A lot of us fear getting older. For a lot of people, getting older means not looking and feeling as great as we did when we were in our 20s. But, as the old saying goes, age is just a number. How you look and feel when you get older actually depends on you, on how you take care of yourself, of your health. In this article, we share some of the key things you need to keep in mind and practice so that you would be fit and fabulous when you hit 50, and continue to be so as the years add up.

Stay Active

The moment we reach the age of 40, we begin to experience changes in our lifestyles and most of us become less active. At this age, career and family become the top priority and, with so much work obligations and responsibilities at home, a lot of us tend to put ourselves last. At this stage, there is a tendency to put ourselves last.  But despite all our work and family obligations, we need to remember that our health and wellbeing should never be sacrificed. We are all designed for physical activity, so even on your busiest days, make it a point to walk at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. This very basic exercise routine will help you burn fat, improve your cardiovascular health, lead to greater bone density, and improve blood sugar regulation. Walking is also know to help alleviate depression and anxiety, lower the risk of colon and breast cancer, as well as glaucoma.

Eat Healthy

Weight gain is quite common at this age. In fact, once a person reaches the age of 40, they tend to gain a kilogram on average every year. While this is usually caused by hormonal changes and variations in our basic amino acid profile, weight gain can also be caused by an unhealthy diet. It would be good for you to limit eating red meat to about once a month, avoid eating bread and complex carbs, and refrain from fatty and sugary food.

Put Your Smartphone Down

We live in an era where information is easily accessible and there is constant communication, thanks to the invention of the smartphone. With social media, messaging apps, and so many tools made handy on your mobile phone, holding onto it and checking it every so often has become a habit that’s very hard to break. While the convenience of having almost everything readily available on the palm of your hand, being glued to your smartphone is actually bad for the eyes, neck and back. So be self aware about how often you check your phone and make it a point to lessen the time and frequency you spend on your mobile.

Listen to Your Body

A lot of us tend to ignore pain and only get help when it gets worse. If you want to feel great when you reach 50, you have to take great care of your health, and that includes going to a doctor or specialist such as a physiotherapist whenever something doesn’t feel right. Physiotherapy plays an important role in helping people age free of pain and injuries. Your health should also be a priority, so the next time you feel pain, go and have it checked right away.

Be Happy

There is an old Irish saying that goes, “The best medicine is a good laugh and great night’s sleep.” If you want to be in great shape by 50, you need to ensure that you surround yourself with positive people and choose to do the things that make your happy. Also, choose to love yourself and allow others to love you back.

Getting older is a great adventure if you live a healthy life and love yourself. Take note of these tips and soon you will surely be fit and fabulous at 50!

Tim Ellis is the Principal Physiotherapist at Excel Physiotherapy and Wellness in Mascot, New South Wales, Australia. He specialises in treating complex necks and backs and developing highly effective exercise programs for his patients. Tim is committed to integrative health, healthy eating, exercise, and life long learning which he shares through his blogs.