You have reached the golden age. You are 50.
So…, What do you do now?
Preparing to “age gracefully” can seem like a cheesy tagline from a movie or magazine, but as you approach your golden years that is exactly what you should be doing. The actions that you take at 50 are greatly going to affect the quality of your twilight years.
What are the key steps for women over 50 to make sure you have better health as you age?
If you think that the big O is one of those things that can’t happen to you, I have some news. It can and the odds are it likely will. Women’s Health Concern tells us that 1 in 2 women over age 50 will get osteoporosis. Think of your best lady friend who you are entering the golden years with. One of you will develop osteoporosis, which is of course unless you fight and do all you can to prevent it.
Diet and exercise are two of the main things that can prevent osteoporosis. It turns out nutrition and exercise are also key habits for better health after age 50 as well.
To prevent osteoporosis, you should have adequate vitamin D and Calcium intake. You also need to make sure you are participating in weight bearing exercise at least 3 days a week. Do these two things, and your golden years will be much brighter.
We have all seen the commercials for medical alert bands. Most of these commercials are directed at fall risks. The sad fact is that 1/4th of all Americans age 65 suffer falls each year. The National Council on Aging notes that falls are the leading cause of fatal injury, and trauma-related hospital stays.
One if the key ways to prevent these falls is by participating in a regular fitness activity that focuses on functional stability and balance. The National Council on Aging recommends a tai chi program to focus on balance and stability. However, Yoga and other balance-focused programs are likely to help as well. If you maintain a strong sense of balance starting early your fall risk decreases.
This one may seem more difficult as we age. Our bodies are just accustomed to less sleep, or our sleep is interrupted by things like hot flashes, arthritis, or stress. Getting sleep is even more important as you age because it promotes higher levels of human growth hormone (HGH).
Prevention magazine notes that HGH is a key hormone responsible for building bone and muscle mass: two things that start to decline rapidly after age 50. If you want to maintain good health after age 50, make sure you are sleeping 7-9 hours every night.
Check Your Supplements
After age 50 comes menopause, and of course, aging also changes our biochemistry. As a result, the supplements you take at 30 are going to be a lot different from the ones that you take at age 50.
- Some of the big differences that the Cleveland Clinic notes are the addition of vitamin b-12 and the reduction of iron.
- B-12 should be added because stomach acid decreases as we age, making it harder to absorb this vital nutrient.
- On the other end, as menses stops we stop losing our iron once a month. If you have been supplementing iron, you may need to stop. Postmenopausal iron recommendations are only 8mg.
Of course, all supplementation should be discussed with your physician. This is especially true if you have any additional health concerns as some vitamins, minerals or supplements may interfere with conventional medications.
Aging doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you take care of your body and prepare yourself for a long life, your twilight years can be spent independent and healthy.
The key to doing this is starting now before you develop any of the typical age-associated conditions. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.