Fitness in Your Fifties – a Word to Women

The Fabulous Fifties

There are a lot of women facing this decade…the baby boom generation.  They are rolling into their fifties looking great, staying active and proving that aging is mind over matter.  If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!  For most women in this decade, their children are now adults too, some may even be parents.  If you have become a grandparent you have the luxury of enjoying the grandkids and then sending them home.  This is the time in your life that you can truly focus on you and things you want to do.  Often women this age step up to positions of leadership, such as political office, heads of corporations, or “queens” of volunteerism.  They are not afraid to speak their mind and understand the importance of caring for their body.  To be the best possible you throughout your 50s here is what you need to do:

Activity.  Exercise is no longer an option, but now a requirement.  It’s a time to choose exercise that will compliment and keep your body fit for the other activities you enjoy.  

Whether you ski or garden or ballroom dance or play in a softball league, you’re going to need to workout in order to keep doing these things.  Strength training should also be an important part of your exercise schedule.  You are at an age that bone density can quickly diminish, making you susceptible to fractures due to falls.  Working out with weights or weight machines can reverse this process and keep your bones strong.  By exercising you will not only look better, but you will feel better too.

Nutrition.  This is a time in your life that your metabolism will really slow down.  That means your weight can easily increase.  Exercise can make a difference, but what you eat is just as important.  Making healthy food choices can help you manage many of the side effects of menopause, like hot flashes and extra weight in the mid-section.  You’re going to be better off eating 4-6 smaller meals throughout the day, rather than 3 large ones.  By doing this you’ll keep your metabolism “fired up” and burning calories.  Common sense should reign…lean meats, poultry and fish…fresh fruits and veggies…whole grains.  If you gain weight at this age, you will find that losing it can be a difficult task.  Stay positive and set small goals and you can still be successful.  Alcohol and sweets are okay once-in-awhile, but don’t go overboard.  They can be the slippery slope to unwanted pounds.  Does this mean that you can’t enjoy life?  Of course not, just enjoy it in moderation.

Staying Healthy.  This can be a truly great time in your life.  Your stress from family and work has diminished and you can try out things that you’ve always dreamed of doing.  Be a role model for your kids.  Show them that being older doesn’t mean growing old.  Take that trip to Italy, go skydiving, and give snowboarding a try or anything else that will make life fun and fulfilling.  Stay connected with friends and family.  They will keep your heart healthy in ways that exercise can’t.  Regular exercise and healthy eating will give you energy and make you feel confident and beautiful.

Recommended Health Screenings for Women in their Fifties.  According to the National Center for Disease Control women between 50 and 60 need to continue be proactive in maintaining good health. 

  • A complete physical exam every year.  Be sure this includes a check of your blood pressure.
  • Have a Pap smear done every year.
  • Have your cholesterol checked every year.
  • If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, get tested for diabetes.
  • Have a mammogram every year starting at age 50.
  • Have a test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50.  Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you.
  • If osteoporosis runs in your family, have a bone density test in your late 50s.
  • Get a flu shot every year starting at age 50.
  • Have your vision tested every year, including a test for glaucoma.

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