I had a recent health scare this month that totally changed my life. I’m not getting any younger, and while I try to eat healthy and exercise, it might not be enough. Today I want to share some tips with you on how to take care of your health better, no matter how old you are.
I turned 60 last year, and that was a real eye-opener for me. Now, while some women go on and on about how amazing they feel and how wonderful turning 60 was, I can honestly say I’m not one of those women.
Sorry. But don’t fret. This isn’t going to be an article full of doom and gloom, either. I promise.
First, I have to tell you my story in hopes that it can save someone’s life (ok, maybe that’s a bit dramatic).
Why It’s So Important to Take Care of Your Health
I do my best to take care of myself. I ‘try’ to eat healthily, I exercise 5-6 times a week, I quit smoking over two years ago, and I don’t really drink alcohol at all. Now while all this sounds perfect, it’s not.
I am a junk food junkie, I ride my scooter everywhere, meaning, I rarely walk, and I suck at drinking water daily, and I had no qualms about eating a peanut butter and jam sandwich on white bread at 10 pm and then going to bed.
You see. I’m not perfect.
But I do try.
When I turned 60, I became even more hyper-aware of my health, my aging body, and all my parts. I know how important it is for me to take care of my health, more so now than ever.
As women over 50 or even 60, we have different challenges, and our bodies aren’t as strong or resilient as they used to be. That includes everything. You must take care of your health, and if you haven’t been doing that, it’s not too late to start.
While we can’t reverse over 40 years of damage, we can certainly do our best to heal some of it and prevent further damage possibly. I mean, why not? Why wouldn’t we want to try, at least?
So I’m hoping you’re here reading this because you sincerely want to learn how to take care of your health and I also hope this article does help you even just a little.
I woke up one morning with excruciating pain encompassing my entire torso: my abs, stomach, lower back, sides, you name it, it hurt. So much so that I could barely walk, stand, sit, or anything. No clue where this ridiculous pain came from.
Not a clue.
I went to the clinic (remember I live in Guatemala), tests were done, many tests including CT Scan, blood work, and ultrasound. The results came back, and the doctor diagnosed me with diverticulitis. Weird.
He gave me antibiotics, told me to schedule a colonoscopy, and sent me home. After the first day of antibiotics, I felt 100 times worse and was rushed to the hospital in the city by ambulance. More on that, maybe in an article on Medium.
Once there, they whisked me off for more tests, hooked me up to an IV for hydration (I threw up the entire way to the city in the ambulance), and closely monitored me. Turns out I, in fact, did not have diverticulitis – second opinions are highly recommended.
Turns out I had fungus on my kidneys, bleeding on my kidneys caused by a bacterial infection that may have come from my urinary tract.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “But Iva, that has nothing to do with food and exercise,” and you’re not wrong. However, I have been speeding up the healing process through food and fasting. More on that in the tips below.
So how did I get this infection in the first place? Good question. I Googled the crap out of this and came up pretty short, but I did find out one thing that had me scratching my head. Vaginal moisturizers can cause infection.
Oh joy. So not only now do I have this infection, I have to be careful moisturizing my petunia, and I’ll probably never have sex again for the rest of my life.
This is 60.
Does it have to be this way? Nope. I don’t think so, anyway. I think if you take care of your health, and yes, you can start right now, then there’s hope!
So let’s get to it, and let me share 11 tips with you on how to take care of your health over 50.
How to Take Care of Your Health: 11 Crucial Tips
The tips I’m going to share with you are solely my own, I’m not a healthcare professional or any kind of health guru. Most of these are common sense tips. Take what you want, and leave the rest.
The most important thing to remember though is that we are all different, and our bodies and systems have different needs. What works for me might not work for you.
Always check with your doctor before starting anything new, and don’t be afraid to test new things too!
The bottom line here is never too late to change things, and if you’re waiting for the right time to take care of your health, this is it. Today. Like right friggin now.
Oh and one more thing before we get started. This is your journey. This is your health. Just because you want to take care of your health doesn’t mean the people around you might want to join in. Do it anyway.
1 Cut out sugar
Sorry, not sorry. Sugar is poison. There, I said it. Don’t believe me? One quick Google search about “is sugar bad for you” will yield millions of results that say yes, it is. Hey listen, I love sugar as much as the next gal, but I love life and my body more.
Cutting out sugar was not easy for me, and chances are it won’t be for you, either. But you can do it. I know you can. Try this experiment at home. Cut out sugar for one month and then on the 32 day have some sugar and watch how your body reacts.
Here’s a great report from Harvard Health Publishing.
2 Stay hydrated
I know, I know. Boring tip. Ya ya we get it. Drink water. But seriously. Are you even doing it, though? You know you need to stay hydrated, but are you?
And while you do need to drink water, your body might not require the recommended 8 glasses a day. For some of us, 3 -5 glasses might be enough. Whatever the case. Stay hydrated.
3 Get exercising
Girl, there are a million ways to exercise. Yoga, walking, strength training, joining a gym, aerobics classes, need I go on? And no, it’s not too late to start exercising either, I don’t care how old you are.
Just start! And start light if you have never exercised before or for a long time. Beginner’s yoga is a great place to start, or beginner’s strength training for seniors. Whatever. YouTube has a plethora of FREE workout videos.
4 Read the labels
Remember, we’re not so resilient anymore, and as you start to take care of your health more, you will also have to start being a little inspector to find out exactly what goes in your body. Our bodies don’t love everything like they used to, not to mention they are going through some crazy changes too.
Check out the side effects of certain medications, warnings, everything. Don’t ignore them. What is good for one person might be fatal to the next.
Watch what you put in your grocery cart. Is there added sugar in that so-called sugar-free item? Be aware.
5 Listen to your body
A lot. If something doesn’t feel right or if a new pain pops up, investigate it. Do not ignore it. Ever. Taking a pain reliever is a band-aid. There’s a reason why something hurts. Find out what that reason is.
Learning how to take care of your health also means learning to listen to signs and signals your body gives off as warnings. Ignoring these warnings could be fatal.
6 Intermittent/full-day fasting
This is a new thing for me. I started doing full-day fasting about a year or so ago, and while I’m not on a regular fasting schedule, this new health scare I had reminds me I need to make one. If you can’t fast for a full day for whatever reason, then try intermittent fasting.
Here are 8 health benefits of fasting (click here to read the full article):
- Controls blood sugar
- Fights inflammation
- Enhances heart health
- Boosts brain function
- Aids in weight loss
- Increases growth hormone secretion
- Extends longevity
- Helps to prevent cancer
And I’ll also throw in this little tidbit – it puts the body in repair mode. The body is really good at repairing itself naturally. Who knew?
7 Get a second opinion
The first doctor here wrongly diagnosed me, and if I didn’t go see another doctor, I could have had renal failure and died.
Whether you believe the first doctor or not, it’s always good to get a second pair of eyes on your condition. The first doctor might have overlooked something. Don’t be afraid to ask to see a specialist or another doctor.
You need to take care of your health. It’s up to you to find the best ways and doctors to help you do that.
Are you lacking in minerals and vitamins? Would you even know? Make an appointment with your doctor and get some blood work done.
8 Practice gratitude
Ok wait, what? Hear me out for a minute. I know you want to take care of your health, but that’s not limited to your physical health. Your mental health plays a huge role in this too.
If you’re always angry and negative and miserable and most likely complaining about every little thing in your life, chances are, you are unhealthy af. There. I said it.
When we have emotional turmoil, like being angry and negative all the time, it shows up in us physically. Don’t believe me? Check it out.
Start finding things to be grateful for. Start letting go of anger and hatred and replacing it with peace and forgiveness. Stop stressing over stupid things. Let go of grudges.
If you change your attitude and your mindset, sit back and watch how your health changes too. I’m not even joking.
I’d love it if you checked out my self-improvement eStore, where I have created several self-help ebooks, courses, programs, and coaching to help you live your best life ever. Click here to check it out.
No joke. Calm the heck down. Quiet your mind. Take time just to be still. If you’ve never meditated before and think you can’t, think again. So many people still have meditation all wrong.
It’s not about sitting crossed-legged like a Buddha statue and humming and ohmming. I mean, you can do that too, but you don’t have to.
It’s just about quieting your mind, sitting still, being in the moment (meaning letting go of all the stress and toxic thoughts taking up your time right now), and chilling out.
And the health benefits? It lowers your resting heart rate, which is significant if you have high blood pressure and high stress.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a great guide to help you get started with meditation.
10 Ditch processed foods
All of it. If it takes you too long to read the label, you don’t need it. Sugar, flour, cookies, bread, cereals, sauces, etc. So many of the foods we buy at the market are filled with stuff our bodies don’t need or want.
Try eating whole foods more. Fruits, veggies, eggs, meats, fish, you get the idea. Your body will thank you for it.
You might really like this article.
11 Dump bad habits
Smoking, drinking, nail-biting, eating too much sugar, coffee with cream, you get the idea. I know it won’t be easy, but it’s not impossible, either.
I quit smoking in 2020 after smoking a pack a day for almost 46 years, yes, you read that right, 46 years, and it was the best thing I ever did. You will never regret quitting bad habits.
Why not just pick one, set a date to quit, and start there?
It’s Not Too Late to Take Care of Your Health
I don’t care how old you are right now, start now. Today. You clicked this link because you want to learn how to take care of your health. I’ve given you 11 awesome tips and shared valuable resources with you.
Now it’s your turn.
If you truly want to take care of your health, I mean truly, you’ll start today. And I get that starting or changing anything is hard and scary, so why not ask a friend to join you in your new healthy venture?
xo iva xo