The focus of my business is good nutrition and healthy lifestyles, important as a young woman, and even more critical as we age. Youth gives us a sense of invincibility and adventure. We feel indestructible. But as a woman in her 50’s, I know that our health catches up with us. It is a natural process that our bodies undergo. Our bones, skin, hair, eyes, and mind are not as strong or sharp as they used to be. However, this process can be slowed and sometimes even reversed. It all comes down to nutrition, lifestyle, and mindset.
We have all experienced it at one time or another-class reunion, family gathering, or business function, the toll of time and neglect can have on a person’s health and appearance. All of us have a choice in what we eat and how we stay active. It is unacceptable if we stop enjoying the activities we love to do. Not to fear ladies, here are some simple strategies you can do today for a more fabulous tomorrow!
MAINTAIN STRONG BONES & MUSCLES…As we age, our bones lose calcium and other valuable minerals, which causes bone mass and density to decrease. This makes us more susceptible to fractures, and longer healing times, especially after menopause. In our thirties, bone mass is at its peak. Each year after 50, women lose approximately .5% of bone. During this life stage, our muscle mass also starts to weaken, contributing to fatigue, weakness, lower endurance and affecting balance.
Secret Weapon #1: Make good lifestyle choices-nutrition and exercise.
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption contribute to bone loss. Kick the smoking habit and greatly reduce your cocktail consumption. Mocktails are the new cocktails with everyone wanting to get on the “health-train”. Let’s face it ladies, with longevity on our sides, these lifestyle updates are necessary.
Add a calcium supplement, but don’t forget to pair it with vitamin D and K. We lovely ladies need between 1,000 and 1,500 mg calcium daily, as recommended by the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Vitamin D and K are necessary for proper absorption. Recommendation Vitamin D 600 International Units (IU) for adults up to age 70, and 800 (IU) over age 70, and Vitamin K 100 mcg suggested. Good to consult your physician.
Stay active! Doing what you love puts a smile on your face-dancing, jogging, running, Zumba, tennis, or hiking. Incorporating these weight bearing activities will help you build and maintain strong bones and muscles. Show off those shapely, toned arms and legs.
Secret Weapon #2: Add more fiber to your menu.
The average American female does not get enough fiber; in fact, 95% of us do not. The Mayo Clinic says that women should aim for between 21 to 25 grams per day. Our digestion tract changes as we get older, increasing the chances for constipation, in addition to lack of exercise and not drinking enough fluids. Other benefits of increasing fiber intake include-reduced risk of many chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, hypertension, obesity, type-2 diabetes, and certain cancers, whose risk all increase with age.
Ladies eat your fruits, veggies (especially the dark leafy ones), whole grains and legumes (beans and lentils). Make your body happy inside and out…EAT A RAINBOW! Eat more lean meats and fish, decrease dairy products, and reduce sweets (aka- SUGAR).
Secret Weapon #3: Give your heart some love.
It loves you 24/7. But as we age, our blood vessels and arteries stiffen, which puts more stress on your heart in order to pump blood effectively. Although your resting heart rate remains around the same, it doesn’t increase as much as it used to during activities. This can increase the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems.
Keep your blood pressure under control by practicing a healthy lifestyle-exercise regularly, maintain good nutrition habits, lose weight, and throw away the cigarettes. Include regular screenings-blood pressure, blood sugar, blood counts, and cholesterol levels, to help uncover any problems before they start. Let’s not forget to manage stress levels. Meditation and yoga work wonders. Attitude and mindset are also big factors in how we feel.
So, the next time age comes up in the conversation, take a second to think about it-chronological or attitude. Enjoying a healthy, active lifestyle can be simple as good nutrition, keeping active, and a positive mindset. Stay happy, healthy, and fabulous!