At 108.7 million strong, people over the age of 50 are now the largest demographic in the United States, and they’re making big changes for themselves and the world around them. They are revolutionizing aging — doing more, living fully, and turning myths about growing older on their head.
Life after 50 can be everything life before 50 was, and then some. More wisdom and experience often can contribute to deeper friendships, a keener understanding of what you want, and a clear plan for making the next chapter your best chapter.
Every year of your life marks another chance to live well, nurture meaningful relationships, and shape the life you desire — whether it’s cultivating old passions, enjoying new habits, or finding more time for the things you’ve always loved. These habits can help you cultivate wellness over 50 and for a lifetime.
1. Prioritize the People You Love
One of the benefits of turning 50 is that you’ve had a chance to build a lifetime’s worth of connections. Relationships make life worth living. They’re also great for your health. In fact, a recent analysis of studies on life span showed strong social relationships can increase longevity by as much as 50%, regardless of age or health status. Loneliness can be as bad for your health as smoking or obesity. Carve out time in your schedule for the people you love, and consider investing in activities that help you connect with like-minded people.
2. Make Time for Self-Care
Self-care isn’t selfish. Instead, self-care is vital to maintaining your health, well-being, and an exceptional lifestyle over 50. Many people over 50 are part of the Sandwich Generation, providing care for both their children and older loved ones. Others are deeply invested in volunteering, mentoring, or helping raise their grandchildren. This work shapes a brighter tomorrow, but it can also be exhausting.
Integrate self-care into your routine so that it becomes a habit. You might wake up early for sunrise yoga or enjoy a meditative soak in the bath after a long day. You will be a better, healthier caregiver if you also care for yourself.
The right community can support your caregiving role while making self-care easy. Enjoy maintenance-free living so you can focus on making the world a better place without feeling drained.
3. Start Moving (or Stay Active)
Movement is one of the best things you can do to prolong your life, reduce pain, improve mental health, and lower your risk of chronic health conditions. In one study, regular exercise — specifically playing tennis — added about 9.7 years to a person’s life expectancy. So if exercise has always been a part of your routine, find ways to stay active or enhance your fitness level.
But what if you’re a committed couch potato or have always preferred to curl up with a good book? It’s not too late. Movement can improve health and increase life expectancy, regardless of prior activity levels. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or exhausting! Gardening, team sports, a hike with your loved ones, or a group class are excellent ways to enjoy exercising.
WesleyLife’s WellAhead program makes fitness easy and fun, whether you remain in your own home or move to one of our welcoming communities. Enjoy fitness classes, unlimited access to our wellness center, and a free fitness assessment.
4. Plan for the Future
How do you want to spend the second half of your life? What activities, relationships, and goals will help you live life to the fullest? Now is a great time to think about what matters most to you and what supports you want if you need additional help. This planning can ease stress, help you set financial goals, and make it easier to focus on enjoying every moment.
5. Talk to Your Loved Ones About Your Goals
If you wish, talk with others close to you about your plans, especially if you hope to include them. If you’re married, you may want to explore ways to ensure you and your spouse have a plan to align future goals. And if you have children, consider the extent to which you want to include them in your planning, especially if you’re counting on them to make decisions or provide care. It may also help to talk to friends to learn about their plans. Living closer to the people you love, such as in a vibrant community for older adults, could make life after 50 everything you desire.
What else can you do to build a future you feel excited about? And how can a senior living community support your long-term dreams? Learn more with our free guide, “Living Your Best Life After 55.”