By Liz McPherson, Boots Pharmacist
New research reveals 4 in 5 (82%) women approaching their fiftieth birthday are winding up, not down as they reach this landmark age. Whether they’re travelling the world, following career aspirations or taking on charity work, women at fifty are feeling younger than ever before.
As a 55 year-old Boots Pharmacist with no plans to slow down, I’m using my personal and professional experience to offer my top tips for staying healthy – for any of you approaching your big birthday (and beyond!). Our mission at Boots UK is to raise the health and happiness of the nation, so I hope my health and lifestyle advice will give you some knowledge, tools and confidence to help your bodies keep up with your expanding life ambitions.
MY TOP HEALTH TIPS
- Joint health:
Leading a healthy lifestyle is an easy way to help maintain joint health. Regular exercise will help strengthen the muscles that support our joints, keep joints flexible, and support weight loss which will help to take some pressure off your knees. Try some low impact exercise like walking and swimming, and always take care when lifting, remember to bend your knees, never your back and let your legs do the work!
- Mood boosting:
Exercise is clinically proven to cause the release of endorphins, the feel good chemicals. This can be simple brisk walking, swimming, doing energetic housework to uplifting music, hill walks, riding your bike…anything that gets your pulse slightly higher for at least 15-30 minutes 5 times a week.
- Healthy diet:
50 is also a time when, more than ever, you may benefit from a healthier diet and lifestyle, helping ensure you enjoy life to the full. Around 70% of adults in the UK don’t get the recommended five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day. If you’re among them, you could be missing out on vital nutrients needed to stay healthy! My top tip is to add fruit to porridge, cereal or natural yogurts at breakfast time.
It’s also important to drink around 6 – 8 glasses of fluid every day to help stay hydrated. However when the weather is hot and when exercising we need to drink more. Avoid soft and fizzy drinks that are high in sugar. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty too as thirst is a sign that your body is already becoming dehydrated!
- Eye sight:
A change in your eyesight around the age of fifty is very common so it’s particularly important to have regular eye tests and take action if you notice any changes to your vision. Visit Boots Opticians for an eye test and advice on frames that suit you.
- Energy levels, immunity and healthy bones and teeth:
Sometimes it’s hard to make sure you’re getting a healthy well-balanced diet, especially if you have a busy lifestyle. If this is you, consider taking a multi-vitamin supplement containing vitamins B and C to help support energy levels and zinc to help maintain a healthy immune system.*
In the body, Vitamin D has many regulatory functions, one important one is balancing our calcium and phosphate levels, which helps to maintain healthy bones and teeth. The main natural source of vitamin D is from sunlight and we build up our stores of vitamin D in the summer. However, during the autumn and winter months we don’t receive enough sunlight to allow us to produce vitamin D this way and our stores aren’t at a sufficient level to support our bone and muscle health throughout this period. So to stay in good health you should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms in the autumn and winter months.
By Liz McPherson, 55 year-old Boots Pharmacist. To find your local Boots store where you can talk to a pharmacist about your health concerns, visit www.boots.com.