If you’re in your 50s, you’re probably in on a well-kept secret: These years are kind of the best. All the work you’ve done in your 20s, 30s, and 40s to live your fullest life is really starting to pay off—and you may have more free time (and money) than you’ve ever had before, thanks to your well-earned #boss status.
Yours is the first generation to take fitness seriously into adulthood and you’re seeing the results of that: These are not your mother’s 50s. The payoff? You have the energy to use all that free time wisely. (Surfing school, anyone?)
However, this is no time to push your body past its limits—it’s all about self-love, following your inspiration, and having fun. (You’ve earned it.)
Read on for expert advice on how to look and feel amazing throughout your 50s.
“The 50s are like the 30s were 10 years ago—I see tons of 50 year olds today that are jacked,” says trainer Laurent Amzallag, who has gone on tour with Oprah Winfrey and was named one of the country’s top 50 trainers by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. The biggest challenge he notices at this age is balance, which tends to decrease with age. To keep it from fading fast, he recommends incorporating exercises like one-legged bicep curls or box step-ups into your workout routine, as well as anything that strengthens your core.
He also notes that his clients tend to have more time for recreational sports like golf or tennis when they’re over 50 and their kids have left home. So he’s big on doing drills that will help improve performance and strengthen the muscles needed to dominate in these pursuits.
Since cardiovascular disease is a major concern for many of her clients in their 50s, holistic nutritionist Elissa Goodman recommends a diet high in dark leafy greens, legumes, fish, whole grains, and fruits, all of which help protect the heart. She’s also crazy about green tea, which guards against cellular damage.
Digestion changes a lot once you hit 50, too, says Goodman. “In your 50s and beyond, your stomach empties more slowly, which can increase the risk of reflux,” she explains. “Plus, the slowing of digested material through the large intestine can trigger constipation.” The answer: fiber, and lots of it. Goodman recommends a tablespoon of milled flaxseed a day to keep things moving, plus aloe vera juice to cleanse and soothe the digestive tract and increase nutrient absorption.
When it comes to supplementing in your 50s, it’s all about the brain and heart, says Goodman. She keeps her kitchen stocked with magnesium L-threonate for optimal cognative function, CoQ10 (which she refers to as “fuel for your heart”), and turmeric, “a potent anti-inflammatory food.”
Heather Peterson, chief yoga officer at CorePower Yoga says that, in combination with a regular yoga practice, seated meditation is super effective for those in their 50s. “Start by focusing on a pleasing object like a candle flame, flower, or peaceful image with your eyes open,” she says. (Or, feel free to try a crystal.) “Then, eventually close your eyes and keep focusing your mind on that object. Open your eyes to refocus when your mind begins to wander…and don’t forget your deep breathing!” She recommends starting with five minutes a day, and then building up to 20 or 30.
“When we get into our 50s, hormonal shifts can create added skin sensitivities,” says aesthetician and therapeutic skin coach Hayley Roy. “Skin tends to feel more delicate and fragile here, but women in their 50s also want to focus on maintenance and reversing years of damage.”
Roy’s favorite ingredients for this age group include immortelle—found in Odacite’s Aloe and Immortelle Refreshing Toner Mist and Tammy Fender’s Intensive Repair Balm—plus Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil.
And if you’re suddenly plagued with adult acne again at 50 (which Roy says does sometimes happen with hormonal shifts), don’t panic. Instead, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep, and supplement with Moon Juice’s Sex Dust. “It’s great for balancing hormones so your skin won’t have to suffer,” she says. Plus, it boosts your mojo—something we can all get behind, age notwithstanding.
While you’re thinking about supplements, have you considered adding spray vitamins to the mix? And if you pop a probiotic daily, here’s how to make sure it’s actually working.