5 Things To Think About When You Hit 50

Whether it creeped up on you or you embraced it like a friend, turning 50 is always a pivotal point in your life. There’s just something about that big five-and-zero combination that makes us feel a little unsettled and off-guard. Which is unfair really, because you have a grand 50th birthday bash to organise!

While you are working our drinks lists and food menus, take some time to consider these 5 things now you’ve hit 50.

1. What Your Eating

We’re always striving to keep the kids, career and home healthy. But as we work to achieve these goals, our own health often gets left on the backburner and our food choices suffer.

It’s not just about weight and looking good either – serious health risks like cancer, diabetes and heart disease have all been linked to poor dietary habits. A slowing metabolism and changing hormones also means that the diet that worked in your 20s and 30s won’t bring you as much luck in your latter years.

Experts at Nutrition Australia suggest that your daily diet over 50 should consist of:

 

 Vegetables and legumes

 Fruit

 Grains

 Lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds

Dairy

Discretionary

Men

5.5

2

6

2.5

2.5

1

Women

5

2

4

2

4

1

To learn what is considered a ‘standard serve’ head here. 

It’s also a good idea to cut back on “empty calories” – which are foods and beverages with a lot of calories but not many nutrients. Yep, we’re talking chips, cookies, chocolate, soda and alcohol.

2. Your Exercise Routine

The benefits of staying fit are well-known but, specifically for those over 50, regular exercise can help:

  • Increase energy levels and strength: Boosting cardiovascular functions, building muscle and bone mass help ward off the signs of ageing
  • Prevent illness: Regular exercise is linked to reducing your risk of many illnesses and diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Improve your quality of life: Exercise can alleviate stress levels, help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your quality of sleep. Also, by enhancing your strength and flexibility, you can stay independent for longer.

The age old saying, ‘if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got’ applies here. If you’ve struggled at keeping an exercise routine in the past, try something completely new. Whether it’s joining a running club, going for a hike, signing up for interval training at your local gym or hiring a personal trainer, unexpected things happen when you step out of your comfort zone.

3.  Taking a more proactive approach to your health

Tying in with eating well and incorporating exercise into your daily routine, taking a proactive approach to your health means keeping yourself in-check before health problems arise. This means going for regular check-ups with your GP, maintaining a healthy weight, understanding your family medical history, and staying mentally stimulated.

4. Your Retirement Finances

At 50, it’s likely you’re not quite ready for retirement. However, it is the perfect time to start putting a plan in motion. Consider how you’ll take control of your finances, how you’ll continue to grow your wealth during retirement and what your housing options are.

Even if you have financial knowledge, it’s always good idea to seek a second option. Ask a professional financial advisor for guidance on ways to manage your spending, diversify your investments and take advantage of government entitlements.

If the thought of retirement is still leaving you stressed, read our article on overcoming retirement anxiety.

5. How you’re going to create more happiness for your next 50!

Several studies have indicated that the amount of happiness that outside events bring to our lives is low. So while good luck in the lotto might grant you a few months of euphoria, you’ll quickly return to your original level of happiness after a few months. (Albeit with a better car & home furnishings..)

Happiness is a by-product of personal achievement. When you succeed at personal goals, you feel happy. So, the obvious first step is to set yourself some goals.

These could include:

  • Breaking a bad habit: Smoking, too many glasses of red wine, sleeping in, procrastination. While some are more serious than others, we all have vices. Set yourself a goal to break out of a habit that has been causing unsettlement in your life.
  • Treating yourself better: Take time to relax, reflect and meditate on the little ‘wins’ of the day. They could be as big as landing a new client at your job or as small as making a call you’ve been putting off.
  • Learn a New Skill: Become fluent in Italian, learn to belly dance, start a veggie garden, take cooking classes for an exotic cuisine. The sky’s the limit!