Food, Fitness & Health: Live Your Healthiest Life in Your 50s

Life does not stop at 50 and neither should caring about your health and wellness. While hitting your 50s can mean you're quicker to feel the wear and tear on your body, that doesn't mean it's all over. Prioritizing your health and wellness is the ticket to enjoying agility and youthfulness as you age.

We believe that you can feel youthful at any age by taking a holistic approach to your overall well-being. That’s why we created a guide for 50-somethings to managing your diet, exercise, and health so you can experience this decade with joy, exuberance, and above all else, good health!

Don't let vitamin or mineral deficiencies get the better of you

As you grow older, you're more likely to develop deficiencies in vitamin B12, vitamin D, and calcium.

Because so few foods are rich in vitamin D and because it is difficult to take advantage of the sunlight during Canadian summers, older adults often struggle to meet the daily vitamin D recommendations.

We also become less proficient at absorbing vitamin B12 as we age, but it is integral to healthy nerve signaling and red blood cell production, so it is important to find other ways to get the necessary amounts.

Calcium becomes incredibly important as we age as well—it is needed to keep bones strong but Canadian adults are not getting enough each day . Especially with the rise of dairy alternatives, it is important to find a way to bring calcium into your diet.

If you are worried you aren’t getting enough of these vitamins and minerals, consult a doctor or dietician.

Here are 5 more nutrition tips to help you during your 50th decade of life:

Fight muscle mass and tone with strength training

It’s important to keep physically active at every age, and your 50s are no different. Canada’s 24-Hour Movement Guidelines recommend that adults in their 50s:

  • Perform a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activities.
  •  Perform muscle-strengthening activities using major muscle groups at least twice a week.
  • Incorporate several hours of light physical activities (including standing) into the week.
  • Limit sedentary time to 8 hours or less and break up long periods of sitting often.

Consider adding stretches for your chest and lats, as well as balance, core strengthening exercises, and some weight training sessions to combat the loss of muscle mass as you age. And remember to give yourself ample time to recover between high-impact activities like running.

Staying active can add years to your life. A combination of cardio, strength, and balance training can help maintain muscle tone and make everyday tasks easier. Plus, with regular exercise, you'll likely have more energy and confidence, and cope better with the daily stresses of life.

Keep an eye on your risk profile with preventive screenings

The best way to keep tabs on your health is to ensure you are going to your doctor regularly and attending all of the necessary preventative screenings for your age.

Recommended screening Frequency Top health tip

Pap test (women only)

Once every three years

For women: Breast cancer screening means checking your breasts for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease. Many expert organizations recommend that if you are 50 to 74 years old and are at average risk for breast cancer, you should get a mammogram every two years.

For men: To screen for prostate cancer, you should get a baseline rectal exam and PSA blood test at age 50. Then, if you are at high risk, you should get a PSA and rectal exam every year thereafter.

Dental check-up

Every 6 months

Eye exam

Once every 2-3 years, including glaucoma screening

Flu vaccination

Once a year
Mammogram  (women only) Once every 2-3 years

Prostate exam (men only)

Speak to your doctor about your risk factors to determine when you should be tested.

Colorectal cancer screening

Every 2 years

Pneumococcal vaccination

One dose after you turn 65

Shingles vaccination

One 2-dose series after you turn 50

Looking for more information on preventative screenings? Speak to your doctor or visit the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care website to answer any questions you may have.

 

Please always check with a medical professional to ensure these strategies are right for you.

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