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Healthy habits for women over 50

Some people say 50 is the new 40. Whether that's true or not, women over 50 can use this milestone as a chance to take stock of their health and lifestyle and, where necessary, consider some healthy changes.

For example, it is never too late to quit smoking and get some benefits from quitting.

Nutrition tips for women over 50

It's a simple recipe for optimal ageing: good nutrition plus regular exercise.

As a woman ages, her body naturally loses muscle -- and body fat accrues more easily. Triggering these changes are alterations in a woman's hormonal balance.

Good nutrition and exercise don't just help maintain muscle strength and keep weight under control, they also help a maintain good heart and bone health - helping reduce the risks of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, a broken hip because of osteoporosis, even the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Those risks increase with family history, inactive lifestyle, and a poor diet.

Nutrition and anti-ageing secrets

  • Keep weight gain at bay: Cut back on calories, get regular aerobic exercise, and do strength training -- like lifting hand weights. The more muscle the body has, the more calories it can burn. There's an added bonus: tummy fat melts away when you exercise.
  • Keep bones strong: Get adequate calcium and vitamin D. The NHS says Vitamin D helps control the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body, which are needed to keep your bones and teeth healthy. While the body can synthesise vitamin D from sun exposure, as it ages it is less able to process this vitamin D.
  • Prevent heart disease and more: Enjoy the bounty native to Mediterranean countries -- plenty of seafood, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and olive oil. Red meats are eaten less often and wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts. The good nutrition found in a Mediterranean-style diet is thought to help maintain heart health, because it is low in calories and fat, especially trans fats and saturated fats.
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