Women’s Health in Your 50s and Beyond

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,174
    Beth Battaglino Cahill, Executive Director of HealthyWomen shows us six tips for staying healthy and looking and feeling your best in your 50s.

    Beth Battaglino Cahill: Hi! I am Beth Battaglino Cahill, Executive Director of HealthyWomen. Now that you are in your 50s, you will likely experience many changes; not only in your personal life, but also in your body. Here are HealthyWomen's six tips for staying healthy and looking and feeling your best in your 50s.

    Keep your muscles strong. Dr. Pamela M. Peeke: It is very important after the age of 50 to get five essential elements of physical activity. The first one is strength. You need to stay strong and independent, because you have got another 50 years coming. The next element is cardio or aerobic activity. Get out there and build some endurance, and after that it's core work; the stronger the ab, the stronger the back. Keep that posture up and strong. Balance, after the age of 50, sometimes balance becomes a real issue. So stand on one leg, close your eyes, and see how long you could do that. That's an easy test. Flexibility is the next one. And that means that we dry up those tendinous insertions and it's hard now to bend over and touch those toes. You can keep this up easily if you just practice throughout the week. Beth Battaglino Cahill: Take up a new sport, whether it's one that was a childhood dream or something that caught your fancy as an adult. It can be just the boost you need in establishing a fun and effective exercise routine. Choose a new activity that's kind to your body, while giving you a good workout. Sports involving jumping, twisting, or pounding can be tough on your joints. Opt for kinder, gentler choices, like swimming, cross country skiing, rowing or crawling. Have some free time now that the kids are out of the house, why not try volunteering. While you are helping your community, the environment, or other worthy causes, you are also helping your own physical and mental health. In one study, people with chronic pain who volunteered as peer counselors found that their pain, disability, and feeling of depression all lessened from volunteering.

    Take care of your skin. Ever noticed how whatever is going on in your life seems to show up on your face? Stress can negatively effect your face and the rest of your body. But the opposite is also true. What you eat and how you live can lead to smoother, healthier skin. Know your numbers. Get regular checkups to make sure your blood pressure and cholesterol are in a healthy range. Dr. Pamela M. Peeke: And once you pass your menopause, it's very easy now for your cholesterol levels to increase, especially if you have any genetic vulnerability towards having high cholesterol levels. So be on red alert now. Make certain to pack that wonderful nutrition all day along with soluble fiber, get it in your oatmeal, your oatmeal bread. How about oat brand cereal? Dry beans throughout the day, peas and apples, bananas and citrus fruits, we get it everywhere. Beth Battaglino Cahill: This type of fiber binds to cholesterol in the digestive track and helps remove it from your body. Learn how to manage your menopause. Coping with menopause related changes can be challenging. For hot flashes, try dressing in light layers that can be taken off when a flash starts. Using a hand-held battery operated fan, and taking a tepid or cool shower before bedtime. So follow these tips to ensure you stay happy and healthy throughout your 50s and beyond.