How To Stay Healthy When You’re Over 50

Couple over 50 staying fit and healthy

Let’s face it: When you age—some things aren’t quite as easy as they used to be. While slowing down is inevitable, you can still maintain good health when you’re over 50.

Yes, your joints moving in a slightly creaky fashion, creeping blood pressure, and slightly slower cognitive functions are normal when you get a little older. But there are things you can do to elevate your energy levels, boost your wellbeing, and slow the clock on a range of potential ailments.

With a few lifestyle tweaks, leading a happy, healthy lifestyle is easier (and far more fun) than you might think.

So, if staying healthy in your 50s, and beyond (the Smart way), is high on your priority list—read on.

Why does your health dip when you’re over 50?

Aside from the obvious notion that as you age, your brain and body become less resilient, there are some biological factors that explain why keeping in good health is harder if you’re over 50.

SmartFact: Three of the most common health challenges people over 50 face (1) are high blood pressure (hypertension), osteoporosis, and heart disease.

When you reach 50 years old, your body and its various systems have seen a lot of action. As such, your skin, muscles, bones, brain, and organs will have to work harder to function. The more you age, the less efficient your cells are at regenerating—causing the ageing process to take hold.

At 50 or over, here are some of the slightly more specific health-related issues that are likely to emerge from the biological woodwork…

  • Eyesight: As you age, your eye lenses become less pliable and can become cloudy. As a result, your eyesight can start to decline, and in some cases, you can end up suffering from cataracts.
  • Joints: When you get older, your joints will become less supple due to many years of wear and tear. In turn, osteoarthritis can rear its head. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle or you’re overweight, your chances of developing osteoarthritis will increase.
  • Muscles: After the age of 30, you start to lose muscle mass at a rate of 3 to 5% (2) every decade. And the rate at which you shed mass accelerates once you reach 50, changing your body composition while reducing your overall strength.
  • Heart: A build-up of plaque due to decades of poor lifestyle habits can result in coronary issues as you age. When you reach 50, your blood vessels become slightly more rigid, affecting blood flow. This, in turn, can result in high blood pressure.

It’s also worth noting that we start to become a little less resilient—cognitively speaking—from the age of 40. But by managing your stress levels and challenging your brain frequently, you can stay sharp! Nootropics help, too…

SmartTip: Check out our essential guide to nootropics to discover all you need to know about these most powerful of brain-boosting supplements.
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How to stay healthy when you’re 50 or over: Our smart tips

While you can’t stop the ageing process, the good news is that there are lifestyle changes you can make to remain in good health into your 50s—and beyond.

Staying healthy is all about finding balance, forming good habits, and, most importantly—enjoying life.

Here are some hacks and hints to staying healthy in your 50s the Smart way.

1. Fuel yourself well

Along with sleep, your diet is one of the most important factors in your long-term health and wellbeing. 

So, if you fuel yourself well—you’ll not only reduce your chances of getting certain gripes or ailments—but you’ll also feel more energised.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a treat or a tipple on occasion, but staying healthy as you age and aiming for a balanced diet are the aims of the game.

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To feel good and keep your health in the green, you should eat a diet that consists mainly of healthy whole foods—while getting your fill of your essential macronutrients, which are…

  • Lean proteins: These will help you repair and maintain your muscles while keeping you strong and supple. Aim to get at least 75 to 80 grams of quality protein per day.
  • Carbs: Healthy sources of carbohydrates will support your body’s most vital functions while giving you the energy you need to stay active and get stuff done. Aim for around 130 grams of carbs from healthy whole food sources a day.
  • Healthy fats: When you’re on a health kick, ‘fats’ can sound like a dirty word—but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Healthy fats sources like avocado, nuts, seeds, and oily fish actually help to protect your organs, regenerate your cells, and absorb essential nutrients like vitamins D, A, and E.
SmartTip: Read our guide to essential muscle-building foods for tips, tricks, and advice to help you improve your diet and fuel well.

2. Boost your gut health

SmartFact: There’s a strong link between your gut and your brain (3). 

When your digestive health dwindles, your wellbeing can suffer. So, being the guardian of your gut will help you stay healthy as you age.

Boosting your gut health will help you keep potentially chronic digestive issues at bay while tackling a mix of health issues, including…

  • Poor heart health
  • A weakened immune system
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Bloating
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Weight gain or fluctuating weight

To keep on top of your gut health and stay vital in your older age, moderating your alcohol consumption and getting your fill of healthy probiotic-rich foods or supplements is the way forward. Look after your gut, and it will look after you.

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SmartTip: Check out ‘What are probiotics? A beginner’s guide to gut health for a deeper dive into creating a happier microbiome (or ‘gut brain’, as it’s also known).

3. Look after your mind

Earlier, we touched on the importance of keeping your mind sharp as you age. When you reach 50, your brain health can start to dwindle slowly—with multitasking, holding information, and finding words become a greater challenge.

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But, the good news is: there are ways you can keep your mind sharp and preserve your cognitive health as you age.

Here are some brain-boosting tips for your browsing pleasure…

  • Exercise regularly to stay motivated and maintain a healthy blood pressure
  • Eat a diet that consists of healthy wholefoods as well as oily fish and plenty of fruit and veg
  • Improve your sleep hygiene and aim to keep at least seven hours of quality slumber every night
  • Challenge your mind with board games, problem-solving tasks, crossword puzzles, and Sudoku
  • Learn a new skill or try a new hobby that will engage your mind, and you’re likely to enjoy long-term
SmartTip: Explore our Smart Guide to understanding brain health and sharpening your mind for insider advice on maintaining your cognitive health as you age.

4. Find your ‘feel good’

This is often overlooked and underrated, but ‘finding your feelgood’ as you age will result in happy, healthy living.

So, what do we mean by ‘find your feelgood’, exactly? Well, we mean finding healthy activities and pursuits that give you a physical and mental boost. The kinds of things that you can weave into your weekly routine and will elevate your wellbeing.

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Here are some ideas for your inspiration…

  • Engage in regular physical activity or exercise. This can come in the form of strength training (building muscle is great for your health as you age), cardio, brisk walks, hikes, dance classes, jogging, swimming, yoga, pilates, workout videos…whatever makes you feel good
  • Join a local group or club that’s relevant to your hobbies or interests to challenge your mind and tap into the power of community
  • Volunteer at local community drives or charity events to keep your mind and body active while releasing wellbeing-boosting endorphins
  • Set aside time for yourself—even 20 minutes a day doing something that elevates your mind and body will make a colossal difference to your health as you get older
SmartTip: Decide on three things that will make you feel good. Look at your weekly routine with a fine tooth comb and find pockets of time where you can weave these new activities into the mix.

5. Stick with supplements

Last but certainly not least, we have supplements. Whether you’re looking to elevate your mind, boost your athletic performance, or fill in any nutritional and avoid issues like vitamin D deficiency—sticking with the right supplements will keep your health in the green as you age.

In addition to talking through any potential health problems or concerns with a doctor, you should set yourself specific wellness goals. Doing so will help you understand which supplements are likely to boost your health and keep you vital as you get older.

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The take-home here? Stick with supplements (alongside plenty of positive movement and a balanced diet) to stay strong in your body and mind.

SmartTip: Check out our insider advice and Smart tips on using the right supplements to boost your daily energy levels.

Boost your wellbeing and get active with Smart Protein

As you can see, there are a host of positive steps you can take to stay healthy over 50. 

By fostering these healthy lifestyle habits and weaving them into your routine, you’ll soon discover that making an effort to improve your well-being as you get older is fun, rewarding—or both.

To discover which supplements and products will elevate your health and wellness efforts, take our quick-fire quiz. It takes minutes, and we’ll send you personalised product recommendations based on your specific goals or needs. 

Go for it—we’re with you every step of the way.

Sources

Smart Protein is committed to sourcing only the best and scientifically-based research in our articles.

1. WebMD

https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/ss/slideshow-health-problems-after-50

2. NCBI

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2804956/#:~:text=Muscle%20mass%20decreases%20approximately%203,60%20%5B4%2C5%5D

3. Bupa 

3.https://www.bupa.co.uk/newsroom/ourviews/can-gut-health-affect-mental-health#:~:text=There%20is%20a%20link%20between,your%20tummy%2C%20or%20experience%20diarrhoea

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