Here are 5 helpful health and fitness tips for anyone turning 50 or in their 50’s in 2014!!

1. Sleep well – all night and every night. Being able to get a consistent nights sleep is seen as the baseline of good health and fitness at any age, but especially in midlife.

Not getting a good nights sleep puts you at greater risk for a health decline, according to a number of studies. Poor sleep also makes it harder to maintain a healthy weight and avoid Type 2 diabetes. This will put you at a higher risk of depression, having a heart attack or stroke. Making the right changes to your exercise, diet and sleep routines can help you stay healthy.

2. Get more vitamins from food. Experts have identified a set of nutrients many of us may not be getting through our meals alone. All are very important to our health: Calcium for bone mass and healthy blood pressure; magnesium for muscle mass and to regulate your heart rate and omega-3 fatty acids to maintain brain function and reduce the risk of heart disease. You can always get these vitamins from supplements but they are also in many healthy foods that you should be eating on a daily basis (spinach, kale, flax seeds, walnuts, soy beans, avocado) jus to list a few.

3. Eat right and avoid disease. As we age, our risks of heart disease, hypertension, stroke and other chronic conditions rise, but we can take actions to reduce the danger. A new diet can help.

Reducing your salt intake can help tremendously in reducing your blood pressure. If you want to be more disciplined then there is a lot more you can do. Stop drinking diet soda. This will reduce the chance of heart attack and stoke (according to a recent study). Cut back on cold cuts – they are filled with salt and other ingredients that increase your change of colorectal cancer. Avoid Cool Whip – a lot of people turn to Cool Whip as a “healthy option” for dessert. This is a mix of unhealthy hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and way to many chemicals.

4. Start moving — and don’t stop. The federal Centers for Disease Control says all adults age 18-64 need 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week, defined as “anything that makes your heart beat faster.” Keep this in mind when you are  hiking, biking, doing yard work, walking the dog. This includes all types of movement!

A lot of people do not like to run or lift weights. But there are so many more ways to stay healthy and exercise. Playing with kids or pets. Gardening or cleaning the house even dancing!
5. Boost your exercise intensity. This is no time to start taking it easy. Research says that increasing the intensity of your workouts is exactly what you need in midlife. Gaining muscle mass at an older age can help cut risk factors and help you to live a healthier longer life!