HEALTH: Four Healthy Habits You Must Embrace After 50

By Susan "Honey" Good

Turning 50 is a milestone, which is, by definition, a good thing, dear readers.

Change may be nerve-racking but it is not, in and of itself, bad. So while life beginning at 50 may be different, it can also be better.

Today, I'm sharing a list of essential items you must do for your health starting at 50. And, for those of us who have passed 50, don't despair… it's never too late to make positive life changes.

Certain health risks increase dramatically as we age.  After menopause, the average lifetime risk of heart disease goes up almost 40%, immune function declines due to a shrinking thymus gland and, as we all know, as we age there is a gradual decline in Episodic memory (per Prevention Mag.)

But there is so very much that YOU can do to stay fit and fabulous. Such as:

Let them eat... salad!

Adding a salad a day to your diet is perhaps one of the best things you can do for longevity. Swiss chard, spinach and dark lettuces lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, according to Harvard School of Public Health. Best of all, a well-made salad can be utterly delicious, making this is an easy breezy way to eat smarter, get healthier and enjoy life to its fullest!

A yogurt a day keeps colon cancer away

Yogurt may boost immunity and protect against a range of gastrointestinal problems including colon cancer, according to research at Tufts University.

Opt for a cup of yogurt each day and make sure to pick the good stuff, that which contains strains like lactobacillus. Brands that make the cut include Stonyfield Farms, Fage Greek and Chobani.  

Reduce stress 

Chronic stress is a killer! Not only does stress bring on a host of physical problems, it has also been suggested that it may speed up the aging process. Therefore, reducing stress is a must!

One of my favorite tips from a recent story I shared was to develop a "bring it on" mentality when it comes to stressful occurrences in your life. Instead of viewing challenges --  whether sickness, family issues, financial concerns or anything else -- as disasters, when problems strike, say to yourself, "bring it on!" 

View negative situations as opportunities for you to overcome and prevail. Put yourself in fight mode and rise up to the occasion, all with the mindset that you will win! So... what does life have in store for you? Bring it on! 

Make a non-negotiable commitment to fitness

Each and every day you find time to eat, breathe and sleep. You must also find time to exercise. Add it to the list of things that are simply non-negotiable.

This is not about what size dress you wear, this is about remaining physically and mentally independent in your golden years. Exercise is a key factor in reaching that goal. In fact, a recent study in the American Journal of Medicine shows that the higher percent of muscle mass you have the longer you'll live.

Far from being about looking good in clothes -- or out of them -- a commitment to exercise is about living the life you desire and deserve!