As women over 50, we CAN age gracefully, beautifully, and healthfully. By Judith G. Cobb, MH, CI, NCP
This article is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. It is meant for educational purposes only. Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health, and Nature’s Sunshine Products accept no responsibility for results you get, whether good or bad, from using this information. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.
Now that I am well into the ranks of women over 50 I seem to have a lot of 50+ clients. Many of them have actually been my clients for many, many years. Some of them came to me when they first wanted help having healthy pregnancies. But, now, we women over 50 all seem to want the same thing – to age gracefully and slowly. There isn’t one of us who wants to look or feel older than our biological age, and most of us want to slow the entire process down as much as we can. This has led me to come up with what I feel are the top 12 things we can do to slow down the march of time.
I have to admit, with raising such a large family over the past 34 years there hasn’t been much time and even less money to care about what I looked like. With Daughter’s wedding in August I took time, for the first time in my life, to do a close up evaluation of whether I was aging the way I wanted to. Interestingly, the answer was ‘no.’ I’ve made some radical changes as a result, including several things from the following list.
Some of these things are things you know and maybe even already do.
1. Eat healthfully and make sure you poop
As we get older our appetite often goes down, and as a result we may not eat as well as we should. The ‘tea and toast’ syndrome is real and it’s really bad. It leads to serious malnutrition. Women over 50 need vegetables, protein, and whole grains to maintain good health into our advanced years, and we might as well make sure we’ve got good habits happening now. Those veggies and grains go a long way to keeping the bowel healthy and eliminating properly. One of the benefits of healthy, regular (2 – 3 per day) bowel movements is no body odor. Indeed, women who poop well almost never have body odor.
2. Get enough sleep
Insomnia can be an issue for some women as they get older. Even when we are over 50 we need our sleep to repair and rejuvenate. You may be very active. You may still have way too much to do. Do whatever it takes to get enough sleep to feel energized and just see how much more productive you are. You know what being tired does to how you look. None of us look youthful or energized when we are tired.
We often think of snoring as a ‘guy thing.’ Truthfully, just as many women suffer from sleep apnea as men. If you don’t feel well-rested after 7 – 9 hours of sleep, and if anyone has ever told you you snore, you should get checked for sleep apnea. To do this properly involves medical testing. Sleep apnea can be caused by being overweight, and losing weight will often correct it. For women who are not overweight, taking Collatrim Plus can tighten up the Uvula (the flappy thing at the back of the throat) and can stop the snoring. Failing that, a medically prescribed C-PAP machine can be a heaven-send for regulating breathing at night and improving the quality of sleep.
3. Exercise vigorously; include weight training
There are so many activities to choose from nowadays. Some women over 50 are afraid to exercise vigorously for fear of hurting themselves. Power walking, swimming, circuits, classes – just get in there and do it. If you have been inactive for a length of time you will need to ease into exercising regularly. Start with a comfortable intensity or slightly less for 30 minutes, three times per week. Gradually build up from there.
Be sure to include weight lifting and stretching in your program. Sweating is good for your skin. Exercise, done correctly, generates energy and creates a healthy glow!
4, Drink enough water; give up coffee, tea, green tea, caffeine
Women over 50 don’t want to look like ‘wrinkled old prunes’. The fastest way to look look like a prune is to drink things that dry you out and to not drink enough water. Coffee, tea, and green tea are all diuretics, and many carbonated beverages also act as diuretics. It’s highly likely that you are not drinking enough water to begin with, let alone enough water to replace what the diuretics have pulled out of you.
5. Get your weight where you want it
We all know it’s harder to lose weight after menopause. That is not a good reason (and I don’t think there is a good reason) to give up on getting to a healthy weight. In all likelihood, bad habits helped you put extra weight on, and it will take great habits (and change in beliefs about yourself) to get the weight off.
6. Get a good hairstyle
The hairstyle you had at 30-something has probably outlived its usefulness. Your face has probably changed shape and your features may have softened somewhat, too. A fresh hairstyle that complements your facial structure can take years off your appearance. If you’ve been using the same stylist for umpteen years I suggest you try someone new. A fresh set of eyes and a fresh perspective can give you a hairstyle that is runway worthy.
7. Hair color
Your hair color is changing, too. Whether you’ve colored your hair or not is not what’s important here. What’s more important is whether the color suits your changing skin tones. Update your color or let it go gray – we’ll balance it out in the next point.
Again, as your skin tone and hair color change, so does your skin texture. The products and make-up you used ten years ago are probably not the correct combination for you now. Get in touch with a make-up professional and take a few lessons on skincare and make-up for someone your age. Well applied make-up with the right moisturizers and primer under it can make you look and feel younger and more radiant.
As women get older their skin gets thinner. The moisturizer that worked for you years ago is probably not the the best composition or weight for your skin now. Take some time to gather information and sample skin care products to find the ones that work well with your skin.
9. Clothing styles for women over 50
Sad to say, our bodies change shape with age, and fashions change regardless of our age. Whether you are avantguard in your style or more classic, if the budget will bear it, buy a few pieces of ‘current’ clothing each year to update your wardrobe. They needn’t be expensive pieces, but they should be well-made and fit you perfectly. Be open to trying on new styles to see if there’s a fashion diva just waiting to burst forth!
10. Laugh a lot; smile
A smile is always in style, and laugh lines are the best wrinkles to have – they are certainly more attractive than frown lines and worry lines.
11. Well-fitted bra
Ladies, it’s sad to admit that some of us women over 50 have saggy boobs, and some of us don’t even have boobs anymore. Saggy anything never looks good. Spend the time and the money to get a bra that fits and supports properly (no underwire, please – it’s bad for your lymphatic circulation). For those of us, like me, who seem to have lost everything we once had – and we’re not even sure where it went – a padded bra can be a huge lift to the self esteem. Make sure that whatever you are wearing for undergarments fits well. This, alone, can make you look younger and more energetic!
12. Wear support hose if needed
With having and caring for babies and caring for everyone else who needed a piece of your day, you may not have noticed the circulation in your legs breaking down into spider veins and varicose veins. Take a minute now to check your legs. If they look like road maps of Chicago, it’s time to get support hose. I wore super-strong support hose religiously when I was pregnant because I needed them desperately. Even now, I wear moderate-strength support hose rather than regular pantyhose because my legs need the help! Support hose can keep your legs from aching and ankles from swelling. If your legs are in trouble, check with your doctor about getting prescription support hose.
Bonus Tip, 13. Quit smoking
I had to tag this one onto the list. The vast majority of women who read my stuff are already non-smokers. If you are one of the few women over 50 who still smokes, I have to tell you that none of the first 12 points I’ve listed are going to do one speck of good to help you feel and look younger. If you smoke you really need to quit if you don’t want to look old way before your time. In my opinion, smokers look an average of 15 – 20 years older than their non-smoking counterparts. I’m not sure what the effects of Vaping (smoking e-cigarettes) are on the skin, and I don’t want to find out. All of the effects of smoking can be reversed, at least somewhat, once a woman quits smoking.
Ladies, we will all age, but we CAN age gracefully, beautifully, and healthfully. I encourage you to choose something you can improve on today!
If you have concerns about your health, or just don’t know where to begin making improvements, please contact me, Judith Cobb, to book an appointment. Skype, phone, webinar, and face-to-face appointments are available. I also invite you to like us on Facebook and visit our other websites:
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Copyright © 2015 by Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health Ltd. All rights reserved. Please respect the time it takes to write and publish articles. If you will link to this article and give proper attribution, you are encouraged to quote sections (though not the entire article).