17 Things You Should Start Doing at 50 to Feel Better at 80

Whatever you have planned for your later years, you want to be in good enough shape to enjoy it—both mentally and physically. While you may be in your fifties, neither your brain nor your body are too old to learn and appreciate new tricks. In this article, we’ll delve into 17 things you should start doing now in order to feel better as you get older.

Add More Fish to Your Diet

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Consuming omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in fish like salmon and tuna, boosts the brain’s function. Regular fish consumption is also linked to improved thinking skills and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. Just a single serving of fish weekly can have significant health benefits—so start looking up some new recipes!

Ward Off Type 2 Diabetes

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Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is crucial for your memory and problem-solving abilities. So, if you suffer from diabetes or have a high chance of developing it, learning to effectively manage it can positively impact your brain health. Regular health checks and lifestyle adjustments are key. According to the NIH, you can reduce your chances of Type 2 by losing weight, moving more, and eating more healthily.

Eat Walnuts

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Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for your brain health. Aside from simply being a tasty and healthy snack, regular consumption of walnuts can enhance your memory and cognitive flexibility. Other nuts, like almonds and hazelnuts, also offer cognitive benefits.

Tame Stress

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Managing stress is essential for maintaining mental focus and cognitive health. Negative reactions to stress can impact your brain function. As shared by the APA, “The long-term activation of the stress response system and the overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones that come with it can disrupt almost all of your body’s processes.” Adopting stress management techniques can improve cognitive performance.

Learn a New Skill

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Engaging in creative activities like painting or music enhances your memory and processing speed. Plus, learning new skills can bolster the brain’s defenses against aging and provide you with a hobby that brings you joy. It’s beneficial to start learning new things before turning 60, but it’s never too late.

Exercise Regularly

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Physical activity is vital for preventing dementia and cognitive decline. It’s recommended that you aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days. For those 50 and over, WebMD advises that “flexibility exercises help you stay limber so you can have a full range of movement and avoid injury. Balance training becomes important after age 50, so you can prevent falls and stay active.”

Improve Your Diet

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Adopting a Mediterranean-style diet can reduce the risk of dementia and other health issues. So, focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and fish. It’s also suggested that you limit your intake of meat, sugar, and processed foods. The occasional treat is okay, but moderation is key.

Get Quality Sleep

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Adequate sleep is crucial for your memory, emotions, and overall well-being. Try to create a calming environment and practice relaxation techniques for better sleep if you’re struggling to get a full night’s rest. You should address any sleep-related issues with your doctor.

Stop Smoking

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This may go without saying, but quitting smoking reduces the risk of a heart attack and promotes your overall health. The CDC says, “Quitting smoking is one of the most important actions people can take to improve their health. This is true regardless of their age or how long they have been smoking.” Replace your smoking cravings with fitness activities and consult a doctor for smoking-cessation programs and aids.

Challenge Your Brain

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Engaging in new tasks and learning enhances your brain function. So, try to make continuous learning a goal throughout your life. Cognitive challenges can be in the form of puzzles, new routes, or learning a language. Challenge yourself and see how much better you feel!

Maintain Bone Health

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If you aren’t already doing your best to maintain your bone health, now is the time to start. Bone density tends to decrease with age, so it’s not something to ignore. Try to incorporate calcium and vitamin D into your diet and engage in weight-bearing exercises to strengthen your bones.

Stay Hydrated

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According to Healthline, “Researchers say staying hydrated by drinking water throughout the day can improve healthy aging and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” So, drink water before, during, and after exercise. Hydration is key for your overall health and aids in physical activity. Even when you’re not exercising, maintaining hydration is essential.

Wear Appropriate Fitness Gear

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You may not be taking too much care when exercising, but you should start to do so. Use fitness clothes and shoes suited for whatever activity you’re doing. Proper gear can prevent injuries and enhance your performance. Invest in quality, comfortable fitness attire for regular workouts.

Regularly Consult Healthcare Providers

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Now more than ever, it’s important to discuss exercise plans and health conditions with your doctor. You’ll also want advice on how to tailor your fitness routine to accommodate any medical concerns. Regular check-ups and preventive care are important as you age.

Set Realistic Fitness Goals

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While we’ve been encouraging fitness throughout this article, it’s important to set realistic goals for yourself. Having specific, realistic fitness goals can boost your motivation. Goals should be personally meaningful and reviewed regularly. Plus, you can celebrate your progress and adapt goals as needed!

Keep Your Friendships Strong

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Growing old can be lonely, especially as your kids move out and start their own families. It’s now more important than ever to maintain your friendships and social circle. Make plans and keep in regular contact with those you care about. You’ll thank yourself for it when you reach your eighties!

Take Up Meditation

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As shared by Senior Lifestyle, “Meditation helps keep your mind relaxed and engaged, which enables you to age with grace.” This practice not only relaxes you but also makes you more self-aware, can reduce stress, can help you be more patient, and can lower your resting heart rate. Really, the benefits are endless!

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