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9 resolutions for the new year

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When my exercise class starts again next week, I know what I’ll see in the gym: longer wait times for treadmills, ellipticals and other equipment for the next few weeks as many people resolve to become healthier in the new year. Marketers are familiar with this behavior, too. That’s why January finds us inundated with ads for workout gear, fitness club memberships, and vitamins and supplements.

We all have the best intentions when we make new year’s resolutions, and many of our aspirations involve health, according to a recent poll by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion:

  • 12 percent of Americans making resolutions plan to exercise more.
  • 11 percent aim to lose weight.
  • 8 percent promise to eat more healthfully.
  • 8 percent want to try to quit smoking.

The pollsters found that 44 percent of Americans were somewhat or very likely to vow to improve themselves in some way in 2014, although 28 percent of those making resolutions last year ultimately did not keep them. But if you’re going to make a health-related resolution, why not make one (or more) that will increase the odds that you will live to a healthy old age? That prospect certainly motivates me.


At the 2013 LeadingAge annual meeting, author Dan Buettner shared nine secrets to longevity that he had uncovered with the help of scientists while researching with National Geographic the areas around the globe with the highest concentrations of people who had reached or surpassed the 100-year mark. The founder and chief executive officer of Blue Zones devised the “Power 9” from his observations of those in these “Blue Zones” of Loma Linda, Calif.; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy; Ikaria, Greece; and Okinawa, Japan. These habits can build on whatever advantages your genes may give you or perhaps mitigate some negative effects associated with your DNA, collectively adding up to 12 years to your life. They're tips you can apply to your life and share with residents and their families as well:


Lois Bowers

Lois Bowers



Lois A. Bowers was senior editor of Long-Term Living from 2013-2015.