Many of us dread our birthdays when it comes to turning 50.
Along with the little specks of grey, the odd wrinkle, and new creaks and aches it can feel like the end is nigh.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it is definitely not the end.
Actually, it is a beginning and probably the best beginning you’ll ever have.
What you do now though will make a difference to the enjoyment of your life in the years to come.
It’s winter and there is always the temptation to cover up and snuggle down which is good for your mental health but not quite so good for your body.
So, if you want to get into the best shape of your life then try these top tips.
Assess where you are physically and mentally. Is it a while since you did any exercise, or have you never done any really?
You need to be honest because the one thing that can bring you undone after 50 is going too hard too fast.
Once you have been honest about where you are, and decided where you want to be. Be realistic set a long-term goal, a medium-term one, and then some short weekly goals to keep you motivated.
- Make sure you move every day, even aiming for the 10,000 steps a day will make a difference. Get an activity monitor to keep you aiming for a daily target.
- Pump iron or do some kind of body weight exercising twice a week.
- Twice a week make yourself puff for short bursts in your workout, be that walking, running or cycling. Better still do a 20-minute High Intensity Workout at home before you start your day.
- Try some workout classes either at a gym or on a DVD or internet. The music and camaraderie will make it feel less like exercise and more like time out.
Take a close look at what you are eating. If you eat mindlessly then you might want to write it down for a week or so to see exactly what when and where you are eating. By this stage in our lives we have often built some good habits but also some very bad ones.
Simple guide for eating in winter:
- Eat more fruit and vegetables, frozen fruit and vegetables have been proven to be as good for you as some of the supposed fresh food in the supermarket. If you eat more of them than anything else, you will notice an almost instant increase in your energy levels.
- Drink as much water as you did in the summer. Have a jug or a bottle on your desk or in the fridge. You can also drink herbal tea as a substitute. Put some in a thermos and sip away through the day.
- Add some fat to your diet. The number one reason that women over 50 have dry skin, nails and hair is the lack of fat in their diets. Unfortunately, all those years of calorie counting and restriction has made us see fat as the enemy. You need good fat at this age add avocado, olive oil and nuts to your diet every day and notice the difference.
Take stock of where you are at mentally as well. Are you happy? If not what are you going to do about it. Life is for living not for waiting.
Think about what makes you happy and do more of that
- Get out into nature whatever that means for you. Walk on the beach, under the trees in the park, or even the zoo.
- Meditate to find a quiet place in your mind to rest. Life can sometimes be even more busy now with family commitments and for some of us work as well. Being calm even for 5 minutes a day has lots of benefits for your wellbeing. Why not try out a meditation app on your phone they are really brilliant and many of them are free.
- Now is the time to address that long standing mental health issue that you have been burying your whole life. You don’t want something in your past to ruin what will be the best part of your life.
Lastly, one of the best ways I find to motivate myself is to buy some new workout gear.
New sneakers, socks even a new water bottle can really put a smile on your face.
Oh, and don’t buy black. I know we are told it covers up your body and makes you look slimmer but it really isn’t true.
Love your body and what it can do for you no matter what your shape, and dress it up in your favourite colours.
After all, not everyone makes it this far.
About the author:
Jennifer has a Masters of Science, is an accomplished international speaker, researcher, certified wellness coach and the author of Fit Fab and Fifty +, your guide to living actively for the rest of your life.