Taking care of your physical health is important at any age, but it becomes even more crucial as you enter your 50s and beyond. Physical self-care for women over 50 involves caring for your body through activities that promote physical health and well-being.
As a woman over 50 (and then some), I have seen more changes to my body in the last few years than at any other time since puberty!
Time, gravity, childbirth, and a love of food and wine – they take their toll!
The changes we see in our bodies impact our physical well-being. They may include hormonal imbalances, decreased bone density, and a slower metabolism. If we don’t focus on physical self-care throughout our lives – it really catches up to us after 50!
Therefore, it’s essential to prioritize physical self-care to maintain optimal health and well-being.
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What does physical self-care for Women Over 50 look like?
Some ways we care for ourselves include:
- regular exercise
- staying active through consistent physical activity
- a balanced and nutritious diet
- getting enough sleep
- practicing stress management techniques
As a woman over 50, physical self-care can help us:
- maintain a healthy weight
- improve bone density
- reduce risk of chronic diseases
- boost overall energy levels
- encourage feeling confident and capable of our abilities
Let’s explore some of the most effective physical self-care practices that we women over 50 can incorporate into our daily routines to maintain optimal health and well-being.
Understanding Physical Changes After 50
As a woman over 50, your body undergoes several changes that can impact your physical health and well-being. Understanding these changes can help you make informed decisions about your self-care routine.
Here are some of the most common physical changes you may experience:
As you age, your body produces less estrogen, which can lead to a range of symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
These symptoms can impact your quality of life and make it more difficult to engage in physical activity. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be an option to manage these symptoms, but it’s important to discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider.
Muscle and Bone Density
After 50, you may experience a decline in muscle mass and bone density, which can increase your risk of falls and fractures.
Regular exercise, especially weight-bearing exercises, can help maintain muscle and bone density.
Additionally, consuming adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D can also support bone health.
As you age, your metabolism may slow down, impacting your ability to maintain a healthy weight.
To combat this, focus on consuming a balanced diet that’s rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Regular physical activity can also help boost your metabolism and support a healthy weight.
By understanding these physical changes, you can take steps to support your health and well-being as you age. Incorporating regular exercise, a balanced diet, and self-care practices into your routine can help you feel your best.
Essential Physical Self-Care Strategies for Women Over 50
As a woman over 50, taking care of your physical health is crucial to maintaining a high quality of life.
Here are some essential physical self-care strategies to consider:
Regular Health Screenings
Regular health screenings are important for women over 50 to detect any potential health issues early on.
Some of the recommended screenings include:
- bone density tests,
- colonoscopies, and
- pap smears
These screenings can help detect breast cancer, osteoporosis, colon cancer, and cervical cancer respectively.
It is important to discuss with your healthcare provider which screenings are appropriate for you based on your individual health history.
Regular visits with your health care provider are a VITAL physical self-care activity.
Eating a balanced diet is essential for maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases.
As a woman over 50, it is important to consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Additionally, it is important to limit your intake of processed foods, saturated fats, and added sugars. We may have gotten away with a less healthy diet in the past, but every day that goes by now makes it so much more important to consider how we feed ourselves!
It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Regular exercise is important for maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and improving overall physical and mental health.
As a woman over 50, it is important to engage in both aerobic and strength training exercises.
Aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming can help improve cardiovascular health.
Strength training exercises such as weight lifting or resistance band exercises can help improve muscle mass and bone density.
It is important to discuss with your healthcare provider which exercises are appropriate for you based on your individual health history and fitness level.
Regular Physical Activity
Beyond exercise, we must make a point of remaining active throughout our days. A sedentary lifestyle with one or two exercise sessions a week just isn’t going to cut it.
Fortunately, it’s not hard to build physical activity into our daily routines. Take the stairs, do your own yard work, clean the house, stretch every morning and evening, walk to the store – there are many small actions we can take that add up and make an impact!
Mental Wellbeing and Physical Health
As a woman over 50, it’s essential to prioritize your mental well-being alongside your physical health, as the two tend to work hand in hand.
Focus on these key areas that impact both mental and physical health:
Stress can take a toll on both your mental and physical health. Finding healthy ways to manage stress can help you feel better overall.
Some effective stress management techniques include:
- Meditation or deep breathing exercises
- Yoga or other forms of gentle exercise
- Spending time in nature
- Getting creative with art or music
- Talking to a therapist or counselor
Getting enough sleep is crucial for your physical and mental health. As you age, it’s common to experience changes in your sleep patterns.
To ensure you’re getting quality sleep, try:
- Establishing a regular sleep schedule
- Creating a relaxing bedtime routine
- Avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed
- Making sure your sleeping environment is comfortable and quiet
Maintaining social connections is vital for your mental wellbeing. As you get older, it’s easy to become isolated, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.
To stay connected, try:
- Joining a social club or group
- Volunteering in your community
- Taking a class or workshop
- Reaching out to friends and family members regularly
By prioritizing your mental well-being and physical health, you can enjoy a fulfilling and healthy life as a woman over 50.
Preventive Measures and Regular Check-Ups
As a woman over 50, taking preventive measures and getting regular check-ups is essential to maintaining your physical health.
Here are some important areas to focus on:
Osteoporosis, or the loss of bone density, is a common concern for women over 50.
To prevent osteoporosis, it is important to consume enough calcium and vitamin D, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Your doctor may also recommend a bone density test to assess your risk for osteoporosis.
Breast Cancer Screening
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, but early detection can greatly improve outcomes. Women over 50 should get a mammogram every two years, or more frequently if recommended by their doctor.
Breast self-exams are also important for detecting any changes in your breasts.
Heart Health Monitoring
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women.
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk. These include maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, and managing stress.
Your doctor may also recommend regular blood pressure and cholesterol checks.
are you ready to show up as the healthiest version of yourself?
The 8 Pillars of Self-Care
Physical self-care is just one of the 8 pillars of self-care, the activities we engage in to live our best, most fulfilled lives. These are intentional actions we take that impact every single aspect of who we are and what we do.
The 8 Pillars of Self-Care are:
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Lori is a happily 50+ woman striving to live her best life through self-awareness and self-care. She writes from experience, inspired by her own journey toward confidence, self-love, and positivity.
Holding degrees in Psychology, Education, and Nonprofit Management, Lori’s varied career has covered education administration, counseling, teaching, conference planning, and full-time motherhood. What do these roles all have in common? Caring for other people.
Today, Lori cares for others by promoting the benefits of self-care for mature women. She stands firm in her belief that through self-care, all women over 50 can feel confident, capable, and happy.