Are you getting ready to celebrate your Golden Jubilee birthday? Already passed that milestone? Turning 50 can mean a reckoning, but you can also see it as an opportunity to become better than ever!
Achieving optimal health after 50 doesn’t have to be as hard as you might fear, either. Check out these tips for living your best life in middle age and beyond!
1. Fitness for Free
Slash your health care costs with Silver Sneakers. No, we’re not telling you what kind of shoes to buy. Silver Sneakers is a program that provides workout videos designed for seniors as well as a no-cost gym membership.
Many people think it’s only for those over age 65. In fact, there is no age requirement! Going to the gym for free could mean savings of $7,000 annually, and is great for staying fit over 50!
2. Get Your Sweat On (Online)
If you’re not the gym type, no worries; it’s easier than ever to get your sweat on at home. Simply check out YouTube to choose from a huge variety of fitness vids. You can find everything from gentle yoga to Latin spice walks to hardcore, challenging Crossfit, and HIIT workouts.
Want more continuity, professional quality, or a community of like-minded exercisers? Maybe you don’t feel like searching hundreds of amateur-hour YouTube submissions to get to the good stuff.
Try an online fitness class for a modest monthly fee, averaging about $15 or $20. You’ll get access to plenty of videos and resources, all professional quality. Some also offer a forum where you can chat about how to stay healthy after 50 or learn how to boost your metabolism.
3. Good Vision at a Good Value
Plenty of 50-somethings find themselves needing prescription eyeglasses for the first time in their lives. Others who have worn glasses for years need to make the switch to bi- or trifocals around this time in their lives. Luckily, you can get great glasses online for a fraction of what you’d pay at a local optical boutique.
All you need is a current prescription and a wifi connection! Check out Zenni Optical and Warby Parker for stylish, affordable frames. Then get ready to build a whole wardrobe of eyewear for different occasions.
4. Eat Right for a Healthy Life
Did you spend your 20s and 30s chowing down on deep-fried bar food and drive-thru meals? Or have you long been a health food fanatic? Either way, it’s more important than ever to eat right once you get into your 40s and to stay healthy at 50.
That doesn’t mean you can’t still have the occasional splurge or treat. But you know, deep down, that when you make good nutritional choices, your body simply feels better. So put down that meat lover’s pizza and have a Buddha bowl instead.
5. Supplement Your Diet
Of course, it can be difficult to get all the nutrition you need from what you eat. That’s especially true if you are on a restricted diet of some sort. Some folks need a little help with certain health conditions that can’t necessarily be addressed with diet.
That’s where supplements come in, but which ones to take? A stroll down the aisles of a local health store, or even just the supplement aisle at the drugstore, can leave your head spinning. A good place to start is this guide from Supplementor.
Just be sure to discuss any supplement you want to start taking with your doctor. Depending on the medication you take, some of them may be contraindicated.
6. Healthy Sleep Habits
How’s your sleep hygiene? Middle age is when a lot of people begin to experience occasional, or even chronic, insomnia. The first step towards overcoming this exasperating situation is to make sure your lifestyle is conducive to deep sleep.
Some essential sleep hygiene habits to adopt include:
- Retiring and rising each day at the same times
- Putting down electronics at least an hour before bedtime
- Making sure your bedroom is cool and dark
- Using your bed only for sleep and intimacy
- Steering clear of caffeine in the afternoons and evenings
If implementing these steps doesn’t help, then talk to your doctor about sleep aids, either natural or prescription.
7. Tend to Your Stress
In recent years, “self-care” has become a huge buzzword. But taking care of yourself to destress isn’t just marketing jargon or a way to sell scented candles. It’s essential to your well-being!
Find healthy ways to decompress. That could mean mediation or deep breathing exercises, sex, spending time outdoors, getting a massage, or just spending time being goofy and silly with your kids.
8. Get a Pet for Health After 50
You might not immediately see the connection between having a canine (or feline) companion and being healthy as you get older. But trust us, there are several such connections!
Study after study has shown that pet owners have lower cholesterol, less stress, and a decreased risk of heart disease and other health issues. Plus, they’re a good company and a lot of fun.
9. Keep Learning
Emotional and physical health is benefited when you continue to grow and challenge yourself in new ways. That doesn’t necessarily mean going back to school or taking online courses. You can explore and evolve in plenty of ways.
Learn an instrument, teach yourself how to bake, go out of your way to make new friends, continue to discover authors you love.
10. Treat Yourself with Compassion
Let’s face it — aging isn’t for the faint of heart. You might struggle to do everything you used to do, whether it’s running long distances, maintaining your libido, or drinking alcohol without ill effects. At the same time, your body is doing things you don’t even want to think about (hello, hot flashes, and wiry chin hair!).
Yes, there are definitely downsides to growing old. But there are also plenty of gains that come with age: wisdom, professional success, financial security, the joys of parenthood, stability. Celebrate the person you’ve become even as you mourn the losses of youth.
One of the keys to staying healthy at this age is to drop unrealistic expectations. Go easy on yourself, and regard these changes with compassion.
Stay Healthy to Have More Fun Than Ever
Many people find that their 50s and 60s are even better than their 20s and 30s. Follow these tips for great health after 50, and you will too!
Looking for more informational, inspirational content? Check out the Lifestyle section of my blog!