Turning 50 can be full of some of your happiest times. Aging anxieties aside, it’s been shown that all your cumulative years of experience have women over 50 feeling more at-ease and happier overall. You understand that the bad times are going to pass, as will the good times, so you see that savoring each moment becomes even more important. Still, as with any transition, making your way into and through your 50s will call for some measures for preparation and prevention that will help you continue to live your best life.
Ask Your Doctor Important Questions
What Supplements Do I Need?
Your doctor may recommend any or all of the following: Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, omega-3s.
Is My Heart in Good Shape?
It’s important to be aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in their 40s through their 60s. If you are Turning 50, Heart attacks are usually a result of high blood pressure, so have it checked regularly. Your doctor should also evaluate your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and bad habits like smoking can certainly affect the condition of your heart as you age, and you should begin implementing changes soon.
What’s Causing My Weight Gain?
Weight gain is common as we age because our metabolism slows down 5% each decade after we turn 40. Estrogen levels also begin to drop. But even a slower metabolic rate doesn’t mean you have to gain weight. Continue to stay active, gradually reduce calories, and eat more nutrient-dense foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and fish.
What Does Menopause Mean for Me?
Talk with your doctor about understanding the signs of menopause, what to expect when it occurs, and what your options are for staying healthy and active.
How Often Should I Get Health Screenings?
If you are Turning 50, Schedule annual screenings with your doctor. Add mammograms to the list of things to cover at your appointments, as well as screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Colorectal cancer screenings such as colonoscopies and fecal occult blood tests may also be in order. Take this checklist with you to make sure that you and your doctor go over everything that you may be experiencing.
Anticipate Upcoming Changes With Turning 50
One of the best things you can do for yourself during the natural process of aging is to know what to expect. When you understand what changes will be occurring in your body and life, you can be prepared to take them all in stride.
The Digestive Process May Change
The stomach empties more slowly as we age, which increases the chances of reflux. Digested material moves more slowly through the large intestine, possibly leading to constipation. An easy fix is to include plenty of fiber and water in your diet every day. Fiber also prevents colon polyps, through which cancer can also pose a danger. You may also find it helpful to take probiotics to help digest lactose.
While Turning 50 – The Skin Thins Over Time
Due to the lower levels of estrogen your body is producing, your skin will likely be drier, though your chances of experiencing breakouts are significantly less. Utilize skin products with antioxidants and glycolic acid to aid in skin thickening and increase collagen production. Look for age spots and skin tags, which can be removed by a dermatologist by freezing, snipping, or cauterizing.
You may need glasses when Turning 50, but don’t stress- more than 150 million Americans wear glasses or contact lenses every day. With age, the lenses in your eyes stiffen, making it harder to focus close-up. You may find that you have become sensitive to glare, your night vision has decreased, and you are seeing with less clarity. Dry-eye becomes more common with age, as well. Look for medications like Restasis, and consume foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon.
Bones, Joints, and Muscles Ache
If you’ve been active most of your life, your bones, joints, and muscles are likely to still be in pretty good shape in your 50s. Aging and inactivity can lead to the achiness of joints because of wearing down cartilage and weaker muscles. The remedy is to maintain a healthy weight and to implement strength training into your exercise routine. Regular physical activity may also prevent osteoporosis.
Improve Quality of Life in This Decade
Though your body is experiencing a variety of changes through Turning 50, there are many things that you can still do to offset their impact, if you choose. It is never too late to start, to make better choices, and to improve quality of life for yourself.
Keep Your Heart Strong
The heart’s walls are getting thicker and its valves stiffen with age. If you’re still breathing, it’s not too late to improve your cardiovascular strength and endurance. Swim, bike, walk, or run. It’s important to just get moving. Look for the first signs of heart disease and get regular blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar checks.
According to AARP, 74 percent of men and 70 percent of women say that their sex lives are better now than they were at age 40. Though there is a decrease of estrogen and progesterone occurring in women and lower levels of testosterone in men, those factors are still less likely to affect your sex life than will a bad habit like smoking or a sedentary lifestyle.
Read Also: Life Changes You Should Make After 40
Nip those in the budin order to have your best and fullest experiences. Be aware that rates of erectile dysfunction also increase with age. Many men experience symptoms in their 50s, though a Mediterranean diet full of fish, nuts, vegetables, and olive oil has been shown to help. Vaginal dryness may also increase with age, but you may find that lubricants, creams and tablets can help.
Boost Your Immunity
As you age, your immune system becomes less sensitive. This can be a positive thing, in that you may find that any allergies you have gradually become less severe. However, a less reactive immune system can also make you more likely to get sick. Combat illness by maintaining a healthy weight, eating well, exercising regularly. Boost the effectiveness of your response to the flu and pneumonia vaccines by getting enough sleep, when you will produce more antibodies.
Sleep Through the Night
A generally healthy person’s urological system continues to work about as well as it did at younger ages. When you are turning 50, you can start decreasing your intake of fluids after 6PM in order to avoid frequent middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom. Stress incontinence plagues about a third of women over 50, and is due to lower estrogen levels. Medications and Kegel exercises can be implemented to strengthen the muscles around the uterus, bladder, and rectum.
Keep Your Memory Sharp When Turning 50
Mild forgetfulness is common with age, as the transmission of nerve impulses between cells slows down slightly. However, new brain cell growth continues into your 50s and 60s, so your capacity to learn new things is still strong. Regular exercise can promote a bigger hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that is responsible for memory and learning, and helps keep the mind sharp. Engage in regular intellectual stimulation and maintain an active social life.
While turning 50, you will experience undeniable changes and shifts in your physical and mental health. Everyone ages differently, and lifestyle plays a major role in the impact of this natural process, but remember that aging is just that: natural. It happens to everyone, and each new period should be embraced for all it has to offer. Be aware, be prepared, and enjoy the journey