Staying healthy after 50 might take a bit more effort than when you were younger, but as many people worldwide live healthy lives until they are 80, 90, or 100 years old, it is clear that you can live a healthy and fulfilling life, long after your 50s!
However, natural changes occur as you age, making staying healthy after 50 difficult. For example, according to a study published in Public Health Nutrition, aging is associated with progressive declines in resting and total energy expenditure (TEE), which force you to be increasingly mindful of how much you eat and drink per day.
If you are over 50 years old, you will probably need to be slightly more mindful with your diet and exercise routine to stay fit and healthy.
This article will outline some of the diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits you can be mindful of to stay healthy after 50!
Dietary Tips to Stay Healthy After 50
Restrictive diet plans are unhealthy for people over 50, just as they are bad for all ages unless a diet is needed for a special health concern.
Many of the principles of healthy eating are the same for people over 50, but there are a few special considerations.
Protein Needs for People Over 50
For example, muscle loss is a common occurrence that can begin to accelerate around the age of 50.
The loss of muscle mass has the unintended side effect of slowing down your metabolism, which results in quicker weight gain. Incorporating more high-quality protein into your diet will help you maintain your muscle mass and keep off the extra pounds.
Some high-quality protein sources are chicken breast, grass-fed beef, eggs, and salmon, while vegan protein sources are also great since plant protein does not contain saturated fat.
Choosing the Right Drinks
Consuming the best drinks for hydration is important for people over 50, just as it is important for athletes, children, and individuals of other ages.
Maintaining adequate hydration is crucial for optimal health and avoiding the overconsumption of calories that leads to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and other health issues.
To check if you’ve drunk enough water, check the color of your urine, as it should be pale yellow.
Don’t overdo it on the water, though, or you could end up with over-hydration, which can be very dangerous too.
There are many other healthy drinks aside from water too, although water is certainly the primary drink you should consume.
Coffee is a great option for people over 50, as coffee can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease and diabetes. Furthermore, drinking coffee can help with weight loss because of its caffeine and antioxidant content.
There are various types of healthy tea as well, which can help you stay healthy after 50.
Lastly, feel free to enjoy a moderate serving of alcohol now and then, but you should not overdo it. Try limiting yourself to drinking red wine when possible.
Use Supplements to Support Your Health
Although the primary way to stay healthy while aging is to eat a generally healthy diet and exercise regularly, various supplements can help you stay healthy after 50.
Multivitamin supplements are beneficial for many people, and there are also supplements that are beneficial for men and women specifically.
Websites such as Premier Formulas provide supplements that can help you remain fit after 50.
For people over 50, telomeres supplements are a unique class of supplements that may blunt the aging process and help you stay healthy.
According to a study published in Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, telomeres are the extreme ends of the chromosomes, and they play a key role in the process of cellular aging. Therefore, supplements such as CA-98 can efficiently support anti-aging factors like cell renewal, tissue protection, and DNA synthesis.
Supplements for your bones are another class of supplements you might want to consider after 50, as bone loss begins to accelerate around these ages.
Physical Activity to Stay Healthy After 50
Regular exercise helps you stay healthy and strong. Regular physical activity helps lower your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. Furthermore, staying physically active helps boost your self-esteem, gives you more energy, and helps improve sleep quality.
According to government guidelines, the recommendation is that adults require at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.
If this sounds like a lot, you can start small and work up to those amounts as you become stronger and healthier. In addition, services such as Home Health can help you stay active.
Before beginning any intense exercise program, you should check with your doctor, but being physically active is critical to staying healthy after 50.
Consulting your doctor is important to prevent accidents, which may be costly unless Medicare or other medical insurance is involved. Even then, some charges may not be covered, so getting a supplemental policy such as a Medicare Supplement plan from Mutual of Omaha might also be worth considering.
Although it might not be necessary if you are still in your 50s, some older adults may need to plan for keeping a portable oxygen concentrator near them or only exercising while supervised when they do any amount of physical exercise.
Also, if you are new to physical exercise and getting near 60 years old, you should carry a medical alert device while you’re exercising in case of an emergency.
Here are a few tips for exercising to lose weight after 50:
Resistance Training to Build Strength and Muscle Mass
As we grow older, our Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) decreases. Due to that, your body will not naturally burn as many calories per day, and weight gain becomes easier.
Strength training, especially resistance training, helps maintain muscle mass and keep your bones strong.
According to a study published in Geriatrics, progressive resistance exercises can produce substantial increases in strength and muscle size. In addition, for many individuals, exercise represents the safest and least expensive means to lose body fat, decrease blood pressure, improve glucose tolerance, and maintain long-term independence.
If you are relatively active and looking to increase your physical activity to develop a stronger and healthier body, high-intensity interval training or HIIT is the best exercise for anti-aging.
No matter how old you are, there are systems and programs to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Step one is always an assessment by a professional – check with your doctor, and then talk to local gyms that offer personal training or similar programs. You might even have a Medicare plan that pays for your gym membership!
It is a myth that old and aging people shouldn’t do weight training.
Also, hiring a personal trainer for a couple of sessions to show you exercises and workout programs is a great idea. The trainer can also do an initial assessment of your body mass index and help you set some goals for your fitness program.
If you are new to exercising or resistance training, a great place to start is with resistance band exercises. Resistance band exercises are not as intense as other types of strength training, but they are great for improving your muscles and joints as you build a foundation of strength and a healthy body.
If you would like to give resistance band exercises a try, you could buy this set and use them at home:
Cardio Exercises for Weight Loss After 50
Strength training and resistance exercises are great for your muscles and bones, but cardio exercises are still important for maintaining your cardiovascular (heart) health.
Cardio workouts can also help elevate your mood and reduce anxiety and depression because exercising helps release hormones such as endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and testosterone, which help your body and mind balance out in different ways.
According to a Harvard University study highlighted in Psychology Today, someone who exercises regularly will feel an increase in psychological well-being. In their 11-year study, they hypothesized that the adults over 50 that were physically active at the start of their study, and remained active throughout it, showed psychological well-being, meaning that they were happier, showed positive emotions, and were optimistic. (Psychology Today, 2016)
Cycling and swimming are great because they are low-impact exercises that take a lot of strain off your joints.
Anyone who has ever had a fall, and has either broken something or bruised themselves badly, knows how painful it can be and how much of an effect it can have on their ability to do day-to-day tasks.
The fear of having a fall or tripping over something is perhaps more common with older adults and is borne out by the sheer number of emergency hospital admissions every year.
Therefore, working on balance and preventing falling is an important part of fitness programs for people trying to stay healthy over 50.
This is not to say that people automatically lose their sense of balance as they grow older, but inevitably the effects of aging mean that people are more vulnerable, and the physical sense of feeling balanced and coordinated takes on a special meaning and importance.
This is especially important if your goal is maintaining an independent lifestyle as you get into your late 60s and 70s.
Balancing exercises can be done as simple stand-alone activities, as part of a more specific fitness program that can include strength training exercises, or can be done with other types of exercise such as yoga or pilates.
If you are interested in trying yoga, I suggest you check out YogaDownload.com.
BOSU ball exercises can be very useful as well.
Although you might have dreamed about retirement and a stress-free life after 55, that plan might not be unfolding. Whatever the scenario is, learning how to control stress is an important aspect of staying healthy after 50.
We deal with stress daily, but it can leave more severe consequences for our health as we age.
Stress can cause various changes in your body that can lead to insomnia, high blood pressure, headaches, back pain, gastrointestinal problems (like acid reflux), diabetes, and a lower immune system. If the causes cannot be eliminated, you should learn a suitable stress management system that works for you.
Whether you need to practice yoga or meditation or read part of a book each day, finding a way to reduce your stress will help you remain healthier
A simple and effective way to manage stress is to practice mindful breathing a couple of times per day.
Even the simplest breathing exercises can help you relax and fall asleep in the evening. Likewise, morning breathing sessions can fill you with positive energy and give you the strength to face the challenges ahead.
For people over 50, focusing on the breathing you’re doing can greatly impact your health!
If you would like some guided breathing instructions, I use the BreathWrk App to work on my breathing, and it has had many positive influences on my health!
Get Enough Sleep Each Night
Many people have trouble either getting or staying asleep as they grow older. Consequently, the lack of sleep often leaves you feeling stressed, upset, and tired. Improving your sleep cycle is vital to getting proper sleep each night, and getting proper sleep each night is vital to stay healthy over 50.
You can avoid insomnia by reducing daytime nap time, going to bed at the same time every night, and establishing a bedtime routine.
For example, you can drink a cup of chamomile tea, do 3-minutes of breathing exercises, and do 10 minutes of yoga before going to bed.
A bedtime routine can improve your sleep length and quality and help you stay healthy while aging!
People who isolate themselves socially are more unhappy and more often ill. People who meet regularly with friends and family have fun and remain engaged with the world around them.
When you are younger than 50, being in a social environment is a regular occurrence. However, after you retire from your job and begin distancing yourself from the pace of society you experienced when you were younger, you might have to put in a bit of effort to be in a social environment.
One option is an adult daycare, such as Skylark Adult Day Care Center. Going to a place like this is a sure way to be around people each day!
However, there are many other options. Regardless of how you accomplish it, remaining socially active is an important part of staying healthy after 50!
Maintain Your Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is an important factor in staying healthy while aging.
You should brush your teeth two times a day and floss every day, if possible. Flossing helps prevent gum disease by removing plaque and pieces of food between teeth.
If plaque can build up, you might start suffering from bleeding gums and gum disease, which has also been linked to an increased risk of stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease.
Maintain Proper Foot Care
There are multiple aspects to proper foot care that are important to staying healthy after 50.
Wearing the proper shoes or orthopedic insoles can help prevent ankle, knee, hip, and back pain and make it more comfortable to move around each day.
You should also be mindful of changing your socks frequently to avoid a reoccurring foot problem like athlete’s foot.
Mind Your Vitamin D Levels
People suffering from Vitamin D deficiency often don’t know it, and vitamin D deficiency could affect up to 50% of adults. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with bone problems, cognitive impairment, and even cardiovascular disease, and maintaining vitamin D levels is an important part of staying healthy after 50.
Vitamin D levels are often low in people over 50 because the sun is the best source of vitamin D, and most people are not outside in the sun for adequate amounts of time each day.
Try to get outside in the sun, without sunscreen, for between 15 and 20 minutes every day for your Vitamin D needs. After these minutes, you should apply sunscreen consistently for the rest of the day.
Vitamin D is also found in food sources such as oily fish and eggs. Alternatively, you can talk to your doctor about Vitamin D supplementation.
Concluding Thoughts – How to Stay Healthy After 50
Staying healthy after 50 might be slightly more challenging than in younger years, but it certainly isn’t impossible!
For more information, check out CarlaHampshire.com. Carla Hampshire works with aging populations on their health and is a great resource for people looking to stay healthy after 50.
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