As we turn the pages on our calendars in preparation for the new year, perhaps it is also the time for us to consider making a few lifestyle changes to help insure our health and happiness throughout the year ahead. Maybe instead of making a long list of impossible resolutions we will begin to neglect by mid-January, we should resolve to focus our energy toward making some simple and realistic commitments for 2017. Here are a few suggestions:
- Consider improving your driving habits. Patience and focus behind the wheel are critical to safe roads.
- Avoid distractions and temptations…turn off the cell phone and leave it out of reach when behind the wheel, keep the radio at a safe volume, keep your eyes on the road at all times…
- Be courteous and respectful of other drivers…keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, do not pass another vehicle on a curve or over double lines, lower your high beams when approaching other vehicles at night, respect the posted speed limit…
- Be mindful of road and weather conditions. Here are some helpful tips on winter driving.
- Think about enrolling in a Driver Improvement Program with your local AAA. Senior defensive driving programs are also available.
- Consider making necessary improvements to avoid dangers in your own home.
- Think about the last time you had your chimney or fireplace cleaned…this could help prevent a fire.
- Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand and know how to use it.
- Fix all the “little things” that you may be putting off when they could be potentially hazardous – loose nails, rotting boards on a raised deck, raised floorboards, loose handrails on a stairwell…
- Pay attention to automotive maintenance. Keeping your vehicle healthy will help keep you safe on the road.
- Be mindful of regular oil changes, tire rotations, wiper blade wear…
- Keep an emergency kit handy in your trunk for unexpected situations.
- The owner’s manual for most vehicles will provide a recommended schedule for routine maintenance and maintenance tips (for example: http://www.toyota.com/car-tips/basic-car-maintenance-tips-services-checklist).
- Take stock of your health.
- Pay closer attention to your daily diet…are you getting the proper nutrition and opting for healthy choices?
- Be sure you have the health screenings recommended for your age. The CDC provides a wonderful tool to help with this.
- Engage in some form of daily exercise…always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program or routine.
Making some (or all) of these commitments should help to ensure that 2017 is a healthy and happy year.