Just because you’ve reached your 50s, doesn’t mean you have to give up on your life. It doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your days unfit and unable to do as much as you used to. In fact, your 50s could be the turning point; that moment you realize that it’s time to focus on your health and become much fitter than before.
This can be the time you realize that your health is starting to fade. You may have made poor choices in the past, so you’ve not been able to prevent conditions. Now it’s a case of repairing damage or reversing the conditions.
You can lose weight and add more exercise to your life. It is possible to run around with the grandkids and travel the world. Here’s a look at all the ways to become and stay fit and healthy in your 50s.
Start by Losing Weight If You Need To
The first thing to do is look at your weight. Be honest with yourself. If you need to lose a few pounds (or more), you can do it when you reach your 50s. While you want to try to do it before, you can still act once you reach your 50s.
When you reach your 50s, you’re at a higher risk of a serious illness. That’s even worse if you’re obese, especially if the weight is all in your middle. Fat around your abdomen will be around your organs and puts your health at risk.
Start by trying to lose weight. Look at the amount you currently weigh and a healthy weight for your age. Don’t go off other people. Your doctor or nurse will be able to work with setting a goal for your age, size, and lifestyle. There’s no need to focus on getting to that end goal weight right away. Break it down into smaller chunks, chipping away at it slowly. After all, it didn’t take a couple of months to gain, so it will take more than a couple of months to lose.
Creating a calorie deficit is important, but you will also need to look at the type of food you eat. Make sure you get a varied diet, focusing on all the different food groups.
Just because two chocolate bars will give you plenty of calories for the day doesn’t mean they’re good for you. You’ll add too much sugar to your body and not enough nutrition. Sure, you can create a calorie deficit, but you’re starving your body and not focusing on a healthy lifestyle.
A healthy adult needs around 2,000 calories a day to survive. However, this will depend on the age and metabolic speed. Your doctor will be able to help determine your exact needs. You then want to reduce calories by no more than 500 a day. Eating 500 fewer calories than you need will make your body take the calories from elsewhere to help you burn more fat.
This moves us onto the next tip.
Focus on Nutritious Food
When you do make your food choices, look at those that are nutritious for your body. There’s no need to cut out any food group. It’s all about everything in moderation—and yes, that even includes the healthy options.
Start by making sure your meals are 10% healthy fats, 20% protein and 70% carbohydrates. Don’t opt for the simple carbohydrates where you can help it. You want the complex carbs through your fruits and vegetables, root vegetables and whole grains. The carbs will help to offer fuel throughout the day. Complex carbs are packed with water and fiber, helping to ensure they break down slowly and will help you remain fuller for longer. They won’t release the sugars into the bloodstream as much as simple carbs do. The energy is released throughout the day.
When you feel more energized, you will be able to do more. Feeling fuller will also help to boost your mental health.
Protein is essential for muscle and bone strength. You’ll build on the tendons and add extra density, helping to reduce the deterioration of muscle and bone. You can also improve the energy release in the muscles.
Meanwhile, healthy fats will help to keep your heart and arteries healthy. Fat is used by the liver to turn into energy. It can also help to line the arteries with a smooth layer to help improve the blood flow and prevent blood clots. This will help to reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
One of the best ways to add healthy oils to your diet is through oily fish and olive oil. Both are packed with antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, which will help to keep the cells healthy and the connections in the brain support. You can fight off cancer development, dementia and improve other cognitive functions.
While there’s nothing wrong with having chocolate and junk food now and then, you shouldn’t have it daily. Reduce the amount that you eat once a week. Eating sweet treats and food in moderation is the best way to keep cravings to a minimum and live a fulfilling lifestyle.
Fruits and vegetables are also your best friend. Your 50s is when your connections and cells start to die. You’ll find it harder to replenish the damaged cells and keep tendons and ligaments strong. This is the time that hormones change your oil production and can lead to drier skin and hair. Getting the right food can prevent this from becoming a male problem. With fruits and vegetables, you get plenty of antioxidants to support the health of the cells.
Fruits and vegetables will also help to support your immune system. This means your body can fight off more viruses and bacterial illnesses, helping to keep your health in top shape.
Don’t forget your calcium levels. There’s a misconception that you need milk and dairy products to get the calcium, but that’s not the case. Dark leafy green vegetables are perfect for giving you plenty of calcium and you can also opt for some calcium supplements.
But you can get too much of a good thing.
Five Small Meals a Day
There’s a focus on eating three meals and getting two snacks every day. This is an old look at eating. You want to focus on five small meals a day, spread out every three hours or so throughout the day. This really is the best way to regulate both your hunger levels and your energy levels. You’ll find your blood sugar levels remain even and you don’t get as many cravings.
Our bodies need food every 3-4 hours. If we don’t give the body the right amount, it can start to wonder when the next meal will come. Even if you know it’s going to be pushed back by an hour or so, your body starts to panic. You start to crave the junk food and sweet food because your body thinks it needs the food right now to survive.
Add More Exercise to Your Routine
You don’t need to start training for a marathon if you don’t want to! While a marathon can be an excellent goal, there are benefits to just adding a little extra exercise to your lifestyle. This can be a walk a day, adding some yoga or even joining a gym.
There are high chances that you’re still at work in your 50s, so you’ll want something that you can fit around your life and your work needs. Desk workouts can be a fun way to add more exercise to your day quickly and effortlessly especially if you stay at home to work. You can do desk push-ups, squats, chair triceps dips and even leg raises. Your colleagues will be interested and may even start joining in with you.
Start your morning with some exercise. By adding exercise to your morning routine, you make your day a more productive one. You’ll give your body a boost of energy and your mind gets the endorphins and serotonin needed to help boost the mental health. Getting in a positive mind frame to start the day is a powerful way to keep that going for the rest of the day.
Try just 10-15 minutes to start your day. You can start with some yoga to offer the supply and flexibility benefits while getting the meditation and inner-peace benefits. Bodyweight exercises are also popular options for morning exercises or you can go out for a walk with friends. You can then do another 10-15 minutes on your lunch break and another 10-15 minutes at the end of the day.
By splitting your exercise up throughout the day, you’ll find it much easier to stick to a routine. The exercise no longer feels like a chore.
Don’t force yourself to do something you don’t like. Pick an exercise that you find enjoyable, so you put more effort in and get more benefits out of it.
The exercise isn’t a way to burn more calories that you can eat. To eat a burger, you’ll need to run for a couple of hours! It’s best to use the exercise to tone your muscles and build strength while getting the bonus of improving your metabolic rate.
It is possible to do too much exercise. You need to listen to your body. Exercising when in pain or overtired will make your health worse. 30-45 minutes of exercise, five days a week is enough to support your health in your 50s. If you want to lose weight, doing up to 60 minutes can be beneficial.
Add Some Supplements to Your Diet
While you can get most nutrients from your food, there are going to be some that are easier to gain through supplements. You can also get closer to your recommended daily amount through supplements. After all, there’s only so much you can eat, and you want a varied diet, right?
Look at natural supplements and consider how they are going to help. One of the best supplements to add to your diet is cod liver oil. This is a rich and natural source of omega 3 fatty acids to help support your brain health. The omega 3 will help to improve cognitive function, get rid of the memory fog and help to reduce the risk of dementia.
There are also bone benefits. The oils will help to lubricate the joints, helping to reduce the risk of arthritis setting in. Omega 3 also offers anti-inflammatory benefits, helping to keep the swelling in the joints to a minimum and reducing inflammation in other parts of the body to keep pain to a minimum. If you have an autoimmune condition you can find a range of benefits from cod liver oil!
Cod liver oil also offers vitamins A, D, and E. The vitamin A will help with muscle and tissue development, while vitamin E helps to reduce inflammation, support skin health and boost the immune system. Meanwhile, the vitamin D helps your body absorb more calcium to support your bone health. As you reach your 50s, the calcium in your body takes a dive your bones lose density. You want to reduce the risk of osteoporosis by supporting the levels of calcium as much as possible.
Try to Sleep More
The amount you sleep will affect your health. It’s essential in your 50s that you focus on getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. If you can get 9 hours that’s even better! But this sleep needs to be restful sleep. If you’re tossing and turning in bed, you’re not going to support your body in the way that you want.
When you sleep, your immune system has a chance to work efficiently. Your organs and brain get the chance to relax, while your immune system goes to work on fighting any bugs, viruses, and bacteria you’ve picked up throughout the day. If you don’t get enough sleep, the viruses and bacteria can take over, making you ill.
To help you sleep, you want to reduce the amount you eat on a night. You don’t need to eat a snack before you sleep. If you are hungry, you can have something light, like a piece of fruit or some vegetable sticks. If you eat too much and cause your stomach to digest overnight, you can lead to a restless night sleep.
Start Getting Social
Make sure you improve your social calendar. Up to this point in your life, you may have had a lot of mom friends, your family members and others around you all the time. By your 50s, your kids are leaving home, friends move on and you can even find yourself in a new place. Making friends isn’t always easy, but it’s something that you want to focus on.
Humans are naturally sociable. Even if you’re an introvert, you need to socialize. Make a habit to socialize with your colleagues or join a group in your local area. There are book groups, knitting clubs, exercise groups and more.
When you get the social interaction, your mental health gets the support. You release more endorphins and serotonin, so you feel less pain and less stress.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Speaking of stress, this is something you’ll need to manage in your 50s. It’s easy for everything to get on top of us, but stress is certainly not good for the body. Not only does it stop you from sleeping and tense the muscles, but it stops the body working effectively. The immune system and digestive system are both compromised, meaning you can’t absorb as many nutrients, break down food properly, fight against infections and keep inflammation at a minimum.
There are a few ways that you can manage your stress levels. One of those is to spend some time with yourself every day. Opt for a relaxing bath in Epsom salts or opt for reading your favorite book at the end of each day.
Meditation and yoga are powerful ways to improve your stress levels. You focus on your inner strength and the positives in your life. It’s easier to run through the problems and ease away the worries over the situations you have no control over. This could also be a time to assess the problems and find that they’re not as bad as you initially thought they were.
Keeping a journal is another way to manage your stress levels. It’s easier to manage your thoughts and get all your worries down on paper. This gives you the chance to objectively look at situations.
Some people also start a gratitude jar. One of the problems we have is focusing on the negatives. When we have a gratitude jar, we can focus on the positives in our lives or in the world. This reminds our mental health that there are positives to think about.
Only You Can Put Your Health First
When it comes to improving your health, the truth is that only you can put it first. There’s only you who will want to focus on a fitter and healthier lifestyle in your 50s. By following the tips above, you can improve your whole lifestyle.
Being fitter and healthier is more than just getting enough exercise. You need to focus on your inner and outer health. It’s essential to focus on mental, emotional and physical health. Look for ways to improve your diet, your exercise levels, your stress levels and more. Soon you’ll feel like you’re back in your 30s and 40s!