Hitting the big five-oh can bring with it a sense of accomplishment and joy but also a feeling of uncertainty. You may have felt indestructible in your 20s or 30s as you tackle life’s ups and downs while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But now that you’ve reached 50, you’ll feel different pressures. For instance, your joints may ache, you may get tired more quickly, whatever you eat might not nourish you as it used to, and your sense of balance can become unclear. Besides, the sleep and energy you need to tackle life’s demands can take a lot of work.
As a man in your 50s, it’s essential to prioritize your health. Because that carefree, go-with-the-flow attitude where you skipped meals, ignored exercise and occasional aches, and stayed up too late will do more harm than good now. You must let go of old habits to have a healthy body, mind, and spirit.
If you’re determined to stay fit and active in your 50s and beyond, here are seven tips to help you enjoy life and stay healthy:
1. Monitor Your Health
The 50s mark the age when your body and health start to decline. Regular checkups will help detect and prevent any early signs of health problems. It is especially crucial for individuals with a family history of diseases or a job involving asbestos exposure, such as working in construction, mining, shipyard, or manufacturing factories.
Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, a deadly cancer affecting the lungs, abdomen, and heart lining. However, early detection can increase the chances of successful treatment.
If you’ve been diagnosed with this disease, seek legal help from a qualified mesothelioma lawyer to understand your legal rights and receive legal compensation to cover the costs of medical bills and other associated expenses.
2. Commit to a Balanced Diet
Adopting a balanced diet is crucial to support your body and lifestyle as you age. Neglecting to do so can heighten your chances of developing health problems like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other lifestyle-related ailments.
The key is to ensure your diet is balanced, which means it should contain various nutrient-dense foods to help maintain optimal health. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins (fish, poultry, or tofu), healthy fats (like olive oil or nuts), and low-fat dairy products. Avoid processed meals and sugary drinks, as they provide little to no nutrition but empty calories.
Additionally, you must be mindful of your portion sizes and have three meals a day, along with healthy snacks. The recommended calorie intake for men over 50 is 2,000-2,200 per day if not active and 2,200 to 2,400 if active.
3. Move Your Body
Although your bed or couch may be extra inviting in your 50s, it’s essential to do some physical activity to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise helps keep muscles and bones strong, supports flexibility, reduces stress, promotes weight loss, lowers cholesterol levels, and contributes to overall well-being.
Aim for at least 30 – 40 minutes of exercise five days a week. Ensure you include activities targeting all the major muscle groups, such as walking, jogging, biking, swimming, strength training, and stretching. You can also try brain exercises that boost cognitive functions and maintain reasoning abilities as you age.
Remember, your exercises don’t have to be intense or vigorous. Find something that you enjoy and maintain consistency to reap its full benefits.
4. Make Sleep a Priority
Sleep is another vital component for optimal health, yet it is often overlooked in favor of other activities. Poor quality or lack of sleep is linked to an increased risk of physical and mental illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and anxiety.
Adults in their 50s need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to stay healthy and refreshed throughout the day. Aim for a consistent bedtime and waking up at the same time each day. Avoid stimulating activities such as surfing the Internet or watching TV before bed, as it can interfere with good sleep.
If you have difficulty falling or staying asleep, try breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation to help you relax and fall asleep faster. Additionally, ensure your bedroom is comfortable with minimal noise and light.
5. Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Smoking and alcohol are the two most significant risk factors for numerous health issues that can worsen as you age, from cancer and cardiovascular diseases to weakened bones and depression.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. If you can’t stop smoking completely, the least you can do is reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke daily.
As for alcohol, limit your drinking to no more than two drinks per day. Avoid mixtures of alcohol with energy drinks and other unsafe substances.
Besides, surrounding yourself with friends and family who practice healthy habits can help you stick to your goals and make healthier choices.
6. Enjoy an Active Social Life
It’s common for people in their 50s to feel lonely and isolated due to various changes in life, such as retirement or the loss of friends and family. However, getting out of the house and enjoying an active social life is essential for healthy living.
Join clubs, chat with neighbors, or go for walks with friends. Participating in activities that interest you, such as attending classes or joining a book club, can stimulate your mind and be a great way to meet and interact with other people.
Also, keep up with your loved ones by calling, texting, or visiting them regularly.
7. Follow Your Passion
Think about it: something must have been on your bucket list for years, but you have yet to try. Now that you have the time, make it a goal to do something that brings you joy and fulfillment. It can include anything from learning a new language or instrument to taking up a sport.
Follow your dreams and unleash your creativity – these activities can boost your mental health and help you rediscover yourself as you age.
When you’re in your 50s, you’ve seen almost everything in life, from hardships and sorrows to joy and success. You may also have developed unhealthy habits or neglected your health throughout these years that now need to change for a better, healthier future.
Practice healthy habits such as eating nutrition-rich food, exercising regularly, sleeping seven to nine hours each night, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, enjoying an active social life, and pursuing your passions.
You should also schedule regular checkups with your doctor to ensure you stay healthy and address any health concerns. These lifestyle changes can help you maintain good physical and mental health while giving you greater satisfaction and joy in life.