How do you define “old”? Reaching a certain physical age does not mean you’re old, and growing old certainly does not mean you’re useless. Unfortunately, in our culture we get many signals that reinforce messages that aging is bad, and many middle-aged adults think this way.
Most middle-aged adults need to pay more attention to their health than they did when they were younger. Research shows that most diseases that afflict women in their 50s involve health factors you have some control over, along with nutritional deficits. To promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce your risk of disease, make sure you are doing basic preventive care focusing on stabilizing your blood pressure, controlling your cholesterol levels and getting periodic diabetes screenings.
Regular exercise in women over 50 years old helps to decrease menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disorders and joint pain. Regular exercise also reduces the risk for cardiac illnesses, helps prevent osteoporosis and diabetes, and aids in weight control and maintenance.
Here are some health and fitness tips for women over 50:
Exercise. According to Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise, daily exercise by women over 50 helps the body function better. Active exercise helps to avoid or delay the natural process of the body’s systems becoming more inefficient as you age. An ideal fitness program for women over 50 should include aerobic, strength and stretching exercise routines.
Keep Moving. According to research, there are many health benefits women realize from moving regularly, and a growing body of research shows the serious health implications of being sedentary, including complications such as diabetes. At a minimum, you should be able to conduct your daily living activities easily and pain-free. Something as simple as taking a few extra steps each day can help reduce the risk of illness, and you can easily track your steps using a pedometer.
Increase Calcium Intake. It is common knowledge that calcium is a significant factor in the growth and development of the bones. Research shows that women over 50 years of age are prone to osteoporosis, a condition where there is a deficient level of calcium in the body, making the bones porous and weak. This can lead to an overall degradation of the skeletal system, including broken bones that can result in hospitalization and serious complications. To help prevent osteoporosis, increase your calcium intake, which can promote bone formation and help strengthen your bones.
Increase Fiber Intake. Fiber-rich foods in your diet provide a feeling of fullness and can help prevent you from eating too much, which can help avoid weight gain and facilitate weight loss. According to research, the onset of obesity is common at 50 and beyond. Being overweight poses myriad health threats, especially to women. Complications related to obesity include diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis and hypertension. Fiber can also help to reduce cholesterol levels, and studies have shown that consuming at least 10 grams of fiber a day decreases the risk of having heart problems.
Count Calories. As we age, every system in the body works less efficiently, and this can have an impact on the energy levels of women over 50 years of age. One significant issue of women at this age is not paying attention to their daily food intake. Many of us have the tendency to eat whatever food we feel like eating, and without paying attention to what we consume can lead to over-eating and weight gain. Research says that active women above 50 should limit their calorie intake to 1,900 kcal per day. This general guideline is designed to provide just enough calories to maintain a high energy level throughout the day.