If 30 is the new 20, then 50 would be the new 40, right? Even if you feel young for your years, as the big five-oh comes around, there are a few things you couldprobably do to keep your body, mind and spirit strong. Investing in yourself now might lead to better quality in the years to come—fewer aches and pains, more mental clarity and really, more fun.
Here are some suggestions:
Get hip to good fats
As we age, we know we need to watch the bad fats. Red meat and deep-fried treats are okay in small portions every once in a while, but good fats can be just as fun to eat.And an added bonus—they’re unlikely to increase your risk of heart diseaseor hypertension. Omega-3 rich salmon is a great place to start (smoked, with cream cheese and capers…mmmm), with a side of avocado toast (it’s not just for Millennials!).You can even enjoy a bit ofdark chocolate for dessert, which is full of healthy antioxidants. Cooking with extra virgin olive oil gives you the fat and calories your body craves,andmay also help lower blood pressure and fight inflammation.
Move more, sit less
Along with cleaner eating, we know that exercise is key for keeping the pounds down and the heart strong. But exercise has other benefits too. Early research indicates that exercising for 30 to 60 minutes a few times a week maylower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Physical activity can increase therelease of endorphins and proteins that protect the brain from diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. More exercise may also lead to a better quality of sleep, which in turn helps the brain recover and recharge. If you need a little motivation to get those walking shoes on or dust off your bike, use a fitness tracker to gamify your workouts and invite your family and friends to do the same for a little healthy competition.
Never stop learning
Every time you experience something out-of-the-ordinary, you’re creating new neural pathways in your brain. This helps strengthen its overall functionality, which can keep dementia and depression at bay (plus, it could make you a more interesting person!). So, endeavour to learn or experience something completely new to you: Duolingo a language. Practice playing an instrument. Take up cross stitching or sewing. Discover a new type of music.Try new foods. These novel experiences could play a part in keeping your brain healthy for years to come.
Find a furry friend
For many, their 50s mark the milestone of kids leaving the house to strike out on their own. But, even if your kids are still at home or living nearby, chances are they’re spending a lot less time with you. Your home can feel a little empty and quiet, or even a bit lonely. A pet could be a great way to remedy this! Adopt a cat or dog to bring some excitement back to your home, and you could be rewarded with lower blood pressure, cholesteroland triglyceride levels. Plus, an active dog gives you the excuse to exercise and socialize too!
Don’t discount intimacy
Sexual intimacy with your partner can take on a whole new shine in your 50s. The emotional and physical connection couldlead to overall feelings of wellbeing, as well as helping to reinforce why you fell in love with each other in the first place. Oxytocin is produced when we cuddle, promoting feelings of positive attachment and trust.Oxytocin may also help reduce stress and anxiety.This benefit could extend beyond the bedroom, helping calm the nerves as you tackle new 50-something problems like managing retirement savings or finding the best funeral insurance policy.
These tips are well and good, but there’s one more thing to consider as you age: your community. Maintaining a social life is deeply necessary as we get older. You need people to talk to, people to share experiences with, people that challenge your thinking and make you laugh. As you get older, they may be less of a reason to interact with the clubs, schools or organisations that you joined in the past. However, don’t let that stop you from diving back into your community.Volunteer at a school, join a gym, help at your place of worship, babysit the grandkids and visit old friends. Do something that keeps you connected to your world. Because if 50 is the new 40, you’ll have plenty of time to make those connections count.