As you’re probably already aware, our bodies change as we age. If you’re still in your 20s and relatively healthy, the concept of your body changing may be a little abstract for you right now – a distant thing. Whereas if you’re in your 40s like me, you are not just “probably” aware of the changes… you are definitely, acutely, aware. OMG so aware. For example, you now know that it is possible to wake up from a great night’s sleep with a tweaked neck. And if you’re in your 50s and beyond, you may be laughing as you read this, thinking “just you wait, young’n”.
Our bodies, our selves
As we age, and our bodies change, our nutritional needs change too. And as you might be thinking, it’s all connected of course. The better you care for and fuel your body, the easier it is likely to weather the aging process, including whatever randomness that your own unique life throws at it. Generally speaking, the proper care and feeding of a human at 23 years of age is different than that of a 43 year old. That’s true for how we exercise and how we nurture ourselves too. While a bubble bath might sound amazing to a 43 year old, a foam party might be more like what a 23 year old would consider “amazing”.
And what of the 23 year old who has already had a major life event, like a hysterectomy or cancer? The proper care for that body, and the soul who resides there, will be completely different.
Aging isn’t something we can escape, and while the 24 year old me would throw a fit when faced with this knowledge, honestly the 45 year old me is not too concerned anymore. Not in the way I used to be, anyway. Where the 24 year old me was occupied with trying to find her groove in life, afraid of even turning 30, and the 37 year old me was less concerned with turning 40 than she was with these crow’s feet (what the hell), the 45 year old me is in better shape mentally and physically than ever before. I figured out some things for myself, and I’m hoping this guide can help you move the needle in a favorable direction for you too.
Of course the approach to feeling great, no matter what your age, is multi-pronged. It’s diet and exercise, the quality of your environment, mental clarity, your thoughts and what they are comprised of. Feeling great is partly your social circle, and it’s your online connections too. If you spend most of your time thinking thoughts like “man I’m really looking forward to…” or “wow, this meal is delicious”, then your approach to feeling great is probably working for you.
If on the other hand you are often feeling stretched too thin, or dissatisfied with that to-go meal you didn’t want anyway, it might be time for you to take some power back. Take a closer look at your habits… what you eat, where you eat it and even how you eat it… the people you hang out with… the quality of your thoughts and the inspiration you find in life. Then assess, honestly, how you feel. How does your body feel with these habits you have created? And your heart, your soul? Is there a song in there, or is it stormy a lot of the time? There aren’t right or wrong answers to these questions, there is only you. Only how you feel inside your body, your mind, and your life that matters. And whatever the path is to get to where you’re going next, is what this business is all about.
Food Is Fuel
Your body takes what you give it, and makes magic with it. It converts that salad into energy for your body to burn, nutrients to shore up your health. Your body breaks down each chemical component of this tomato and that avocado, and it distributes it to the parts of your body that need it. Tired muscles are restored with the bromelain from the pineapple on your Hawaiian burger, It nourishes your brain with the omega-3 fatty acids found in the salmon, and uses the fiber from the bun to facilitate smooth digestion. Your body attempts to utilize every single bit of nourishment you stuff into that gorgeous face of yours, and that’s why you want to give it mostly good stuff. It doesn’t know what to do with soda and Funyons. Unfortunately they don’t speak your body’s language.
Yes, soda and Funyons are bad for anyone, no matter what their age is. But just as these things DON’T speak your body’s language, there are certain foods that your body will absolutely groove to. And depending on what stage of life you’re in, you can fuel your sweet self with foods that are loaded with specifically-good-for-you stuff. Which is pretty cool. Good for you in your 20s is different than good for you in your 40s. So we’re looking at some ways that your body evolves through the decades, and how you can compliment those moves with purposeful choices in diet, exercise, and self-care.
It’s worth noting that your journey through life is not like mine, or his, or anyone else’s. I have friends who had hysterectomies in their 30s. Cancer, in their 20s. I’m in my 40s now and have never given birth. So my body isn’t the same as my high school friend(s) who have had kids. Though we are the same age chronologically, in reality our bodies are at different places in life. Which is 100% OK. I mention this because I have knowledge about self-care, which I love to share, but my overarching message is always that you are in charge of your body… what you put into it, what you take out of it, what feels good and what doesn’t. I’m not you. And the best way each of us can love ourselves, is by acknowledging where we are in life, what we are working with now, and supporting ourselves with wellness practices that suit our bodies, and nutrition that does the same.
Just like you would never eat something you’re allergic to just because someone told you to, this guide is just that: a guide. It’s full of ideas, and ways you can live your best life at any age, but it’s always your call. This is your journey, I’m just here walking alongside you for a while. And while I’m on the topic, thanks for having me.
The Roaring 20s
For many of us, our 20s are all about clubs, cocktails, and careers. We’re learning how to be adults, taking on more responsibilities, and yet we can (and sometimes do!) party all night long. For many people, this decade means discovering boundaries, how to live true to our own morals… just generally growing up.
Though you are a full-fledged adult at this point (you have the credit cards to prove it), your body is actually not quite done yet. You’re not fully cooked. It’s a well-documented fact that our brains aren’t completely developed until age 25, which means that honestly no part of you is fully formed yet. This is one reason that building healthy habits is crucial right now. Getting great nutrition and quality rest should be at the top of any twenty-somethings to-do list.
I know, I know. Boring.
Well, go on and mix a rave or two in there. See if I care.
But really, we all know it’s important to have a nice balance in life. Work and play, effort and ease, these concepts are running themes for most of us. The foundation you set in your 20s can be a pattern that serves you well throughout your life. And when you take great care of yourself when you’re still young and fresh, that will serve you well as time slides into your 30s and beyond.
Important nutrients for the 20-something body
Now is the time you are laying the groundwork for the rest of your life. You’re learning how to work with your body; how to keep it fueled, how to rest it, and how to work it out. In a perfect world, your health is strong and your energy is high. You can stay up all night and still function the next day. Junk food doesn’t really cause any major issues. Enjoy this time! Make a serious push toward developing healthy habits and keeping your strength up. Learning how to work with your body also means appreciating it… loving it. Value your vivaciousness, I mean it. I really wish I had.
High quality sources of protein are so important for the 20 something body. Salmon and beans are two perfect options. If you eat meat, a steak is great here and there, but if you have a meat-heavy diet it’s not likely to help you age well. Diets that are heavy on the red meat tend to invite heart problems later in life. Does heart disease run in your family? What other kinds of health issues have your family members experienced? Building a diet that will counter these potential health issues down the road, will serve you well.
Nuts and seeds are another great thing for our bodies to consume a lot of. In your 20s these things can really help to put the final touches on the masterpiece that is you, as your body wraps up production. Skip the rice and go for quinoa whenever possible… it happens to have all nine essential amino acids, making it a perfect choice to get in the habit of eating. Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are all great options. Sometimes our food looks like the body part it nourishes best, and walnuts, which happen to look like little brains, are great for that still-forming motherboard of yours.
Calcium-rich foods are another thing to build into your eating habits. Calcium is necessary in your 20s as you’re still building up, and it serves you well to keep it in your diet as you get older because your bones will want to deteriorate as you age. Spinach is packed with good-for-you stuff, including a lot of calcium, and kale is another great one. Of course you can get calcium from dairy, but that may not be something your body (or your soul) wants. So calcium is available to you in non-animal sources.
This is really sad, but collagen production starts to decline at about age 25, right about the time you’re all done growing up. Collagen is the main structural protein found in healthy, youthful, hair, skin, and nails. You probably won’t notice anything until you are closer to 40, but this is another reason that taking good care of yourself (and your skin) will pay dividends later. Bone broth, chicken and egg whites are all great choices for facilitating collagen production. If you’re meat-free then you’ll be pleased to know that citrus fruits and berries, particularly red ones, are also great choices for supporting your body in making collagen.
In general, what you need a lot of in your 20s is foods that are nutritionally dense. Foods that build strong healthy bodies because every component of them is valuable in nurturing our health. The opposite of “nutritionally dense foods” would be heavily processed junk food, fried foods, and the like. Generally speaking, if you stick to the outside edges of the grocery store, you’ll be in “real food” territory. High quality veggies and sources of protein are what your body really needs, and by treating it right, you’re setting yourself up for a long and happy life in a healthy, happy body.
Supplements to consider in your 20s
If your diet is well-balanced, it’s unlikely that you need to supplement it at this stage of your life. With that said, there is also a decent chance that you are in fact deficient in one or more areas. Take vitamin D for example. Your body makes it by itself, thanks to a reaction that happens in your skin when the sun touches it. But if you live at a higher latitude, you may hardly see the sun at all (particularly in the wintertime), let alone feel its warm embrace.
When in his 20s, a friend of mine got a complete workup from a physician. This was a perk of working where he did; an in-depth assessment of his blood, vital statistics, family history, the whole enchilada. He literally has a manual for himself, and I know he has found it important in his own journey through life. The workup revealed a vitamin D deficiency (unsurprising given that he lives in Seattle), so he has taken a supplement for the last 20 years, and will presumably continue doing so.
So, true though it may be that one’s diet can theoretically furnish all the nourishment we need, as always, we have to take our unique life and habits into account. Perhaps you could benefit from vitamin D supplementation, or something else.
How To Exercise You, Love You, And Care For You In Your 20s
Run, fly and be free! Just as with your diet, setting good habits that will age well, will help you age well too. This means exercise, and self-care too.
At this point it’s unlikely that you have a lot of physical issues weighing you down. So where exercise is concerned, it’s a really great time in life to try a lot of things and figure out what you like to do. Running, swimming, and biking are great options, but with those young and bouncy knees of yours, perhaps volleyball or squash may be fun. What about pole dancing? Or Crossfit? Maybe you want to love yoga, but it’s just too boring or slow for you… acro yoga may help alleviate that if you’re into partner work, or aerial yoga is a fun option if you like to defy gravity.
In your 20s, you’re learning what makes you tick as a person. How you like to spend your time, what your talents are, and who you want to be in this world. How do you want to contribute in this life? This world needs the light that only you can give it… what is that light, and how do you shine it? You may be finishing college, or perhaps you are trying to decide if college or a trade school is the best option for you. Look in your heart.
Looking back, I see now that our 20s are a time of becoming our own person, sure, but it’s also about becoming your own friend too. Get really interested in you, and how you can be supported… by you.
Get clear on your personal boundaries. Learn to listen to your gut… notice when things don’t feel right, and don’t apologize for taking action to correct that feeling.
Oh, and stop calling them dreams. They’re plans. You’re taking the steps to realize your plans. You are becoming you, and it looks really good on you by the way.
Your 30s: Extreme Adulting
It’s an interesting time, your 30s. Where your 20s had you focused on yourself… what you want to do, who you want to be, where you want to go… the 30s are a little more “bigger picture”. It’s about building on the career you started, or having children, or buying a house. Whatever it’s about for you, one thing is for sure: it’s a lot of adulting. It can be stressful, and you may be feeling some effects of stress. It’s important that you expand upon that friendship you began building with yourself in your 20s, and if that’s not something you have had an opportunity to do yet, start now. Right now, wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a hug. I’ll wait. I’m serious.
Your body is going to change a lot in this decade. Having children will absolutely change everything about you as a human being, and the skinsuit you’re living in too. Your body is not going to be the same. Working with that, and accepting it as a new reality can be hard. Self-love is so important here, Mama.
Even if you don’t give birth, your body is going to change a lot in its 30s. That’s just a fact. Statistically speaking, the largest jump in weight over the average lifespan, takes place in the late 20s and early 30s. Plus, aging is already beginning to take place on a cellular level. What’s not helping? The late nights clubbing, the 2am Taco Bell runs, early morning alarms for work, that annoying commute every dang day, defending your dissertation, passing the bar exam, whatever stress your body and mind experienced in your 20s will try to catch up with you as you cruise into your 30s. There is a very real physical and emotional impact from stress, and it’s important to honor the role it plays in your life, because it’s not going to get any easier. In fact, life is going to continue throwing curveballs your way, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be a struggle. You can do this. Believe you can. Be on your own side.
Important nutrients for the right stuff?
This decade of important changes will require a lot from you. Just as a solid friendship with yourself is going to become more and more useful, a solid diet is becoming more and more important. If your diet doesn’t already look Funyon-free, now is the time to clean it up. It’s never too late. All of the foods mentioned above are things you should keep in your diet, and in your 30s it’s time to expand into foods that repair and prepare… that help undo the damage from late nights clubbing, and prepare you for the impact of late nights nursing, or meeting deadlines, or general adulting.
Your body wants antioxidants, like those found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables. The brighter the color, the more nutrients your body can glean from it. Berries are a wonderful source of antioxidants, and are pretty wonderful sprinkled on a big bed of greens. Your friendly neighborhood fatty fish is even better for you now than it was in your 20s. Salmon has what your heart and brain are craving: omega 3 fatty acids, quality protein, and selenium, a mineral that your body needs to function properly. Selenium plays a critical role in your healthy metabolism and thyroid function, and helps protect against damage caused by oxidative stress.
It’s important to be sure your 30 something body is getting enough vitamin E, which, if you’re following a relatively healthy diet you likely already are. Beet greens and collard greens are two foods that you can add to the spinach you’re already eating. Nuts may already be a part of your diet but peanuts (and peanut butter) have a little more oomph in the vitamin E department. Thanks to their bright red color, we already know that red bell peppers are good to eat on the regular, but this bright veggie also has vitamin E, making it a multi-tasker you can munch for lunch.
If you are planning on doing some babymaking in your 30s, women need lots of folic acid and iron. The spinach, other leafy greens and salmon you’re already eating are great to keep in your diet. The citrus fruits you already added for the antioxidants are helpful for you too, but oranges in particular are a good choice. This is true for men who are preparing to conceive as well. Dark chocolate is another great one for men, and so are oysters and pumpkin seeds. These two foods are loaded with zinc, which may increase sperm count and motility.
Supplement your sweet self
Not only might the shape of your body change in your 30s, but what’s going on inside is also changing. Specifically I’m referring to hormonal changes. Men and women all have them, and cortisol is the one that’s tied to stress. Too much cortisol can lead to too much fat around your midsection.
If you have had a baby, your hormone levels are definitely not the same as they were before your pregnancy.
Can diet help regulate hormones? Absolutely! Can diet affect hormone production, or the effectiveness of them? Also a hearty “yes”. If you know that your diet is solid, filled with the good for you foods that we have been talking about… and you’re still experiencing lethargy, unexplained weight gain, or brain fog, it may be time to look at hormone levels. Your body is doing a lot in these years, no doubt, but that doesn’t mean you should feel wiped out or depleted. These are signals your body is trying to send to you. If this is happening, talk to a healthcare professional.
B vitamins, calcium, and vitamin D are all important for your 30 something body, as is collagen. Your body has begun winding down production of that essential protein, but it’s a building block for strong muscles, bones, joints, and ligaments. It’s also important for healthy hair, skin and nails. So lots of berries, the redder the better, and bone broth is another option that many people swear by.
How To Exercise You, Love You, And Care For You In Your 30s
Take those healthy habits you’ve been cultivating and build on them even more. For a lot of people their 30s are a time of stepping out of the role of #1 in their own lives. They are having children, getting married, and sometimes losing track of themselves in the process.
Focus on asking yourself at least once a day, what you require in this moment. Then do what needs to be done, even if it’s just staring at a wall for 5 minutes.
Building exercise into your daily routine, like walking the kids to school or doing a workout in the park while the little one plays, might be more realistic in your 30s than a gym membership. On the other hand, the thing you’re going to need the most in this time is probably balance, and to maintain a grip on yourself, a relationship with yourself. So maybe the best thing you can do is get a gym membership and set aside the time.
You do you. I think the most important thing is exactly that: in the midst of making babies and bonuses, and climbing corporate ladders and shattering glass ceilings, remember who you are. Remember those habits you set in your 20s. Or should have set in your 20s. Revisit them, and keep revisiting them. Or build them now. Keep doing what feels right to you in the quiet moments when you’re alone… keep listening to your gut.
40 Is The New 20.
Your 40s are a special time. Perhaps you have been raising a family, or building a career… maybe you’re even doing both. Whatever you’ve been up to, something magical happens after 40. You definitely arrive at some conclusions for yourself and the way you want to live. Maybe you’ve had enough. Maybe you’re just getting started.
Whatever conclusions you have come to, congratulations. You may have been a fully-formed adult since you were 25, but many of us don’t really feel strong and capable, like we’re really driving this thing, until right about now. So it’s important to make the most of this decade.
While your brain has been stepping into its executive role and really coming into its own, you may have started to notice that you are more sore after workouts, or that you don’t heal quickly from that bizarre neck tweak that you manage to give yourself on a weekly basis. While sleeping.
You may also notice things like mental clarity and physical energy levels waning… As you learned in your 30s, it may be hormonal or it may simply be diet. It’s important for your still-young body to stay active, and for you to stay (or become) engaged with your health, so you’re more aware of abnormalities. Periodic aches and pains are one thing, but chronic discomfort is not a part of growing older. Again: these are signals. The more you can tune into your body and what it’s telling you, the more every part of you will benefit as you age.
Fuel your powerhouse so you can really thrive
In your 40s, all the same healthy-eating rules apply. And because your diet is already packed with goodness, it’s a great time to give your body some direct support. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi are a great addition to your diet at any age. But these are known to help aid digestion and balance your gut health, both of which can be a challenge in your 40s.
Thanks to the huge bang for their caloric buck, superfoods are a fun thing to add to your diet. Though there are no standard criteria or legal definitions for “superfoods”, they all have a high volume of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and general goodness that your body wants, but not a lot of calories. Chia seeds (yup… those ones: ch-ch-ch chia!) have a ton of fiber, omega 3s if you’re sick of salmon by now, and antioxidants too, yet they only have 138 calories per ounce. By weight, chia seeds are 6% water, 46% carbohydrates (of which 83% is fiber), 34% fat (mostly omega 3s), and 19% protein. Chia seeds are an eensy weensy powerhouse of nutrition, and can be added to almost anything… even water.
Though you’re already eating lots of veggies, look to cruciferous veggies to support heart health. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, and the cabbage in your sauerkraut are all great options.
Supplements to consider in your 40s
Everything that was important in your 20s and 30s still applies, like B vitamins, calcium, omega 3s and good old vitamin D. Magnesium is one to start keeping your eye on as well. It’s starting to look as though many people have shortages of magnesium in their bodies, but it’s also a tough one to diagnose as being deficient. This is because magnesium is so important to so many processes, that our bodies will actually steal it from places it’s stashed, so there’s always a “balance in the magnesium bank”, so to speak. Physical clues that may suggest you have a magnesium deficiency are muscle cramps and spasms. Heart palpitations are another common symptom that magnesium levels may not be where they should be. If you drink alcohol, even moderately, your body uses more magnesium than it otherwise would. So by the time you’re in your 40s, magnesium is a good one to have on your radar.
Yes, you should be able to glean all the magnesium you need just from the foods you eat, but alarmingly, foods that are being tested are not showing expected levels of magnesium. This can be traced to agricultural practices that leech important minerals from the soil and don’t replace them. While I’m a big proponent of getting your vitamins and minerals from the food you eat, there are times when a supplement may be best. If you’re experiencing physical symptoms of magnesium deficiency, look into supplementation of this important mineral.
Inflammation may be another thing you’ve had show up in your world as of late. Arthritis starts to make an appearance in our 40s, sometimes even earlier. Your diet is already anti-inflammatory… dark leafy greens and our friend the salmon are still working hard to keep you running smoothly… but if your joints are beginning to bother you, turmeric is a yummy way to work some anti-inflammatory magic. Ginger too. I had oral surgery in my early 40s and my dentist was shocked at how little swelling I experienced. It was the ginger carrot soup my friend made for me… I could literally feel my skin deflating after eating it.
How To Exercise You, Love You, And Care For You In Your 40s
You’re confident, competent, and you’re going places. You’re not adulting so hard now… you’re still feeling young and good (like you should) and the future looks bright.
This is the hope, of course, but it may not be a reality for you. The reality may be much darker.
I’m referring to ye olde midlife crisis, of course. That black hole of existential questions that sucks some of us in. Next thing we know we’re dating a 20 year old, buying a Maserati or a vacation home in Vail, or more likely, just really blue. Down in the dumps. Wondering what it all means. It sucks, even if it doesn’t suck you all the way in. Our reasons for experiencing a midlife crisis are as unique and varied as we ourselves are. It may be diet-related. If you’re new to the concept of self-care, and holistic nutrition, welcome. I’m so glad you’re here, and that I can help you on your journey.
- First things first, eliminate the possibility that this awful feeling is just the result of a bad diet. See a nutritionist if you need to. Start eating clean, quit alcohol at least for a while.
- If your sleep is poor, that’s going to affect everything about you from the top down. Your mood, which if sustained long enough becomes your disposition, is absolutely affected by your sleep.
- A sedentary lifestyle can lead to depression. Regular exercise keeps you flush with the feel-good hormones that keep people smiling. Walking is wonderful exercise, and it’s an activity that’s available to almost everyone.
Perhaps it’s not your diet, activity level, or quality of rest. If all of those things check out, but the negative feelings and self-talk are still there, it might be time to talk to someone other than yourself. Being able to express your thoughts and feelings to an impartial party is a healthy outlet worth looking into. This is particularly true if you don’t have a strong social network.
If you are experiencing feelings of chronic sadness, what I really hope you take from this is that it’s completely normal. There is a science to happiness, to some degree it can be manufactured. Happiness, for many of us, is something that needs to be cultivated mindfully… worked toward, and worked with. On a lot of levels finding happiness is like a conversation between you, the programming in your head, and the potential you possess in life. Balancing those things, and massaging the right parts, is what happiness is all about.
Where exercise is concerned, this is a great time to incorporate a practice such as yoga if you haven’t already. On a physical level yoga provides the stretching, strengthening and balance portions of a well-rounded fitness routine, but it’s also got a mental component that is very nourishing for this time in life.
Meditation is a great practice to pick up at any stage of life, but in your 40s it may really help to calm your thoughts and bring balance to your emotions. Spending some time each day on your yoga mat, working the physical kinks out, breathing deeply, and guiding the mind gently into focus and alignment, is a beautiful way to care for yourself and keep your body healthy.
Walking, as I already mentioned, is a wonderful aerobic workout, as is running. Running has a certain meditative quality to it that is being looked at in a new light. Seems it does have the same effect on the brain as meditation does, so if you don’t think you can sit still for 5 minutes, maybe give a jog around the block a whirl.
To The 50s, And Beyond!
Statistics show that on average, people tend to get happier, or more content at least, as they age. Perhaps your 40s treated you well, or maybe they were a little stormier than you would have wanted.
Well, that was then, and this is now. Now is the time to focus on keeping your brain, heart and body healthy, and experiencing contentment… cultivating gratitude to carry you into the future. A gratitude practice alone will keep you healthier and thriving, but there are important diet and nutritional factors to consider too.
The same great diet we’ve been talking about all along, still applies in middle age. All those foods that were good for you likely still are, but your body is changing again… or perhaps it already has.
Menopause may have begun, or is about to. A hysterectomy may have already happened, or is on the horizon. Cancer treatments may have become a part of your life, or even a surprise pregnancy may have snuck in there, so it’s important to take into account that your body is different, once again, than it was just a few years ago. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The whole point is to continually meet your body where it’s at.
Your mental health may still be a factor, or maybe it is just now becoming a factor. Sometimes it’s a midlife crisis that gets us, and sometimes it’s the vacuum that’s left when retirement comes. When you’ve spent the last 30 years of your life building a career… working 10 hour days on your team, your projects and your goals… to suddenly retire from that and wake up each morning with literally nothing to do and no one to do it for, may bring up some feelings.
You may find it hard to know what to do with yourself, or you may experience feelings of guilt over no longer being as productive as you once were. Please try to find a way to forgive yourself, sooner rather than later. You have just spent 30 years of your life being someone else’s definition of “productive”… probably the same definition that most of us are familiar with. Show us a different definition. Show us yours.
Nutrition for maturing bodies
Everything that has always been good for you, is probably still good for you. It’s a likely bet that by now you have begun to notice digestion changes, so look to add even more high-fiber veggies, like the heart-healthy cruciferous veggies for example. Sweet potatoes are another one to purposely add to your 50+ diet plan. Not only are they high in fiber, they are loaded with beta-carotene, an antioxidant which converts to vitamins A and C, potassium. It is also notable for its cancer-fighting properties.
You’ve had your eye on your hormones for the last decade plus, so you already know how great B vitamins are for supporting healthy hormone levels.
Plant-based proteins are easier to digest than animal proteins. They are also filled with healthy minerals and other good stuff that keep adding fuel to your healthy fire. There is evidence that animal protein can slow your metabolism, so regardless of your feelings regarding eating meat, it might be a good time to consider how much of it you eat, and switch to a plant-based diet.
Supplementing in your 50s
Though your diet is healthy and your nutrition knowledge is growing by the day, a multivitamin is probably a wise idea if you haven’t incorporated it into your diet by now. In a perfect world, all your systems are still strong and running smoothly, but it never hurts to shore things up either. There are a lot of moving parts in that miracle you call a body, and offering a little assistance here and there is a wonderful way to continue partnering with yourself as you walk through life.
How To Exercise You, Love You, And Care For You In Your 50s
Reducing inflammation has likely become important to you, if it hasn’t already, so be sure and add a powerful anti-inflammatory like turmeric to your diet. Golden milk, also known as turmeric milk, is a perfect(ly delicious) way to send some love to your joints and your tummy, all at the same time:
Pour some milk into a small pot on medium heat (almond milk, cow’s milk, whatever is part of your diet)
Add some ground turmeric and a pinch of black pepper. The pepper “activates” the turmeric, making your body absorb it easier. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top, another yummy anti-inflammatory, and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Sweeten if desired, and enjoy!
Your bone and joint health is really important now, so it’s time to add weight bearing exercises to your repertoire. Yoga is a great choice here, as it’s proven to help stave off bone loss and arthritis too. Other body weight exercises that are not yoga will still have the desired effect, so if burpees are your thing, go on with your bad self. Stretching is more important than ever now too. Keeping your muscles strong yet supple is how you avoid injuries in the first place, but this also helps you heal better when life decides to trip you up.
You, as much as anyone, are worthy of your own love and affection
This journey through life is yours alone.
In a way it’s wonderful, but also tragic at the same time, how short our time in our body really is. On one level it may feel like a cruel joke that our bodies begin to break down almost immediately following maturation. But on another level, there’s a certain poetic beauty to it.
You really are never going to be as young as you are right now, but at the same time you’re the oldest you’ve ever been, right now. That puts you squarely right here, right now, all the time.
The space between the youngest you’ll be and the oldest you’ve been, is the field on which you’re playing the game of life, and so am I, and so is everyone else. In spite of the stage of life we are individually in, we all have that one thing in common… we really are all just walking each other home, as Ram Dass so eloquently put it.
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