The second half of your life can usher in some of the most beautiful and rewarding moments. You generally have more wisdom and patience than your younger self and get to enjoy life through a different, more experienced lens. With age, however, also comes changes to your body and mind. You may notice that you don’t have as much energy as you used to, or that your joints are achy, or that you’re putting on more weight.
Getting older, however, does not automatically mean poor health or that you’ll be confined to a walker. Plenty of adults 50 and over enjoy robust health and an active lifestyle. While certain changes are inevitable, you can minimize the negative aspects of aging by taking proactive steps to maintain your health. Here are 8 tips for healthy aging after 50 that will help you stay vibrant, active, and strong!
1. Get regular checkups
Many people don’t visit a doctor unless they’re experiencing a problem, however, staying on top of your health means getting regular checkups, even if you feel fine. These visits can help detect problems early or even before they start, reducing the risk of health complications. Those over 50 should have a routine checkup once per year, unless problems arise sooner. Don’t forget to visit your dentist and eye doctor, too!
2. Eat whole foods
Over the years, research has consistently linked plant-based diets to lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and some cancers (as compared with diets high in meat and other animal products). To support healthy aging after 50, load your plate with fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Eating lean meat, fish, and low-fat dairy is healthy in moderation, but aim to use animal-based foods as a condiment, rather than as the star of your meal.
3. Support your body with natural supplements
While it’s always best to get the bulk of your nutrients from food, many older adults benefit from supplementing their diets with natural supplements. For example, JointFuel360 is an oral supplement that combines research-backed, anti-inflammatory ingredients, including turmeric root, black pepper extract, Boswellia serrata extract, resveratrol, collagen (type II), and hyaluronic acid.
These ingredients work together synergistically to improve joint comfort, mobility, and flexibility. The addition of a supplement like JointFuel360 can go a long way in reducing symptoms of aging such as joint pain and stiffness, thereby enhancing a person’s quality of life.
4. Get active
Move your body in some way most days, whether that’s by walking, swimming, bike riding, dancing, or practicing yoga. According to the World Health Organization, older adults should aim to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. That breaks down to just 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Regular exercise, especially if you do it briskly enough to feel a little breathless, offers an array of health benefits, including:
- Weight control
- Improved mood
- Bone, joint, and muscle strength
- Increased flexibility
- Improved balance
- Improved sleep
- Reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
5. Keep your mind sharp
Just like your body, your brain needs to be exercised to stay sharp and healthy. Keeping your brain active can help to prevent cognitive decline and memory problems. To challenge your brain, you could play games, do puzzles or crosswords, read books, learn a new language, learn how to play a musical instrument, or try out new recipes.
Also, try to do something new each day, whether it’s taking a different route to the grocery store or eating with your non-dominant hand. Learning new things and varying your habits can help create new neural pathways in your brain.
6. Find meaning and joy
An often overlooked ingredient in the recipe for healthy aging is experiencing meaning and joy in life. As you age, it’s normal to gradually lose the things that previously occupied your time and gave you a sense of purpose. For example, you may have retired from your career, or your children may have left home or moved further away.
Just because one chapter has closed, however, doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to fill your life and find purpose. If you’re not sure how to get started, here are some suggestions:
- Get involved in your community.
- Volunteer for a cause that’s important to you.
- Take a class.
- Join a club or sports team.
- Travel somewhere new.
- Mentor a younger person.
- Write a book or start a blog.
7. Stay connected
Did you know that loneliness is harmful to your health? Studies show that feeling lonely is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment, depression, and dementia. As such, it’s important to stay connected with those around you. Keep in touch with friends and relatives by regularly spending time together. If you live far away from each other, prioritize talking on the phone or video calling.
If you don’t currently have an active social circle, look for opportunities to reconnect with old friends or make new ones. Get involved in your community, volunteer at a charity event, pick up a new hobby that involves other people, or take a class. You never know where you could meet someone that becomes a cherished friend.
8. Get plenty of sleep
Adults 50 and over should aim to get seven to nine hours of good-quality sleep a night. To promote a restful night’s sleep, follow these sleep hygiene tips:
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool.
- Avoid artificial light from screens for at least an hour before bed.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening.
- Don’t nap for more than 20 minutes during the day.
- Increase your activity level during the day.
- Practice a soothing nighttime ritual, such as taking a bath, having a cup of chamomile tea, or breathing deeply.
Aging is a natural part of life, but getting older doesn’t have to mean losing your health, mobility, and joy. By following some basic healthy habits, you can enjoy all the benefits of getting older while still maintaining a great quality of life. It’s never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle, so whether you’re 30, 50, or 80, start applying these healthy aging tips for improved well-being today!