Healthy habits don’t stop once you’re over the hill – or a few decades past it, for that matter! While lots of health guidelines for seniors are similar to those for younger people, the stakes do become somewhat higher. As the risk for certain conditions – like diabetes, memory loss, and broken bones – increases with age, targeting the right healthy habits can help you thrive well past your fifties.
Take a look at these 6 tips for women over 50 to maintain health and wellness.
Cut back on salt, and stick to healthy fats.
It’s common for blood pressure to increase as you age. Cutting back on salt (sodium) can help lower your blood pressure, as can eating potassium-rich foods like bananas and leafy greens. It’s also wise to steer clear of saturated fats, which can clog the arteries and lead to a higher risk of stroke. Swap red meat for healthy fats found in nuts and fish, and your body will thank you!
Continue to learn new skills.
Memory loss can be a serious concern for seniors. While we can’t always conquer our genes, we can certainly stay as sharp as possible by exercising our faculties. Practicing old hobbies is helpful, but it’s even better to challenge your mind and learn entirely new skills. So, if you’ve always dreamed of learning Italian or playing the accordion, don’t be shy – dive in!
Include anti-aging foods in your diet.
If appearance is something that is important to you, consider snacking on anti-aging foods. Certain components, like vitamin C and linoleic acid, help support healthy skin by boosting collagen production, maintaining skin strength, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. These vitamins and minerals occur naturally in many foods, like red peppers and walnuts.
Exercise smarter – not harder.
Staying physically fit is a great advantage in the golden years, as it can help you avoid injury and recover from setbacks faster. However, intense activity isn’t always the best strategy. To avoid injury and ‘overdoing it,’ learn how to exercise smarter, not harder. This means choosing low-impact activities, like swimming instead of softball. It’s also important that exercise habits are well-rounded. Cardio, strength training, and balance/stability are all important for women over 50.
Social events aren’t just for fun – they help us feel connected to our community and sharpen the mind, which is absolutely vital for emotional and mental wellbeing. For many women, social interaction drops dramatically in their 50s and 60s, as they may be dealing with adult children moving away, stepping back from a full-time career, and life partners or family members passing on – sometimes all of these things at once. Stay involved by attending a meetup group, joining a book club, or volunteering.
Keep up a healthy sex life.
Society is slowly making progress toward breaking the taboo and acknowledging that women over 50 still have a sexual identity. Sex might look and feel differently than it did in your 20s, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable! The key is to do what feels right for you – even if that means trying new things with a partner, learning new ways of expressing love, or letting go of old habits in the bedroom.
Women over 50 can still take charge of their health and wellness. The good news? Even if you didn’t practice these healthy habits earlier in life, it’s never too late to start! Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, and you’ll be in a much better position to thrive in your 50s and beyond