A healthy lifestyle for the Over 50’s can improve your quality of life and help you avoid diseases associated with ageing. As we grow older, we experience an increasing number of major life changes and how we handle and grow from these changes is the key to staying healthy.
Today’s post includes tips on how you can maintain your physical and emotional health and live life to the fullest, especially through your aging years. In my mind establishing a Healthy Lifestyle for the Over 50’s is paramount to enable us to make the most of our later years. As a 51 year old with plenty of ambition and many goals to fulfil I understand how important it is for me to do the right things to get the best health possible and to do this I have to take the best care of myself.
The first area you have to make changes in order to establish a Healthy Lifestyle for the Over 50’s is to get your diet right.
Tips for Healthy Eating
Choose high fiber foods. All plant foods—especially vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains—contain fiber. Whole wheat pasta, cereals, and breads, oatmeal, brown rice, popcorn, and fresh fruits and vegetables are all high in fibre and will give you plenty of antioxidants.
Eat good proteins. Get a balance of lean protein (like skinless chicken), fatty fish like salmon (with omega-3 fats), and vegetable protein.
Cut salt intake. Too much salt is linked to high blood pressure.
Choose fats wisely. And keep them to a minimum. Avoid trans-fats and saturated fats, like those found in butter, margarine, salad dressing, fried foods, snack foods, and sweets. “Good fats” include many vegetable oils like olive oil, nuts, avocadoes, olives and fish like salmon and tuna.
Limit your consumption of food and drinks that are high in sugar
Try not to skip meals, especially breakfast. Aim for 5/6 meals and snacks.
Select complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates. Complex carbs are made mostly of long strands of simple sugars. They are found in grains, fruits, legumes and other vegetables. Complex carbs also include three types of dietary fiber, cellulose and starches. Include complex carbs such as of whole grains, dried beans, peas and carrots in as many of your daily meals as possible. Eliminate from your lunch things like potato chips and pretzels. Substitute sweet potatoes instead. They are not only a good carb but a tremendous anti-oxidant. The fiber in vegetables and whole grains is very dense and contains far less calories than saturated fats or simple sugars. By consuming these carbs with each meal you will begin the process of burning more calories than you consume, a key facet of weight loss.
Boost calcium and vitamin D. Milk and low-fat dairy produce, such as yoghurts have calcium, and some are also fortified with vitamin D.
Drink plenty of pure water. The best anti aging water to drink is ionized water, which is super hydrating, anti-oxidizing, alkalizing, and cleansing. It helps remove unhealthy fats and acidic waste from the body.
“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” Hippocrates
The next area to make changes for a Healthy Lifestyle for the Over 50’s is to start using your body more vigorously. So first you have to look at exercising.
Keeping physically active improves your health and quality of life, and can also help you to live longer. It’s never too late to start doing some exercise. If you stay physically active, you’re also likely to stay independent longer and feel stronger. You’ll feel more confident and full of more energy, all things that will serve you well as you age.
A lot of research shows physical decline in old age is often associated with a lack of physical activity. An adequate fitness level will help to maintain independence, recover from illness and reduce their high risk of disease.
Experts recommend thirty minutes of moderate exercise a day at least five times a week. It can be all in one half- hour, or split into three periods of ten minutes or in smaller bouts of activity throughout your day.
Balanced fitness should be the goal of everyone for optimal fitness and wellness. A balanced fitness programme includes:
Flexibility (Stretching) Exercise – The ability to move your body through its full range of motion. Proper stretching can reduce muscle tension, improve ease of movement and prevent injuries.
Resistance Training/Strength Training – Builds muscle strength and muscle endurance and raises your metabolism for a higher caloric burn. It will reduce body fat, maintain bone mass and help protect against injury.
Cardiovascular /Aerobic Exercise – The cardiovascular portion of your exercise plan. It raises your heart rate and burns body fat. It is an essential part of your exercise programme for ultimate fitness.
We’re not just talking about exercise but also increasing your daily activities
By being more active you can enjoy many benefits so it makes sense to do as much as you can, and that includes within your every day normal activities.
Stand up while on the phone
Take a short walk during breaks
Vacuum your carpet more
Get up and change the TV channel
Walk around the room every time there is a commercial break
Washing the car,
Plus a bit of the other;
Being active shopping walking around the shops, carrying, loading and unloading shopping.
If you work sitting down, get up whenever you can and walk around.
Take the stairs instead of the lift.
If you use public transport get off a stop earlier and walk the rest.
Walk – or cycle – instead of taking the car for short journeys.
We’ve all heard the saying, if you don’t use it yo’ll lose it. Studies show that mental decline is not an inevitable part of ageing. People who lead intellectually stimulating lives are more protected against dreadful conditions like dementia.
The more active your brain is, and the greater the variety of the ways in which you use your mind, the better you’ll be mentally as you age. Find something that you enjoy and continue to try new variations and challenges.
enjoy a daily puzzle or the crossword
opt for mental arithmetic rather than use the calculator
read more – my blogs a great start
play mind-stretching games, like bingo, bridge, chess or computer games
stay socially active
take up a new interest – learn to knit or embroider, even gardening is good for the brain
start a course, day or evening class
go out more with a friend – enjoy the cinema, theatre, galleries
Cut out the bad stuff
We have to take care of ourselves even more as we age. We should do everything we can to protect ourselves from harm. That includes cutting out all the bad stuff that may be polluting our minds and body.
Avoid smoking because it contributes to the hardening of your arteries and increases your blood pressure and heart rate.
Minimize the amount of alcohol you consume.
Cut out the amount of time you spend sitting on the couch watching TV. Being sedentary is no good for you.
Take steps to reduce stress because this can take a toll on your heart.
Find a purpose to life
Essential for a Healthy Lifestyle for the Over 50’s is having meaning and joy in life. As we age many significant events are likely to occur which dramatically influence our life.
As you age, your life will change and you will gradually lose things that previously occupied your time and gave your life purpose. For example, your job may change, you may eventually retire from your career, your children may leave home, you may become grandparents, you experience physical changes too which are signs to you that you’re getting older.
Now it’s time to focus on yourself and those things that are important to me. Rekindle those unfulfilled dreams for too long forgotten. Later life can be a time of exciting new adventures if you let it.
Reconnecting with your life purpose and passions, setting important goals will empower you. Your possibilities are endless.
The way you breathe has a dramatic effect on your sense of wellbeing. Many people breathe poorly, without even realizing it. We breathe in and out over 21,600 times a day. In normal or uncontrolled habitual breathing most people do not breathe efficiently, and as result, use only a fraction of their lung capacity. You need to breathe deeply to fully oxygenate. Develop a daily, deep breathing practice that will help oxygenate and nourish your blood, brain, and bodily tissues.