Life changes after we reach fifty. Women go through menopause, there is less bone mass, and an increased risk of cancers and heart disease occur in both men and women. Fortunately, there are ways to gauge your wellness after the age of fifty and ways to stay healthy that keep the aging process from accelerating.
Eating right after 50-As one gets older, the role of adequate nutrition takes on a new importance and eating healthy becomes more important. It means eating a low fat, low salt diet containing as many fruits, fiber, and vegetables as possible. Eating these foods can lessen the risk of disease related to age, such as stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease, among other age-related diseases. You can use your diet to gauge your wellness, as the healthier, it is the healthier and more well you are!
Protein– A healthy diet after 50 means taking in more protein. Protein is necessary in order to help improve muscle mass and to maintain the muscle mass you already have. Quality protein that is low in fat includes eggs, fish, poultry, nuts, lean meats, and dairy and soy products.
Carbohydrates– Carbohydrates must be eaten as part of a healthy diet over 50. What you want to eat are complex carbohydrates, which come from eating grains and whole vegetables. Complex carbs are better for you than simple carbs because they contain health fiber, vitamins, and minerals you need for cellular fuel. All carbs are eventually broken down into glucose that enters the cells to provide food for the organelles.
Healthy Fats– Healthy fat also provides you with energy. You need to eat more polyunsaturated fats, such as is found in soybean oil and corn oil in order to decrease the levels of cholesterol in the blood. You can also eat monounsaturated fats, such as is in nuts, avocados, and olive oil. The kinds of fat you want to avoid are the saturated fats, often found in cheeses, shortening, butter, pork, and beef. Eat these types of foods should be eaten less often and should be eaten in small servings, trimming off the visible fats from meats.
Lower Caloric Intake– Remember that, because of the aging process, you don’t need as many calories per day when compared to your younger days. Your body also has changes in the natural hormones so that there is more fat around the middle of your waste and a decreased amount of lean muscle mass. If you eat a healthy diet, you can also increase the mineral content in the bones, decrease the risk of diabetes, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Water– Water is important as well. You need water to hydrate your tissues and flush out your kidneys. Water will keep wrinkles from forming on your skin and will provide you with that youthful glow. Remember that you need water instead of tea, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages that ultimately dehydrate you.
Gauging Exercise after 50– Many older individuals don’t get enough physical fitness. If you never exercise, this is a good indicator that you may not be aging well, and your health will be affected.
There are good reasons, why you should take in more exercise.
These include the following:
- Exercise can help you feel physically and emotionally better. You are never too out of shape or too aged in order to be more physically active.
- Decreased physical activity and poor eating habits together comprise the second highest cause of death, behind smoking, in developed countries.
- Exercising on regular basis can delay or prevent age-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. It can also help prevent depressive symptoms.
- Staying active can help improve independence and increase the ability to do activities of daily living.
You can gauge your fitness levels by seeing how many blocks you can walk without being winded or without having claudication, which is pain in the calves as a result of poor circulation to the legs. If you can walk several blocks without difficulty, your fitness level is generally considered to be fairly good. You should also engage in weight training or what is known as “anaerobic exercise.” This can help you build or maintain muscle mass so you can be strong and healthy well past your fifties. Weight training can be done a couple of times per week when you are not doing aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, or cycling.