Over the Hill: 5 Fabulous Secrets for Staying Healthy Through your 50s

Are you in your fifties? You have many good years ahead of you. The health habits you get into during the next few years could determine how healthy you are (or aren’t) into the late years of your life. So if you want to feel fabulous during your fifties and beyond, consider these five secrets that will put you on a healthy path and help you stay there:

Take a Walk

Walking is a stress-free, low-impact exercise routine that is very good for you. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke and helps you lose weight. It protects against diabetes and depression. People who exercise live longer than those who don’t. Not convinced yet? A recent study shows that people who sit for more than eleven hours a day are 40 percent more likely to die in the next three years.

Relax

By the time you’re in your fifties, you are well aware of the toll that accumulated stress takes on your body. Don’t put off the yoga class, the meditation practice or the deep breathing exercise you’ve been thinking of trying. Five minutes a day of sitting quietly has been proven to make a difference, and meditation really goes a long way the older you get. While exercise is an important habit to stay in, as you get older you will have time for relaxation and de-stressing. This is an important tip for those with high blood pressure—bring your levels down a bit with calming exercises or activities.

Eat Well

A healthy diet, full of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein and whole grains, combats heart disease and diabetes. Avoiding sugar doesn’t just help you keep the weight off—according to a dentist that provides dental implants in Seal Beach, avoiding sugars as you get older is best for your teeth. By this time in your life, the enamel protecting your teeth has likely worn down quite a bit, and is more vulnerable. So if you want to keep your pearly whites for a few more years, think about what you’re eating and how it effects your teeth. It’s also important for you to maintain a healthy weight, and while it’s hard to break out of eating habits you’ve had for years, you can make it a goal in the next decade to eat out less and learn how to cook healthy meals for yourself. When you realize that these goals will help you to be around longer for your kids and grandkids, you’ll see that it is worth giving up weekly burgers and daily sodas. .

Socialize

There’s scientific evidence to show that people who stay in touch with a close circle of friends and family live longer. In your fifties, you may have lost touch with old friends and far-away relatives. It’s time to review your social life. Counteract life’s stresses with some lightheartedness. Have dinner with friends. Share a single glass of wine. Moderate drinkers have less heart disease than those who abstain from alcohol completely. The most important thing is that you are still social and participating in society. You probably won’t “go out” as much as the years go on, but having great friends and family to spend time and  laugh with is the secret to a happy life.

Let Go

Forgiveness is not just a spiritual act. Letting go of resentment reduces anxiety, lowers blood pressure and literally lets you breathe more easily. Chronic anger is linked to heart disease and stroke. Make a practice each day of saying or writing down what you are grateful for and releasing your anger. If you’re in your fifties, you are, statistically speaking, more ready to let go of what you can’t change. Let bygones be bygones.

Relax. You may be planning a few more career moves or coasting toward retirement. In the meantime, meet friends for dinner. Go for a walk. The secrets of staying healthy are yours to enjoy. If you want to have fabulous fifties, you might need to make a few lifestyle adjustments as you age. But if you want to continue to live a happy and  healthy life, it will be worth your time and energy to get into good habits now. Make fifty fabulous!

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