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Fighting Fit at 50

So you've hit 50 and you imagine it's all downhill from here on in. Given the chance, would you really want to go back to the heady days of your youth full of insecurity, confusion and teenage angst? There is a great deal of negativity about ageing in our culture, particularly when it comes to women.


Ageing shouldn't be viewed as something to dread. By choosing to do things differently and making a few simple changes you can look forward to new experiences and challenges along the way. With more time on your hands, here are a few ideas you can try:


Keep your mind active


Buy some pretty writing paper and write that letter to a friend or relative that you've been meaning to. Putting your thoughts down on paper can be quite liberating.

Tackle the crossword, word and number puzzles in your daily newspaper.
Extend your choice of reading to include a topic you have always been interested in but never quite got round to.


Try your hand at writing, join a local writers' club - it's said there's a book in everyone one of us!


Take up an evening class doing something you would not normally think of doing or enrol in a course of study.


Have a clear out of all the things you have managed to collect over the last fifty years, relive old memories and challenge yourself to create some new ones.


And your body too!


Our metabolism slows down as we get older so it's important to keep moving. Aim to take at least 10 minutes exercise every day whether it's just round the block or a brisk walk in the park. You'll feel all the better for it.


If arthritic or rheumatic pain is affecting your mobility, a tincture of Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum) may prove beneficial.


Take up a new activity, one which you will enjoy. Otherwise, it will become a chore and you'll soon lose interest. Yoga is good if you prefer a gentle form of exercise or pilates if you want to exert yourself a bit more. Why not try your hand at one of the more exotic sports such as canoeing or latin dancing? On the other hand, cycling in the countryside might be more your cup of tea.



Keep your health in check


Now more than ever, it's important to make sure you are doing everything you can to stay healthy. Make sure you attend any screening/scanning services offered by your medical practice. Make an appointment with a nutritional therapist, an acupuncturist or medical herbalist, have an MOT and get advice on how best to improve your health.
Consider using herbal remedies as an alternative to conventional drugs which can carry side effects.


Visit your nearest chiropodist to help keep your feet in good condition.


Go for some form of pampering such as a facial, massage or mud wrap just for the fun of it.


Get enough sleep. If sleeping has become a problem, practise meditation and relaxation techniques to help calm you down before bedtime.


Overhaul your diet


Trying to shed those few extra pounds can become more difficult with age. Taking your diet in hand now will not only improve your current state of health but also your future.


Remember to drink 1.5 to 2 litres of still water every day to help keep your skin looking young.


Experiment with foods you haven't tried before and try out new recipes from magazines or the internet. Challenge yourself to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Why not try to follow a vegetarian diet for a week or two and see how you feel at the end of it.


Replace tea with herbal tea for half your daily cuppas and use coffee substitutes. By doing this and drinking more water you will lose water weight and gain energy.


Try cutting out refined sugar from your diet for 3 days and replacing with dried fruit.


Be happy


Make a list of the things that make you happy such as spending time with family, candlelit suppers, long hot baths, foot rubs and work out how to incorporate as many of them as possible into your life.


Life does not always go to plan and it can leave you with feelings of low mood. If this is the case you may benefit from the herb St John's Wort Hypericum which is well known for its positive effect on mood.

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