Gone are the days when being in your 50s is all about looking and feeling old. Nowadays, the 50s are the new 30s when you start living life once again. Increased awareness of one’s health and well-being and advancement in medical science has made it easy for anyone to walk the 50s with confidence.
To improve your quality of life after your 50s, you should pay special attention to your body and mind. You should maintain the right balance between enjoying your life and staying healthy. Here are 7 tips that help you to stay healthy in middle age.
1. Take calcium and Vitamin D for bones.
Healthy and strong bones are vital to ward off osteoporosis and its resulting complications. Studies have shown that osteoporotic fractures form a huge medical, economic, and social burden in Asian countries.
To improve bone health and prevent the onset of osteoporosis, calcium plays a very important role. As you age, the body is not able to absorb calcium like before. Some people can develop intolerance to dairy products, which are the biggest source of calcium, as they age. As a result, calcium will be deficient in the body. Thus, once you are in your 50s, it is best to take calcium supplements to make up for calcium deficiency. If you are not in favor of taking supplements, include dark leafy vegetables and calcium-fortified orange juice in your diet.
Calcium is best absorbed when you have enough Vitamin D in your body. The majority of the Asian population is deficient in Vitamin D even though sunlight is abundant in this region. If your Vitamin D is at a low level, then it is best to consult a doctor and take supplements.
2. Take protein for muscle mass.
As you age, you tend to exercise less. Because of this, the muscles in your body could degenerate. To compensate for this, eating more meat or taking protein supplements are recommended. You can also go for a healthy plant-based diet that provides enough protein for the body. Other protein sources include nuts, dairy products (if you are not intolerant), beans, and soy.
3. Take Vitamin B12 for effective brain function.
Vitamin B12 is essential for effective brain functions. As you age, your body absorbs less Vitamin B12, which in turn can affect brain function. Include dairy products, meat, fish, and fortified cereals that are rich in Vitamin B12. Try to also include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your diet that can provide enough of this vitamin.
4. Drink water for your overall well-being
The role of water in fuelling your body cannot be overemphasized. Apart from keeping you hydrated, water protects sensitive tissues, lubricates and cushions your joints, and also aids in digestion. All these are crucial once you hit your 50s. The recommended quantity is 11.5 glasses of water a day for women. If that sounds like too much, aim to hit a minimum of 8 glasses per day.
5. Undergo moderate exercise for the heart and overall health
As you cross your 50s, the heart rate slows down, and arteries and vessels may harden slightly. This can result in high blood pressure. To overcome this, make moderate exercise a part of your daily routine. You can go walking, swimming or cycling. Yoga is another low-impact yet effective exercise that you can consider.
Remember to always warm up before undertaking any form of exercise. Do not push yourself too hard as your body may not be as flexible as you may have been before. Also, try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night. All these would do good for your heart and body.
6. Try relaxation techniques for your mind.
Staying healthy is not only about physical health. You should also pay attention to your mental health so that you stay fit inside and out. Engage in activities that provide a sense of relaxation like gardening, cooking, reading, or listening to music. Meditation is an effective relaxation technique that can clear your mind. You can also join a group fitness class that lets you socialize and remain physically active at the same time.
7. Control your alcohol intake
As you age, your body’s ability to tolerate alcohol decreases. This puts you at a greater risk of accidents and injuries if you get drunk. It also raises your blood pressure to an unhealthy level, and you might also gain excess weight because of the increased calorie intake. Thus, it is best to limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Staying fit and healthy is essential irrespective of your age. It becomes all the more important once you hit your 50s. Always keep in mind your purpose for staying healthy, be it for that ‘feel-good’ effect or travelling around the world once you retire, or playing with your grandchildren. Whatever the purpose is, through a controlled diet and moderate exercise, you can lead a happy and healthy life beyond your 50s.