Fifty plus and restless: How older Indians are working on unfulfilled dreams
Changing perception about turning fifty
Fifty seems to be the new thirty. Not very long ago, hitting the big ‘five-oh’ was considered a time to slow down in life; a time to take things easy and relax. That’s no longer the norm. With advances in medical care and growing self-awareness, perceptions are changing. People turning 50 are starting to invest in themselves and have no intention of applying the brakes; their goal is to #LiveNonstop.
The new generation of people turning 50 is all about staying active in a way that doesn’t just keep them busy, but also energized and strong. From taking up new languages, travelling to exotic destinations, taking up dance and yoga to hitting the gym or prepping for a marathon, its go, go go! Age, after all, is just a number and this concept seems truer now, more than ever before.
It seems like it’s a great time to hit 50 and I was extremely curious to know just how some of my friends, who are in their fifties have made changes to their lifestyle. So, I asked around and here’s what I found out –
While in their twenties, many of them were undecided about where they were headed in terms of their careers, relationships etc.; in their thirties and forties, they got caught up with responsibilities, on personal and professional fronts. But by the time they have reached their fifties, these responsibilities have more or less stabilised. With all their resources, the onset of their fifties is their time for rejuvenation; a time to regroup and revive aspirations and start living life to its fullest potential.
These ‘golden agers’ are now driven more by their intrinsic needs and less by external compulsions. They are making decisions that will help meet their new personal goals i.e. their unfulfilled dreams.
They again have the time for themselves and now want to do what they couldn’t do what they couldn’t do in the earlier decades due to lack of time and various other responsibilities. They want to ensure that their personal and private goals are achieved. For them, it’s all about how to #LiveNonstop.
Everyone I spoke with fully understood that their bodies are now biologically very different from what they were 20 years back. What it also seemed to imply was that their bodies needed extra care and attention. Most seemed to understand that paying close attention to their nutrition levels is essential in order to stay strong and healthy.
Some facts to keep in mind:-
Body changes after fifty
Starting at the age of 40, the loss of muscle mass begins and affects our strength and energy levels as well. Post 50, the body may not get complete nutrition from the food consumed. The lack of calcium or an inability to absorb it properly can result in the weakening of bones. To fill these nutrition gaps, a balanced diet is absolutely vital to ensure that you’re always healthy and your body is well cared for. Regular exercise is also extremely important.
Ensure that you #Live Nonstop!!
To fill the nutrition gap, you need to have a balanced diet and ensure that you include a source of protein and healthy fats in every meal. Healthy food can help control and lower the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension), osteoporosis, and diabetes.
A publication titled ‘Healthy Eating after 50’ by the National Institute on Ageing, recommends some smart food choices that you should incorporate in your diet:
- Add fibre to your diet with whole grains. Make sure at least half your diet of grains is made of whole grains.
- Increase potassium intake and decreasing sodium (salt) may lower your risk of high blood pressure. Fruits, vegetables and low-fat milk and yogurt are good sources of potassium.
- Include calcium-rich foods such as low-fat dairy products, fortified cereals, fruits, and dark green leafy vegetables. If you want to go with a supplement, be sure to choose one that contains vitamin D.
- Include protein from foods such as eggs, fish, beans, and soya; but try to avoid red meat.
- Eat only small amounts of solid fats and foods with added sugars. This means that you should limit the intake of chips, cookies, sweets, and sugary beverages.
- Drink plenty of liquids throughout the day.
- Balance your calorie intake by getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day (or most days) to improve metabolism, strengthen muscles, and lift your energy levels.
Today’s new-age 50-year-olds are all about improving their quality of life. When I see around me people in their fifties, who have no intention of slowing down with age, it gives me the confidence that when in my fifties, I’m going to do all I can to #LiveNonstop. Well, I think I’m going to start preparing right now; you can too!
Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Abbott Healthcare Pvt Ltd, but the views shared in this article are personal.
Disclaimer: Any facts used in this post are meant for education purpose only.