How to Train your Body and Mind After 50
Turning 50 is a major milestone. It is a time of celebration and acceptance, and also of creating new goals for the next 10 years.
Having said that, ageing brings about some health concerns too. Around 54 million Americans over the age of 50 are suffering from low bone mass or osteoporosis today, a fact which is a testimony to it. Women
Getting old can be also be frightening for some. This is especially for those who are not prepared for age related changes. Our hairs start turning grey, vision gets bleak and forgetfulness becomes common.
The key is to stay positive and accept these changes. Even if we didn't have the healthiest of habits in our previous years, it’s not too late. We can still lead a healthy life at 50 and beyond.Let’s take a look at these useful tips for training your mind and body as you enter the 5th decade of your life.
Tips for Training in your 50s and Beyond
1. Keep your weight under control
Though it’s always crucial to keep your weight under check, it becomes even more important after hitting 50. Over 38% of adults in America were found to be obese last year which is almost ⅓ of the group population. This sure is alarming.
As you age, your body needs less energy, so, if you continue to eat the same amount you did when you were younger, weight gain is inevitable.
Ageing reduces muscle mass which slows down your metabolism, thus adding extra kilos to your body.
Being overweight at this age could subject you to a higher risk of severe ailments like diabetes and heart issues. Your weight varies depending on your height and gender so get a BMI done if you aren’t sure.
You can also refer to easy-to-understand charts in order to determine if you’re at a healthy weight.
2. Make smarter food choices
Maintaining a healthy diet matters a lot post-50. Add more veggies to both your lunch and dinner as they provide more vitamins and minerals and keep your heart and brain healthy.
Increase your calcium intake for bones through low-fat dairy products. As you get older, your muscle strength tends to deteriorate, thus reducing lean muscle mass over time. For improving muscle strength, ensure adequate protein. Not only these have high biological value but they also improve digestion and keep excess fat at bay.
Make sure to cut down on sugary drinks, sweetened foods and saturated fats.Go for healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish, flax seeds, soybean oil and nuts, these are all rich sources. Include Salmon in your diet which is a natural source of Omega-3. It improves eye health, brain health, and prevents heart diseases.
Supplements can also be a great way to boost your intake of certain vitamins and minerals. Check out our list of supplements that actually work for more information.
Reduce Sodium - As we get older, our blood pressure tends to rise. Sodium, called by some as a “silent killer” drives your reading up and compels your heart to work harder.
Over a period of time, high sodium foods cause the body to retain water, leading to higher blood pressure. This can cause serious heart problems, including a heart attack.
So it is crucial to cut down on sodium in your diet. In fact, sodium content matters more than fat and calories.
The worst sources of sodium are pre-made and packaged foods. It is recommended that you aim for no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.
Drink less alcohol - Your liver also turns 50 at this age. The ageing of your liver slows down your metabolism and the body takes time to process alcohol. This means alcohol stays in your liver for longer, which can result in liver damage.
Also, muscle mass is lower than it used to be, which means you’re likely to have a higher Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). It’s certainly not what it used to be in your 30s when you drank the same amount. Moderation is crucial hence, at this time.
3. Get a pet
If your children have moved out and you’re feeling lonely, then think about adopting a pet.
People who fill their empty nests with cats and dogs have lower cholesterol and less risk of heart ailments. This further reduces the need for doctor visits.
When you have pets around, you stay busy with them. It alleviates stress and boosts your immunity. This is simple but best of techniques to keep anxiety at bay.
4. Spend time with loved ones
Your 50s are the perfect time to focus on things that really matter. Work is indeed important, but if you’ve been a workaholic for the past 30 years, this is the time to step down a bit and spend more time with your family and friends.
This helps you become more social which actually helps you live longer. Social people have sharper minds, so, they are less prone to having memory problems as they age.
Being social creates important memories for a lifetime. We all love to laugh and stay happy. Isn’t it?
5. Learn new skills
Get out of your comfort zone and tackle something new. Fresh experiences build new pathways in your brain, thus keeping your mind active and agile as you age.
When you turn 50, exercising your brain becomes a must in order to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s. The reason is that your mind’s sharpness begins to deteriorate once you go past 40.
Try different ways to stay excited and happy. Go travelling to unusual or extraordinary places. Ask your friends to join you.
Make new friends when out. Learn a musical instrument or a foreign language. Taking a cooking class could be fun as well.
6. Exercise regularly
Get moving to keep your mind and body sharp. Regular exercising will lower the risk of acquiring time-bound ailments. You joints will stay mobile and mind full of optimism.
Exercising improves the blood flow to your brain and helps new cells to grow. All you need is to take a 30-minute walk or do gardening 3 days a week. You’d certainly feel the difference. Trust me.
Walking will also regulate your weight. It is one of the best forms of exercise, especially for patients suffering from cardiovascular issues. If you already have arthritis or weak joints, you could go for low-impact exercises.
Physical activity helps strengthening muscles and joints. You can incorporate stretching exercises such as pilates for a pre-workout warm-up to build joint flexibility. If you are able, lifting weights can also help to slow down the loss of muscle mass and keep your bones strong.
7. Attend regular health check-ups
Body screening should start as early as in 40s but it’s better late than never.
Go for checkups every 3 months. This way you get to track your weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, heart, kidney and liver health. Your doctor can discover any underlying health problems you may be unaware of.
Visiting a dentist and ophthalmologist is also recommended every 6 months. Blurry vision and dental phobia at this age are common.
Modern gadgets have made it all easier for us. You can easily keep a track of your health at the comfort of your home. BP, pulse, sugar and other monitors are easily available in the market these days. These are extremely easy to use, not requiring any training.
Final Words on keeping healthy after 50-
Whether you’re 15 or 50, the goal remains unchanged. A healthy, happy and a long life is what we all desire for.
I agree you are not in the pink at 50 but mentally you are 10 times better equipped to take on what life throws at you. Tell me if I am wrong.