They say life begins at 40, and then before you know it you’re knocking on the door of 50. Does that mean it’s all downhill from there? Absolutely not. Take good care of yourself, and you’ve got many more happy and fruitful years ahead of you. As the years roll on, it’s important to prioritize your health. Only then can you make the most of everything that life has to offer. If you’re nearing your 50s and are wondering what life changes you’ll need to make, here are some tips to keep you at your best.
Just because you’re in your 50s, it doesn’t mean you have to sit back and let life pass you by. You’re not over the hill yet, but you will need to keep active. As you get older, it’s normal to suffer with joint pain. It will only get worse as time goes on if you don’t keep moving. Movement is a vital part of life. You don’t need to worry about running marathons, or weight training if you don’t want to. Walking is an excellent way to keep your joints moving and your heart healthy. 10,000 steps is the recommended target although new studies do indicate that the threshold should be higher.
As well as walking more you should also aim to include stretching exercises as part of your daily routine. 10-15 minutes will ensure you stay subtle and move freely.
Swimming is a fantastic form of low-impact exercise. Aging joints and past injuries often make exercise painful. Water provides gentle resistance, so you can maintain your strength through cardiovascular work at the same time as you’re enhancing your muscles’ capacity to work under stress.
Resistance is another form of exercise you can try when you’re getting older. It is the act of exercising your muscles against opposing forces. Dumbells, resistance bands or your own weight can be used to build your strength when resistance training. If you want to promote quality of life, you must maintain strength as you age.
Eat for Immunity
As you get older, your body becomes more exposed to toxins and free radicals. These come from the environment and the stresses that life throws at you. By eating a healthy diet that includes lots of fruit and vegetables, you will be providing your body with antioxidants that help to maintain a strong immune system. A good way to gauge whether you’re getting a broad range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is to eat fruit and vegetables ranging in as many colors as possible.
Making sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water has several benefits. Water plays a vital role in the functioning of your internal organs, digestion, muscles, and skin. As you age, these functions need extra help, which means an adequate intake of water becomes a necessity. Keeping hydrated will also stop you from hitting the snacks. Dehydration is often confused with hunger.
Eat More Protein
From the age of 35 onwards, your body drops an average of five percent of muscle mass every ten years. If you consume adequate protein on a daily basis, you’ll be able to fight back by maintaining muscle mass and bone integrity. Having strong bones and muscles will help support your body structure, keep your joints supple and lower the risk of breaks and fractures. Protein-rich food sources include red meat, poultry, fish, dairy, nuts, beans and legumes.
If you haven’t already quit smoking now is the time to try. It’s never too late to give up because your body begins to heal the damage as soon as you quit. Quitting will mean you can breathe easier, will have more energy, have a better sense of taste and smell, and you won’t have the “smoker’s cough” anymore. It lowers the risk of a heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Unfortunately, stress is part of modern life. It is inevitable and can affect nearly every process in your human body. If stress isn’t controlled relationships, careers, and your health can all suffer. A good way to control your stress levels is to meditate. Avoiding caffeine drinks after 4pm may also help. There are many professional providers that will be able to help you manage your stress levels. Active Health in Park Ridge, IL, is one example. Learn more about their services at this website.
Keep Your Brain Fit
It’s not just your body you need to keep fit, your mind also needs attention. A good way to exercise your brain is with puzzles and games such as crosswords, Sudoku, and chess. Keeping your brain stimulated will promote healthy cognitive function. If you don’t use your brain, you will very quickly lose it. Contrary to common wisdom, new brain cells are created throughout our lives. As people get older more and more thought processes fall into the category of routine and this means that less effort is required for thought. This is why mental effort should be used to encourage new branches to other brain cells. Increased connections mean more stimulation and thereby more activity.
The changes to your body and mind are an inevitable part of growing old. Your social life, on the other hand, shouldn’t change at all. Stay in contact with your friends, join local community groups, even think about getting a pet to keep you company. If you’ve got a strong network you can call on it will improve your mood.
As you get older you are going to go through many changes. These will bring periods of both joy and stress. To cope with the challenges you have to build your resilience and find ways to cope. Do this and you’ll be able to make the most of the good times and keep your perspective when the going gets tough. Laughter is strong medicine for the body and the mind. A sense of humor will get you through the bad times, look outside yourself, laugh at the absurdities of life and rise above the difficulties.