February 22nd, 2012

Nine Steps to Health for Women Over 50

Healthy Women Over 50

Women Over 50 Stay Healthy

Women over 50need to start paying more attention to our health. Yes, I know we’re busy—I’m over 50, too, and I  have my own business!

But we also know that if we don’t take care of our health now, we won’t be able to do the things we want to do later. When I don’t want to exercise, I tell myself that every step I take now means another step I’ll be able to take when I’m 90!

With that in mind, here are 9 steps for health that I try to use every day. No, I’m not perfect, and I don’t expect you to be perfect, either. But every little bit helps!

  1. When we hit 50, our hormones start changing (if they haven’t already.) If you’re having trouble, be sure to have your physician test your hormone levels before prescribing anything. Taking the wrong hormones or taking too many (or too few) can be worse than doing nothing at all!
  2.  Women’s bone density can also start changing after 50, and not for the better. Start taking calcium supplements, and have your doctor test the level of Vitamin D in your system. Most Americans don’t have nearly enough Vitamin D for good health!
  3. Taking calcium and Vitamin D isn’t enough. You knew I was going to say this, but women over 50 need exercise, too. Find things that are fun for you, but also be sure to ask a personal trainer or your physician about weight-bearing exercises that are right for your body. Women need to do weight-bearing exercises to keep our bones strong.
  4. One of my favorite books on eating is called “Food Rules.” My favorite three rules are these: “Eat Food. Not too Much. Mostly Plants.” That’s pretty much everything I think women—or anyone for that matter—needs to know about healthy eating!
  5. OK, there’s one more thing you need to know about healthy eating. And that’s trying to eat organic when you can. I know people differ about this, but in my opinion when we hit 50, we should take the very best care of ourselves that we can. And that means minimizing the number of chemicals we put into our bodies!
  6. Keep your financial house in order. You can probably see how this relates to your health—financial problems lead to stress, for one thing. And it’s hard to take good care of our health when we’re trying to juggle bills!
  7. If you’re not doing this already, please consider taking time out every day to relax. You may want to meditate, or just look at something beautiful you enjoy, or take a bubble bath. Stress has lots of negative effects on our bodies, particularly when we get to 50 and beyond. Taking regular time to relax helps alleviate the effects of that stress and makes us less likely to get more stressed out later.
  8. Take time for your friends as well as for yourself. Though really, it’s the same thing. Study after study shows that people who have a solid network of friends stay healthier, longer.
  9. Remember something you’re passionate about, or something you really want to do, and give yourself permission to do it. Now that we’re over 50 we deserve to start putting our dreams first, and lives that have meaning in them actually keep people healthier!

Women over 50 are in a wonderful place in our lives. We’re winding up raising kids, we’re looking forward to our second lives, and we’re wondering what we want to do with ourselves after we retire. However, no matter what we want to do—we’ll have more fun with it, and be able to do it better, if we take care of our health first.

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