Maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes more important than ever after 50. As your body ages, things like your immune system, metabolism, brain and hormones don’t work quite as well as they used to. Because of this, many people over 50 are more vulnerable to illness, debilitating injury, cognitive decline, obesity and other problems.
By staying fit and healthy, you can decrease your chances of illness and injury, boost hormone levels, improve metabolism and hold back the aging process. Studies have even shown that older people who have a healthy and active lifestyle live longer, more productive lives than those who do not. It doesn’t have to be hard. It’s very easy to incorporate little changes into your lifestyle that will benefit your health and well being.
Decrease Sugar Consumption
Sugar truly is one of man’s worst ideas ever. At face value, sugar seems innocent enough, but it is actually capable of causing great harm. Science has found that consuming sugar leads to problems such as insulin resistance, inflammation, high LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and fatty liver disease. Furthermore, it allows for a larger portion of consumed calories to be stored as body fat due to the increase in blood glucose. It even acts as food for cancerous cells and hinders the immune system’s ability to respond to threats.
Many women who are over 50 have heard of the supposed health benefits of soy for hormonal support, but evidence suggests that this could be bad advice. Soy is toxically high in estrogen and contains many other harmful substances. The main phytoestrogen in soy, known as genistein, was found to cause immune suppression by inhibiting the production of immune cells. It also causes shrinkage of the thymus gland, the place where these cells are manufactured. Consumption of soy is even associated with an increased risk of female cancers due to the tissues’ sensitivity to the hormone. Women over 50 are already at an increased risk for these types of cancer, so it’s best to avoid adding fuel to the fire.
Current medical standards recommend that everyone exercises for half an hour at least three to five days a week. If you’re too busy to take that big of a chunk out of your schedule, it’s simple to turn everyday activities into exercise. Use the stairs more, walk to nearby destinations or use household objects as weights. Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your hormones and metabolism up, as well as improving levels of the brain chemicals that fight depression and stress.
Gardening is great physical activity and can serve as a source of fresh, wholesome food. However, gardening also has other benefits. Because you’re out in the sun, you get a lot of vitamin D which helps your body absorb and utilize calcium. Furthermore, older people who have something to care for, such as plants, enjoy longer lives. This is thought to be the result of increased levels of oxytocin. Oxytocin is involved in feelings of intimacy and is also released during orgasm. The hormone has a profound anti-stress effect on the brain and body, keeping cortisol down and avoiding related health problems.
Many communities are in need of experienced, insightful volunteers for a variety of endeavors. Getting involved with your community is an excellent way to give back, but can also help you be healthy. For one thing, it serves as a source of meaningful social interaction. People who socialize more are less likely to suffer from heart disease. Another benefit is that it makes you feel empowered and independent. You’re playing an important role, are needed and have the ability to bring about change. You’ll find that this benefit carries over to your personal life, as well.
Eat Spicy Food
Spicy food has long been popular with various peoples around the world and for good reason. Spicy foods often use hot peppers for their heat. These peppers contain a chemical called capsaicin, which is responsible for the burn. However, this substance also fights inflammation, joint pain and allergy symptoms. When ingested, it also improved blood circulation to the extremities, which may be of particular benefit for people with diabetes. Hot peppers are an especially good source of vitamin C, making them ideal for skin and joint health.
Play Video Games
Video games have commonly been looked down upon as a waste of time, but emerging science has revealed that they may actually have a significant benefit to cognitive health. Different types of games exercise different areas of the brain. Some help with working memory, some improve executive skills and others will make it easier to remember where you put your keys. The types of games that caused improvement didn’t seem limited to any particular class. Games ranging from first person shooters to short in-browser time wasters were found to possess benefits.