In an era when age 60 is fast becoming the youth of old age, clocking 50 years old is no longer a big deal. For one, at 50, you are still very much engaged in whatever kind of job or business you are doing; and you may not necessarily be thinking of retiring now, except if you had hit gold in your 30s.Yet, age 50 also marks the beginning of the second leg of the journey into old age. As such, the next decades are very critical and must be managed well if you must enjoy the rest of your years on earth.
Many people treated their first three decades with levity: they partied hard, drank like fish, smoked, and frolicked with the opposite sex as if the next day didn’t exist. However, if you were lucky to escape the consequences of what psychologists refer to as “youthful exuberance,” now is the time to make “restitution” by opting for healthy choices in all areas of life — from dietary habits to working out and being deliberately good to your body.
To make the remaining decades of your life graceful, consider doing the following:
Get round mid-life crisis
At about age 50, the tendency is for a mid - life crisis to set in. After the euphoria with which you greeted your 40th birthday, you now face the stark fact that, indeed, old age has come to stay and you need to confront it, headlong. Psychologists also advise that in order to stave off a mid - life crisis at this point in your life, you must learn to adapt to your strengths and weaknesses and value life more. Scientists advise you to make sure you're caring for yourself, too — in addition to caring for your children, spouse and, most likely, your ageing parents, do get enough rest, eat healthy and link up with friends.
Combat low Vitamin B12
If you're feeling lethargic, forgetful, or depressed, too little vitamin B12 may be to blame, experts say. Nutritionists say if you're older, you're more at risk for the B12 blues because you may not have enough stomach acid to release B12 from food. Yet, Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to nerve damage, numbness in hands and feet, tingling (pins and needles) in hands and feet, weakness in legs, pale skin, poor memory, and poor muscle coordination. So, now that you are 50 or older, try B12-fortified foods or a supplement which your body may absorb better. Also, eat Vitamin B12-rich foods such as liver (best source), beef/mutton, chicken, pork/ham, fish, whole egg; and dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt.
Tackle changes in sex drive
Physicians say that as men age, their bodies produce less of the important sex hormone testosterone. Low testosterone levels can cause depression, as well as erectile dysfunction in men. This means that such men may have trouble getting or keeping an erection, a situation that may lead to a decreased interest in sex. Such changes in your sex life may lead to depression. The solution is to find new ways to be romantic or sexual. You may also get sexual counselling for the erectile disorder or get medical treatment if need be.
Treat thyroid disorders
Depression is very common as you ruminate about the implications of an advancing age, especially when weighed against the fact that you may not have achieved certain lifelong dreams.
Experts have, however warned that depression may also be one symptom of an underactive or occasionally overactive thyroid. In the case of overactive thyroid, it could be accompanied by heart flutters, tremors, or fatigue. An underactive thyroid can cause constipation or fatigue. Constant constipation, by the way, can contribute to developing colon cancer. The solution is to see your doctor, especially if a close relative has thyroid disease.
Perimenopause and menopause
By the time the average woman is 50, she begins to experience hormone fluctuations, hot flashes, and life changes related to perimenopause and menopause. All these can make your mood to plummet.
Seeing your doctor for counselling and getting him to explain what to expect and how to make adjustments for this important milestone is important. This will help you demystify all the myths surrounding menopause, while it will also help you to make healthy choices that will boost your psychological and mental well-being.
Ditch poor sleep
Doctors warn that as we age, insomnia and other sleep disruptions become common. When this happens, you’re at higher risk of developing mood changes. Again, the solution is to talk to your doctor about possible reasons for your sleep problems and get treatment for them. Moreover, you must learn good sleep hygiene habits, such as regular bedtime hours. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine, all of which may interfere with sleep.
Care for your heart
Scientists say that every year that you age, your heart shrinks and its ability to pump blood through your body decreases by up to five percent. To help your heart to perform optimally then, experts from The Cleveland Clinic and the American Dietetic Association have put together a list of the “best of the best” heart-healthy foods. All these are top-performers in protecting your heart and blood vessels. They include salmon, which supplies omega-3 fatty acids; oatmeal, black or kidney beans, almonds, walnuts, red wine, tuna, tofu, brown rice, soya milk, carrots, spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, red bell peppers, asparagus, oranges, tomatoes, cantaloupe, pawpaw, dark chocolates and various types of teas, among others.
Don’t give in to depression. This is a good advice for both men and women, because your emotional health is as important as your physical health. Talk to your health care team about being screened for depression, especially if during the last two weeks you felt down, sad, hopeless or you have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things.
Last Updated: 13-Jul-2017 10:09 AM
Copyright 2014 Fidson Healthcare Plc