Why Don’t we Have Better Health After 50?
It doesn’t have to be complicated for better health after 50 and living a healthy and fulfilling life. So why aren’t more people doing it? Well, not all of us, but a good number of us.
I’ll keep it sweet and simple.
Having better health after 50 just might have something to do with finding your why!
It’s probably the most impactful thing anyone over 50 can do for themselves. If you are not fit and healthy and feeling good, therein lies the problem for enjoying all the good things that being over 50 offers you. Among these is a new lease of life, freedom in the sense of having raised your family and now most likely enjoying grandchildren.
You may have audited your first 50 and have dreams and goals of what lies ahead for your second 50. Perhaps you’re heading for retirement in a few years. For many it’s moving on from a divorce or a bereavement. There’s now opportunity for a new love, new adventures and most likely travel and time for exploring new experiences.
But why is it so difficult for people to now grab these opportunities in their second 50?
I believe the problem is we are overwhelmed with all the messages and unsolicited advice about all the things we should do. There are influences out there that make us feel that we don’t fit the image they have of us.
They either ignore us, stereo type us into a category of being a lost cause, too old to be stylish or drive a sexy car, or they dream up goods and services to make money out of us justified that they believe we must now have as we are getting on a bit.
That may sound a bit cynical, but let’s face it, goods and services for our age group is huge business.
Yes, some are necessary, great value and some do make life much more enjoyable than it might be if we didn’t have them, but let’s not get too sucked into that belief. We don’t feel we are good enough, or fit enough, or have enough energy, ambition or even life left, to embrace life with both hands. As we think, so we become (Buddha).
The way things are presented to us, we find it almost impossible to find an entry point to get started on our well-being and health. We are overwhelmed with the enormity of the perceived mountain in front of us, and our priorities to increase our physical fitness may also be a bit out of whack. It’s not about getting back into a bikini body or losing 10 kgs for a wedding, but if that is your initial motivation, that’s better than no motivation at all.
What if we looked at fitness and better health after 50 as a lifetime journey, and start wherever we are at?
Do you think your chances for success might increase?
Speak to any midlife man or woman, and it’s a fact that despite being fit and being aware of health and weight issues, eating well for most of our lives, as we age, our bodies change too.
It messes with our heads, and we can either accept it and keep on keeping on, or throw in the towel and use age as an excuse to relinquish control over our choices and subsequently hasten the ageing process.
We might have a few wakeup calls which remind us of what it might be like if we don’t keep exercising, eating well and being mindful of our excesses and deficiencies.
It’s inevitable our bodies don’t heal and repair like they did when we were kids, but a big part of keeping our fitness and health is finding our why.
That why is beyond the wedding weight or the new swim suit. We get older, and the reality is we are going to have more occurrence of aches and pains, loose skin, thinning hair and changing body shape. The truth is, there is no quick fix, but there are definitely measures for fitness and physical health that are available to us.
Finding your why might also be prompted by your partner, or when find a new partner, because you want to live longer and travel, have experiences and adventures with them. You want to feel vibrant, energetic and happy in your avenue or whatever floats your boat.
The first thing is to have mental clarity around that. Exercising, taking care of your body, mind and environment does all that. So, finding your MOJO and your reason and spending some time to work through that is critical to your healthy longevity.
When you spend the time and effort to achieve better physical function, better cardio, increased strength and flexibility, there is growing mental clarity. The two function well together.
Yes, it does feel overwhelming, and to find the motivation to change the way you think about life requires finding the benefits and making them very clear to yourself. Your why is vital to your continuing the journey.
Another biggie is that for some of us we are going to have some health issue, which can happen at any age, but more likely in our second half. How we deal with those issues, whether it’s arthritis, diabetes, cancer or something else, comes down to the shape we are in with our fitness and strength, and of course our mental clarity.
The outcome of that ‘thing’ is going to be so much more improved with our overall fitness.
The better our bodies are the more mentally resilient we are.
The least spoken about, but probably the one that is on most of our minds, is also our sexual function. The better our bodies are managing our advancing years, the more we can enjoy (dare I say it?) sex.
We are always getting these little reminders that we need to keep remembering our why and it can sometimes be a bit frightening, as we know that life is not forever, and it may be just a matter of developing new habits, auditing our ingrained beliefs and thoughts.
Stop comparing yourself to your younger self or other people around you.
It’s OK. You have to meet yourself where you are. For physical fitness, let’s just start with one thing you can do.
Start with walking every day, and just pushing yourself a bit more each day to walk it faster. Your balance will improve and your heart will recover quicker. Your muscles will become stronger and you will be more toned. It costs nothing.
Start simple. Start small. And changes for better health after 50 will happen.
Do it for a couple of months and whatever you choose to do extra will become that much easier. When you see and feel some change, you will become more motivated.
Perhaps it is true after-all: If you don’t use it, you will lose it.
We are all capable of making real improvements in our life with small but consistent effort. We are all incredible and when we start and stick with it, it doesn’t have to be complicated, and if nothing else, know you can do this.