for your health and well-being

Board games (including their digital versions) can help us to break social isolation with fun activities (while maintaining the rules of confinement and social distancing). Take your board games out of the closet so that you can play with other people who are under the same roof as you or download a digital version to play with others virtually.

Exercise safely at home

Keeping both your body and brain healthy with exercise is an important part of healthy aging. And while the pandemic has made it more challenging to exercise, there are still creative ways to move safely and do both your body and your brain some good! There is an abundance of exercise classes offered online, virtually, or available on DVD. Grab some water and a towel, and make sure you clear some space around you to move. If you’re new to either exercise, remember to start slowly and be mindful of your health status, abilities, and limitations.

Lean on laughter

Laughter and humour are strategies such as laughter yoga, and humour interventions, such as watching a funny movie, can be used to maintain perspective during difficult times. Research has that, overall, laughter and humour interventions may reduce feelings of sadness and worry in adults and may also positively impact sleep quality.

Eat healthy to benefit your mind and body

Crises, like the current COVID-19 pandemic, impact mental well-being by giving rise to feelings of sadness, fear, stress, and boredom and these emotions can impact our diet. Given the established benefits of adopting a healthy diet on physical health—such as achieving, weight loss, avoiding weight gain, and reducing the risk of chronic disease—and emerging evidence around potential benefits to mental well-being, paying attention to our diet is a good practice with many positive benefits.  

Kick bad habits to the curb

From cancer to heart disease, the hazards of smoking have long been documented. Emerging evidence appears to suggest that there could also be a dangerous association between smoking and COVID-19. Consider becoming smoke-free for your overall health and well-being, both within and outside of this pandemic.

To read more about how to age optimally in the new year, read more in our featured resources below.


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Public Health Agency of Canada

Stay on top of the current coronavirus disease situation in Canada with the most recent updates, information about symptoms, treatment, and prevention. Learn about financial and economic supports, travel advisories, and other useful information about being prepared. Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada's COVID-19 web page.

World Health Organization

Get the latest updates from the World Health Organization and view their Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation Dashboard that shows the current global statistics concerning the pandemic.

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