Healthy Tips for Eating & Living Well After 50
1. Eat Healthy Fats
You already know that saturated fats are bad for your arteries and heart health. But they may also harm your concentration and memory. So cut down on the red meat, butter, and other such foods. Instead, add more fatty fish and fats from plants, like flaxseed and nuts. These healthy fats may have extra benefits for your heart and your brain.
2. Fill Your Empty Nest
If your kids have moved out and your home feels empty, think about adopting a pet. People with cats and dogs seem to have lower cholesterol and less risk of heart disease. They also need fewer doctors' visits. We don't know why exactly pets seem to help. But at the very least, having a dog that needs walks is a great way to build in daily exercise.
3. Protect Your Joints
Getting older doesn't mean giving up your morning run. People used to think running would wreck their knees. But new research suggests it might strengthen them. And it doesn't seem to raise your risk of arthritis. That said, if you have arthritis or damaged joints, running could be too much. But you can still benefit from exercise. Low-impact activities like walking or biking can help strengthen muscles, support joints, and lessen pain.
4. Rediscover Sex
As you get older, your sex life changes -- and there can be real benefits. You're more confident. You've been having sex for a while. You're so much betterat it than you were when you were 22. Getting older can free you from hang-ups and constraints, especially if your kids have moved out and you have the house to yourself again.
5. Keep Learning
Surprise yourself. Instead of sticking with what's familiar and comfortable, tackle something new. Go to out-of-the-ordinary places. Make new friends. Learn a musical instrument or a language. New experiences will build new pathways in your brain, keeping your mind healthy as you age. They'll also expand your options for finding excitement and happiness.
6. Cut Sodium
Is your blood pressure higher than it used to be? That's not unusual. It tends to rise as we get older. Since sodium can drive your readings up, cut down on salt in your diet. The worst sources are premade and packaged foods. Bread and rolls can also have a lot of salt. Want a natural remedy? Eat a banana -- the potassium will lessen the effect of sodium in your diet and may lower your
7. Slash Your Alzheimer's Risk
Want to keep your mind sharp as you get older? Get moving. Regular exercise in middle age can lower your odds of having memory and thinking problems when you're older by almost half. Exercise boosts blood flow to your brain and helps new cells grow there. Just 30 minutes of walking, biking, or even gardening 5 days a week can make a difference.
8 Stay on Balance
Having good balance is one of the best ways to prevent a fall -- and potentially serious injuries. Make these exercises part of your day. Stand on one foot or walk heel-to-toe -- as if you were walking on a beam. The gentle, dance-like movements of tai chi are another helpful option. Older people who stick with tai chi for 6 months can cut their risk of a fall in half.
9. Build Strength
Aerobic exercise is important, but don't forget to build your muscles, too. One study on regular strength training in seniors found that it caused genetic changes in cells. The result: Older folks' muscles became more like those of people in their 20s.
10. Get Social
Spend more time with friends or family. It can help keep your mind keen. Social people have sharper thinking and they're much less likely to have memory problems as they age. Or try volunteering. It's linked with a lower risk of heart disease and a longer life. Don't wait until you retire to start. Studies show that the earlier you begin, the less likely you are to have health problems later.