What do you think of when you hear the words “staying fit?” Running, while trying to ignore sore knees? Finding a spot at an overcrowded gym? Some of us continue to love the same exercise routines we did 20 or 30 years ago. Others need a refresh so we can continue to be inspired to feel our best.
What about nutrition? Do you nourish your body the same way you did decades ago? If so, you may be missing some important nutrients our more mature bodies need. Our wellness is deeply rooted in nutrition and exercise, but also much more. These six tips will help inspire new ways of caring for ourselves, body and soul, all while enjoying all the perks of life after 50.
1. Learn to Love Movement
Exercise doesn’t have to be a drudgery. In fact, when we find a practice we love, we are likely to do it more often. Maybe Zumba is your groove or Pilates; a spin class or tennis with a friend. Like to slip on headphones with your favorite music or podcast and walk? If you don’t really know what you like and need some fresh ideas, now is a great time to get creative! Bocce? Kayaking? Line dancing? You won’t know unless you try.
Studies show exercise improves cardiovascular health, increases and enhances muscle strength and bone density, fosters balance and stability, and maintains positive mood and sharp focus. It doesn’t stop there. Movement can also aid sleep and digestion. Do what you love, the perks of fitness will follow.
2. Know the Nutrients you Need
As we get older, our nutritional needs change. Attending to gut and brain health becomes increasingly important. When we plan ahead and have lots of time, it’s easier to make sure we are eating the foods we need – all the beautiful fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy oils, probiotics.
Perennial is a convenient and nourishing solution—100% plant based and crafted specifically to support the gut, brain, and body of people over 50. A delicious creamy drink available in smooth vanilla or rich chocolate flavor, it’s more like a mini-meal, packed with calcium, vitamins, protein, and dietary fiber. In fact, Perennial has fewer calories, more fiber, and significantly less sugar than other nutrient drinks. It’s easy to pack in a purse or glove compartment for nutrition on the go; or it’s the perfect mouthwatering base for your morning smoothie or afternoon snack.
3. Give Thanks
Sometimes the key to contentment is as easy as pausing to count our blessings. Studies demonstrate that keeping a gratitude journal guides our gaze to view life as a glass half full, focusing more on the positive and less on the negative. And, this simple act can measurably elevate our mood, our overall satisfaction, and even the quality of our sleep.
Some studies have found that people who kept gratitude journals prioritized fitness and visited the doctor less than those who did not keep a journal. Further studies revealed that in addition to the benefits we mentioned already, cardiac patients who kept a gratitude journal also experienced reduced cellular inflammation. The question isn’t why keep a journal, it’s why not?! It couldn’t be easier and has proved to boost spirits and wellbeing.
We all fall into a rut. Whether it’s the meals we eat, our hobbies, the places we visit. We don’t even realize we’re no longer choosing how we spend our days, our lives. Shaking up our routine can be incredibly energizing. What’s more, doing new things stimulates our brains, important always, but even more for those of us over 50.
Visit a different museum. Take a different route to work. Invite a new friend to lunch. Find a vegetable you’ve never sampled and research some fun new recipes. Ever been in a hot air balloon?
Those of us who are greater than 50 have nothing to prove to anyone but ourselves. It’s ok to reimagine who we are – to play and experiment! Never thought yourself an artist? Now could be the perfect time to try at a merlot and masterpiece class or throw pottery for the first time. A venue like Create! Color Art Studio has everything you need to try out both.
5. Find Your Balance
We mean this literally and figuratively. The demands of our lives change as we pass 50. Maybe you’ve retired or are working part-time. Perhaps you have more responsibilities caring for elderly parents or grandchildren. With an empty nest, maybe a move is in your future. Sometimes it can be hard to find balance in your new life.
Some practices like yoga or Pilates help us restore both physical and emotional balance. Try a class at your neighborhood community center or studio. Or, if you prefer the comfort of your own home and the convenience of your schedule, an online exercise program like BOLD or Glo may be the best option.6. Lean into Relaxation
We spend so much of our lives overscheduled: rushing from one commitment to the next. Sometimes that’s necessary, but often, it’s rooted in the idea that purpose is the same thing as being busy. Not so.
It’s time to settle into cozy, sweet relaxation – we’ve earned it! Is your idea of bliss settling in with a glass of chardonnay to watch the sunset? Playing the ukulele? Unplugging from devices and playing cards with a friend? Or maybe you have a favorite meditation app. Simply slowing down and relaxing reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, improves digestion and sleep, among a host of other benefits.
Grant yourself the gift of wellness. You deserve it. It’s as simple as attending to our nutritional, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs, and these six tips will have you well on your way.