Creating a Healthy Lifestyle When You’re Over 50

Life can be busy when you’re over 50. There can also be a lot of changes, involving family dynamics, your career, and your health. You may find yourself constantly rushing from one task to the next, with little down time for yourself. And that can make it hard to follow a healthy lifestyle.

But it’s really important that you take the time to create and follow a healthy lifestyle. Doing so could have a significant impact on your general well-being. With age and menopause comes new health risks, and following a healthy lifestyle could help you reduce those risks.

Eat Healthy

You’ve probably heard it all your life, but a healthy diet is a key to being healthy. Even if you were able to get away with eating junk food in your younger days, that diet could catch up with you now, leaving you with extra belly fat and more risks for developing diabetes, heart disease, cognitive issues, and so much more. Work with your doctor to create a healthy diet that works for your age and life situation, and then stick to it. You may need to make smaller changes at first, but you owe it to yourself to make and keep those changes.

Get Moving

You need to be exercising regularly, but there’s more to it than that. You also need to be moving regularly throughout your day. Lack of exercise and lack of movement increases your risks for heart disease, osteoporosis, cognitive issues, and a host of other health issues. Your doctor can help you create an exercise plan that’s right for you, and then you can get creative about adding movement to your day. Park farther from the door, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk the long way around – use your imagination. It can help to use a pedometer or app on your phone to keep track of your steps.

Get Some Sleep

Without adequate sleep, your risks for several health issues go up and you may find menopause symptomsare worse. If insomnia is a problem, ask your doctor about a temporary medication to help you break the cycle. If the issue is you simply have too much on your plate, learn to cut back and say no to some tasks. Your mind and body need you to have a solid sleep routine that let’s you get adequate sleep each and every night.

Exercise Your Brain

You can find your cognitive abilities start to fade a bit as you age and with the arrival of menopause, but you can take steps to keep your brain healthy and active. Besides physically exercising each day, follow a regular exercise plan for your brain. Make it a point to do something creative or mentally challenging every day. You can also enroll in a class, learn a new skill, or learn a foreign language. Some fun options include playing word games, doing crossword puzzles, or regularly reading books.

Be Positive

There are a lot of things that may happen as you grow older that can make it harder for you to smile. The symptoms of menopause can be uncomfortable and stressful. Your job may change or you may be pushed out of the work force. You may lose your parents, older relatives, and loved ones. Age-related health issues may make it more difficult for you to be active and independent. It can be easy to fall into depression which makes you vulnerable for several health conditions. Although life can be tough, make it a point to find ways to be positive and encouraged. Surround yourself with family and friends. Reach out to others and lend a helping hand. Get involved in your community, church, or a local civic group. And if you need to, don’t hesitate to talk to a counselor.

Be Proactive

As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Talk to your doctor about your personal health risks and overall health, and work with her to take steps to minimize your risks for developing age and menopause related health issues. Ask about age appropriate health screenings, vaccinations, and supplements. Pay attention to new symptoms, including loss of hearing or vision, issues with memory, aches and pains, clumsiness, headaches, etc. The sooner she’s aware of a possible health concern, the better able she can be to help you treat it and prevent it from becoming something more serious.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: Creating a Healthy Lifestyle When You’re Over 50



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