over 50’s health
Being over 50 heading to that next great age landmark, 60 is not the end of life as we know it. It’s actually the starting point for lots of good things.
The menopause is starting to fade into the past.
Children are getting less dependent and flying the nest.
Your career is on an even keel.
The knowledge, experience and wisdom gathered over the years are now beginning to pay off.
Being over 50 is not all bad
Having reached this stage in your life, it seems only right that you get back some time to spend on yourself.
The great thing about the ageing process is that we learn to accept ourselves. And our faults.
We learn through experience that not everything is a crisis, and we can and will cope with whatever life throws at us.
There are lots of benefits to being 50. It helps to remind ourselves of that now and again.
At 50 you have the wisdom to know what you need
Up to this point in your life, you’ve been putting the needs of children, dependents, and employers ahead of your own.
With the passing years comes time to focus less on others’ needs, giving you more time to focus on your own wants and needs.
To make sure that you get the most out of your life and your new-found freedom and to set yourself up for a healthy, fulfilled future, it’s time to start putting yourself first a little more often.
BEFORE I GO ANY FURTHER
At the time of writing, Covid-19 is affecting all of us.
In common with lots of countries, England is in lockdown and people are getting very preachy.
I feel like I’m being treated like a child who doesn’t know how to behave, much less looking after myself.
Is it just me? Or does it seem like everyone has a view on how you should spend your time in lockdown?
First of all they tell us to exercise.
Then it’s don’t drink.
Also, remember to use this time wisely.
Learn a language.
And finally, stay safe.
Safety must come first. No question
Don’t get me wrong; I know how infectious Covid-19 is, and as many of you, I know people who have lost loved ones to this virus. And it breaks my heart to know that they weren’t allowed to comfort their loved ones in their final hours.
Likewise, I know I must social distance to protect myself, those around me, and the NHS who are coping with this situation daily.
And I’m doing that with not a word of complaint.
But, as a result of all the good advice around, I feel that I’m somehow letting the side down if I sit on the sofa for an hour with a good book rather than take a Zoom exercise class.
If I decide that today, I’m going to relax with a nice glass of red, that’s my choice.
I’m an adult. I’m over 50 not just over 5. I know how to look after my own health.
And so do you.
You’re an adult
You’re an adult. Consequently, that’s why I’m not about to start preaching about the havoc you can cause to your health by not getting regular exercise and following a healthy eating plan.
You already know that.
Now I’ve got that off my chest….
Growing up is full of challenges.
Just getting to this stage in your life, you had to navigate childhood and your teens. School. Major life decisions.
Then you became a grown-up and started to build a career and a relationship with your significant other. You may have gone through a divorce and juggled childcare with making a living and paying the mortgage.
And by this time in your life you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one.
Putting other people and things ahead of ourselves is just what we do.
While you were doing all of those things, how often did you manage to put yourself first?
Not selfishly in a ‘I want – so everyone else can just accept it’ kind of a way.
No. I mean, did you take the time to do some things that benefit you? Like having some chillout time to make sure your physical and mental health were both in good shape?
If you answered no, or sometimes, then it’s time to spend a little more of your energy on yourself. If only to make sure you stay healthy for those who love and rely on you.
For much of your life you have put others before yourself
being over 50 is a stopping off point
Being a parent means putting your children’s health and welfare before all other priorities.
Add to that the needs of your partner. Throw into the mix ageing parents, plus the need to work to provide for your family.
Try to manage mealtimes around all the activities you signed your children up for (keep them occupied and healthy). And it’s easy to find things like a healthy diet and exercise for yourself go on the back burner.
I’m guessing that if a loved one wasn’t looking after their health you’d speak up.
Speak up! And take time to give yourself some of your loving care.
Start with a health check
Hopefully by now you agree that you need to pay some attention to your own health and fitness.
Every 5 years, adults in the UK between the ages of 40 and 74 are invited for a health check.
And yes I did notice that 74 is not a multiple of 5. Someone in the NHS didn’t pay attention in maths!
My web surfing tells me that this advice is broadly the same in the USA.
The health check is a great place to begin putting your own health front and centre.
If nothing else it will give you a chance to start from a position of knowledge.
Your health check will include blood pressure, weight/BMI calculation, and a blood test to check your cholesterol and blood sugars.
If any of these are outside the normal range, you probably wouldn’t have any symptoms. With the possible exception of weight gain that you will have noticed!
That’s why a health check is essential in identifying problems before they give you any major health issues.
check your diet and exercise habits
It won’t come as any surprise that this article was leading up to the subject of diet and exercise.
Diet and exercise are the main ways to manage your health and lower your risk of developing some major health conditions.
Some 40% of adults in the UK, and an incredible 77% of adults in the US, don’t meet the minimum physical activity levels recommended by health professionals.
Add to that, around a quarter of adults in the UK exceed national guidelines for weekly alcohol consumption. We can all do more to help ourselves.
Adopt A Diet For Life
As you age your dietary needs change. Being north of 50 is one of those times.
For some, that won’t be easy to deal with, particularly if there’s a house full of teenagers who can eat absolutely anything they want.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this is a stage in life when you need to be on a permanent restrictive diet.
I don’t believe in diets that restrict food groups. Any food groups.
I believe in eating delicious food that is also healthy and great for you at any stage in your life. And enjoying it.
That’s why this section is about adopting a diet that’s fit for life and not just for quick weight loss.
Please read this and see if it doesn’t inspire you to adopt an eating plan that helps and enhances your life.
over 50 not over the hill
It doesn’t matter that every birthday starting with a 5 or 6 brings a fresh crop of cards joking about you being over the hill.
It doesn’t matter because you know it just isn’t true.
This is a time of life to embrace and shake the best out of.
A great way to start is to make sure you continue ageing healthily and stay active.
I don’t believe that this phase of your life should be about denial
I really don’t believe that this stage of our lives should be about denial of lifes pleasures.
We’ve earned this time and should enjoy it to the full.
I also believe that we should enjoy it free of pain and in the best physical condition we can get so that we get to wring all the best out of this phase of our lives.
No more. No less.
And that’s what my articles are about.
There’s nothing more certain in life than that we will die of something.
Before we do, let’s enjoy the life we have. Above all, the life we were meant to live.