The fifties remain one of the most looked-forward-to decades of our lives. After the maddening rush of the thirties and the forties, the cut throat competition, marriage, child rearing, and a ton of other responsibilities, the fifties come as quite a breather. However, health is a crucial factor during your fifties. To enjoy this wonderful decade of your life, you need to take care of yourself - physically, mentally, and emotionally.
This, by no way, means that to lead a fulfilling life in your fifties, there need to be terms and conditions attached. But, a few precautions and an active lifestyle can keep you in good shape.
1. Keep Your Metabolism Up
As you age, your metabolism slows down. The tendency to gain weight increases and you have to make a deliberate effort to stay away from calorie-laden foods. You will need to eat nutritious foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and fish. Consumption of excessive alcohol or foods with excessive oil and butter should be avoided. The process of digestion becomes slower, which may give rise to problems like constipation. Add lots of fiber and fluids to your diet. This not only helps in proper intestinal functioning, but can also protect against colon polyps, which may eventually develop into cancer.
Also, try to fit in short, but regular spurts of exercise on a daily basis to keep your metabolism going. Keep your weight in check. In the fifties, your body develops the tendency to replace muscle (which is basically our lean body mass) with fat. Stay on top of your diet and exercise regime to keep your energy level up and curb diseases like diabetes and heart disorders.
2. Take Care of Your Heart
If you do not follow a healthy lifestyle into your fifties, the heart walls will get thicker and the valves will get stiffer. If you are not already suffering from high cholesterol, chances are it is lurking around somewhere. So be doubly careful and indulge in some form of physical activity like swimming, biking, or simply walking.
Stress is another important factor that affects the heart as you age. So, learn to cut stress. Your kids are already grown up or almost there, you have accomplished much at your job. Ease yourself in this beautiful dusk of your life and avoid stress completely. Try meditation, yoga, or deep breathing for a few minutes to avoid and manage stress.
3. Pay Attention to Your Bones
Good bones equal a healthy you. If you have always been active, chances are your bones are in pretty good shape. But, then again, aging does lead to achy joints and weakening of the cartilage. Strength train occasionally and maintain a healthy weight to relax the pressure on your bones. If, however, you hear creaking, snapping noises, or experience pain, swelling, and numbness in your bones, consult a doctor.
4. Stay Sharp, Stay Curious
Make no excuses for learning new things. Pick up a mentally-stimulating activity you always wanted to do, but never had the time for. Meet new people and keep your social life active. It’s time to go for that Spanish class you always wanted to attend, and/or learn to play the guitar. Don’t let your curiosity or sense of wonder die. It will keep you young and healthy in more ways than you can imagine. Also, don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you want. Stay sharp and curious, and don’t worry if you experience occasional forgetfulness. It happens to the best of us, even fifteen year olds.
5. Get These Preventive Care Tests Done
To continue enjoying life, it is advisable to take a few preventive tests as you enter into the fiftieth year of your life. These tests are necessary and can tell you what exactly is happening to your body. If you are worried about costs, health care plans like Medicare can take care of them. The tests you should surely be getting done are blood pressure check, cholesterol screening, mammogram, colon cancer screening, bone mineral density scan, and diabetes screening.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is the natural cure for a lot of our lifestyle problems. At fifty, it is especially important for good health. You need to sleep for the staple eight hours to give your body the rejuvenation it needs. If you do not get enough sleep, you will feel fatigued, and this can affect your body and increase your risk of getting certain health problems. If you’re having trouble sleeping, talk to a doctor and try to address the causes behind the discomfort and disturbance.
7. A Little Organization Goes a Long Way
A big part of aging gracefully is making sure your daily chores are proceeding smoothly. Keep your health supplements in an assigned cabinet so that you don’t have to search for them on a regular basis. The kitchen requires us to deal with multiple things simultaneously, so keep the cutlery properly in drawers with divisions. Be especially careful of kitchen knives. While these small things are needed for most kitchen functions, having them lying around on counter tops or other places can cause serious injuries.
8. Be Happy
Nothing keeps one healthier and fitter than being happy. Make happiness a priority by working consciously towards creating joy around you. If books are your poison, keep your favorites stacked on your bookshelf. Even better, get yourself a library membership. Watch your favorite movies or reruns of your favorite shows. Give your loved ones warm hugs. Go for a walk with your partner or just say a few words of encouragement to your grandchildren. Try trekking to an unknown destination with a friend or just lie under the moonlight with your partner. Satisfy your soul and your body will be happy.
To Wrap It Up,
Your fifties are a special time of your life. Only you can decide how good or bad you make them. So, take care of yourself, grow with knowledge and awareness, become a little wiser and a little less inhibited, stay fit and healthy, and make your fifties count.
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