Your fabulous fifties are here!
You may be finding you’re allowing more time for yourself and your relationships to find a balance between leisure and work. You may notice a few more routine GP checkups, screenings and blood tests – keeping these up and staying vigilant is important now more than ever!
Menopause may or may not have stepped into your life and as your estrogen and progesterone levels have lowered you may be experiencing interruptions in your sleep, hot flushes and moodiness. This is all a totally normal part of life.
Low levels of hormones affect bone density – now is the time to look after your bones by including a diet high in calcium and getting some sunshine. Keep up the weight-bearing exercises – yoga, pilates and walking are all excellent options.
From your fifties onwards, your stomach acids are on the decline – you may experience feelings of reflux, indigestion or heartburn which you’ve never had to contend with before.
Decreased acids can lead to malabsorption of dietary vitamins and minerals like vitamin B 12, calcium, iron and magnesium.
It is common for cholesterol and blood pressure levels to rise with age while your thyroid slows down.
While we have come a long way from once thinking that because eggs are high in cholesterol, we should limit our intake of them – there is still much unknown about controlling cholesterol levels.
We know there are good forms of cholesterol (HDL) and bad forms of cholesterol (LDL, VLDL) and that our liver has an important role in clearing excess cholesterol.
So naturally, this suggests keeping our liver in good check and making sure it has its calendar open to clear cholesterol (and isn’t constantly busy with caffeine, alcohol, processed foods detoxification) can help cholesterol levels. Like we mentioned before, brassica vegetables are also a great help in supporting the liver.
Once cholesterol is packaged into bile fibre in the gut helps clear it from the body. If there isn’t enough fibre to help pass it through, some of it can be reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. Increasing your fibre intake can help your gut clear excess cholesterol and minimise this reabsorption from happening. Increasing water intake is important when increasing your fibre intake – or else it can backfire with uncomfortable constipation!
Exercise doesn’t stop with age, if anything it is just (if not more!) important. Poor posture may begin to show – along with its unwelcome guests. Achy necks, lower back pain and niggly shoulders are starting to appear. Thankfully, posture correcting exercises and yoga can help you get back to fighting shape!
Find a qualified physio, personal trainer or osteopath to help give you a simple, daily routine. Staying consistent is the key to unleashing its benefits. The great news is – many of these exercises don’t require any equipment and can be done in the comfort of your own home while you are watching TV in the evening.
If we are to single out areas of the body to focus on – your back and core strength is especially important at your age. Both are central to keeping you tall and upright, if they are weak it puts you at risk of back and neck pain which can be harder to undo once already settled in.
Remember, prevention beats cure!