HEALTHY LIVING: How to keep feeling fit after 50

Published 11:24 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2016

So the saying now is that “50 is the new 30”.  Some of the most energetic, happy, active people I have met are way past 60!  What is their secret?  I am glad you asked.

They are staying busy.  At a time when you would think that they would be content to spend their days reading quietly, puttering around the yard, or napping in the recliner……these senior adults are hitting the gym 5, 6, or even 7 days a week, filling their days having fellowship time with friends, walking the treadmill, cycling, stretching in yoga classes, swimming laps, and even shaking it up with some Zumba.   Just because you are getting older doesn’t mean that you can start easing into a sedentary lifestyle. Even though aging is accompanied by certain health conditions like joint pain, muscle aches and such, these symptoms can usually be relieved with the right amount of exercise. If you’ve never been physically active before, now is the time to get moving.  Start with walking and swing your arms for added benefits.  There are programs tailored specifically for seniors that include gentle stretching, balance, mobility, and strength training.  As we grow more mature, arthritis can limit our range of motion and impair mobility, something as simple as taking a water exercise class in a heated pool can bring relief.  Dance, turn up the music and dance around your house.  Go out with friends and take a few turns around the floor. 

One of the downsides of aging is that your metabolism also slows down. This means that it becomes much easier for you to gain weight. You might have gotten away with eating a lot in your 20s and 30s without gaining a pound, but now that you’re in your 50s, you might find yourself gaining weight with just a handful of peanuts. A lot of women also tend to gain weight around their middle section when they reach their elder years.  If you seem to be gaining weight even though you are eating a normal amount of food, then it’s possible that you now require less food to function. Cut back on meal portions and see if it helps.

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Your friendships and social bonds also play an important role in your health. In fact, having support from loved ones can boost your immune system, increase heart protection, speed up surgery recovery and improve your longevity.

As we grow older, let’s not forget to find balance in building a healthy spirit, mind, and body.

P.S., Now that I am 60, suddenly that doesn’t seem so old anymore.  Stay healthy, my friends.

Contact Jody Holton with your questions, comments, or suggestions for future columns at