First it’s important to realise that none of us are too old or too young to help ourselves to better health. Every day, whether we like it or not, we get that little bit older – ageing is inevitable. Although we have no control over our destined life span (the quantity of life) we do have control over the quality of our lives.
People are living longer today thanks to medical advances and a better standard of living. The 50 + age group are growing in number and there are more mature people over the statutory retirement age than ever before. Mature women are becoming more visible in society and thankfully I have observed, at last the image of age is changing for the better. Today many women of 50+ are independent, vibrant and have a zest for life. And many will have a third of life still in front of them, which they will be able to enjoy if they have maintained their good health.
Ageing and inactivity is not the same thing, and sitting around too much only using our brain instead of our brawn is causing many of today’s health problems. Heart disease, osteoporosis and stiffness in the joints are just some of the results. We mustn’t fall into the trap of disguising physical and mental problems as “just old age” because many of these problems are preventable. For example, one immediate way to avoid heart disease, lung cancer and osteoporosis (fragile bone disease) is to stop smoking. Nothing ages faces and skin more than smoking, it causes lines and discolouration. (As does too much sun.)
Men and women can help themselves to better health by leading a more active life. Take advantage of any opportunity to exercise, anytime, anywhere and by moving about more. Simply walking, cycling, swimming, gardening, or letting the dog take them for a walk is beneficial. It pays to take charge of your health because at the end of the day it’s your body and your life.
Everyone can make more of their health by eating a well balanced diet. Eat less fat and sugar, and more fresh foods, fruit and vegetables. Cut down on the amount of red meat by substituting it with chicken or fish. Eating too much of the wrong foods makes the skin, especially on the face, pallid and spotty. Fibre in the diet will improve the digestion, figure and face.
Exercise helps maintain mobility and therefore, physical independence as the years go by. At 50+ women with families who have grown and flown, or women nearing retirement, will have more time to enjoy life, especially if they have maintained good health. They have more time to travel, meet new friends, to experiment with ideas or hobbies and to be generally more active. Maybe it’s time to exercise the mind by returning to study, to qualify, to update, or perhaps make a career change? One things a must – it is definitely a time to finally conquer the all important Computer!