Are you dreading turning 50? I get it, but you don’t need to. It’s a brand new decade. A time of change and adventure. As I reflect on my journey, I can honestly say that this has been one of my best years yet. But for many women, this milestone is met with mixed emotions and uncertainties. Many worry about health, career, and personal relationship changes. As women, you likely face unique concerns like menopause. So I get why this can feel overwhelming. To help ease your mind and get you excited about turning 50, I’ve put together a list of the 25 things every woman needs to know before turning 50. The good, the bad and the amazing!
What Every Woman Needs to Know About Turning 50
1. Your Hormones Will Be Unpredictable
Perhaps you’ve been dealing with perimenopause since your 30’s. Or maybe you’re just starting to notice some changes. Either way, during your 40s and 50s, your estrogen and progesterone levels will fluctuate as you transition into menopause. Because of these irregular, fluctuating hormones, it’s normal to experience irregular periods and symptoms like hot flashes, sleep disturbances, anxiety, weight gain and more.
2. Your Physical Body Will Change
If you didn’t in your 40s, you’ll definitely notice some body changes in your 50s: vision changes, new aches and pains, change is weight and where it’s distributed, metabolism slow down, loss of muscle mass and so much more.
3. Alcohol Will Hit You Harder
Between fluctuating hormones, reduced muscle mass and lower liver function, your won’t be able to process alcohol like you once did. Gone are the days of binge drinking in your 20s and getting up the next day without so much as a headache. In your 50s, you may want to lower your intake to avoid blackouts and hangovers.
4. You Can (and should) Trust Yourself
You’ve been there. Done that. Your experiences have honed your intuition. Trust in your decision-making skills and listen to your gut. Let your inherent wisdom guide you through this next decade.
5. You Might Pee When You Laugh
Urinary incontinence is a thing. And it’s a common symptom of perimenopause. Often it occurs because of weakening pelvic floor muscles. So if they aren’t already, make kegels a part of your daily routine.
6.You Can Go Home Early Without Offending Anyone
Nothing good happens after 11pm. Forget the FOMO. You’ve earned the privilege to go home early. It’s time to prioritize your needs, comfort and sleep.
7. Heart Disease is a Real Threat for Women
At 50, the risk for heart disease rises. Focus on heart-healthy habits like eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. And know that the signs of a heart attack are different for women than men. Make sure you know what to look for.
8. Sleep Becomes Hard
Whether it’s trouble falling or staying asleep, most women in their 50s find that achieving a good night’s sleep requires a lot of work. And because sleep is critical for stress management, mind and body recovery, weight management and more, good sleep hygiene is more important than ever in your 50s.
9. Sex Might Become Uncomfortable
Often, changes in estrogen levels can lead to vaginal dryness, which can make sex uncomfortable. So fill your bed side table with lubricants and moisturizers. Because sex is still important and should be fun!
10. You Should Lift Weights
Strength training is more important than ever for women in their 50s. As you age, you start to lose muscle mass. Why is this bad? Because your muscles supports bone density, regulates hormonal balance, and sustains overall health. So make sure you incorporate strength or resistance exercises that target all major muscle groups.
11. Cardio Might Not Be Great For You
If you might spent thousands of hours in your 20s and 30s doing step classes, you’ll want to dial this back in your 50s. High-intensity cardio can increase cortisol and this can cause you to gain weight – particularly on your belly. Cortisol also causes inflammation that can lead to sore and achy muscles. So turn in your step for low-impact movement like walking or swimming.
12. Mental Health is a Real Concern
Hormonal fluctuations can really impact your emotional well-being. It’s not uncommon for women in their 50s to struggle with persistent and severe feelings of anxiety, low moods and even depression. Make sure to pay attention to your mental health and find ways that work for you to reduce stress. Some women love yoga. Others swear by meditation. I love a good breath work reset.
13. Rest Feels More Natural
And thank goodness for that! Listen to your body and allow yourself the rest you need without the guilt. Not getting enough rest impacts how your brain functions and can exacerbate perimenopause symptoms like brain fog and memory issues. So if you feel like you need 10 minutes of shut eye before you next meeting, go for it!
14. With Age Comes Wisdom
There’s a kind of power that emerges as you age. It’s not about meeting societal expectations of youth and beauty, but about embracing your authenticity, honesty, and inner beauty. Embrace the power of the wise woman who lives in you. She embodies truth, creativity, intuition, and a fierce, genuine love.
15. Your Bones Might Get Brittle
Approximately 20% of women aged 50 and older of Caucasian descent are believed to experience osteoporosis. Meanwhile, over 50% of Caucasian women in the same age group are estimated to have low bone mass, indicating a gradual weakening of their bones even though osteoporosis hasn’t set in yet. If your bones are weak, you’re more likely to cause serious damage if you fall. Make sure you prioritize your bone health with calcium-rich foods and weight-bearing strength exercises to combat osteoporosis.
16. Your Skin Gets Thinner
As your estrogen levels start to drop, there’s less blood flow in the tiny vessels beneath your skin. This means reduced circulation, so your skin gets fewer essential nutrients and the skin starts to thin. Thinner skin requires extra care. So make sure to use sunscreen daily and invest in a great moisturizer to maintain skin’s elasticity.
17. You Stop Sweating the Small Stuff
You’re older. You’re trusting your intuition and you’re wiser. So in your 50s many women find they’re able to let go of little things and focus on the big picture. Gone are your days of agonizing and ruminating over misspoken words, a demanding boss, a situation you could have handled differently. Instead you’ll be able to put things into perspective and focus on the things that really matter.
18. You Can Still Reinvent Yourself
Just because you’ve been ‘being you’ for the last 50 years, doesn’t mean you can’t make some changes. Whether it’s a new career. learning a new language or starting a new relationship, your life doesn’t end at 50. Instead it’s an opportunity for a new chapter. A time when your possibilities are endless. So take this time and go for it.
19. Cancer Screening
Stay vigilant in your 50s with regular screenings, like mammograms and colonoscopies. Although it can be scary, early detection dramatically improves survival rates of cancer. For example nine out of 10 individuals beating the colon cancer when detected early, compared to just one in 10 when diagnosed in its advanced stages. The recommended age for these screening vary depending on where you live, but it’s generally agreed that 40 is the starting age for breast and 50 for colon screenings.
20. You Should Pay Attention to Your Oral Health
As you age, it’s easy to overlook the importance of your oral health. Surprisingly, research has linked gum disease to various health problems, from diabetes to heart disease. Keeping your mouth and gums clean isn’t just about dental health; it’s essential for your overall well-being and keeping your smile for years to come.
21. It’s a Great Time to Save for Retirement
In your 50s, seize the opportunity to boost your retirement savings. With potentially higher earnings and fewer child-related expenses, focus on saving more. These prime earning years are crucial. Increase contributions to your 401(k), IRA, and pay off non-tax-deductible debts like credit cards. Securing your financial future ensures you can enjoy the decades ahead. Consider consulting a financial advisor if needed.
22. Empty Nest Syndrome is Real
I haven’t gone through this yet, but I’ve been told that empty nest syndrome is a real thing. And it can be hard. So in your 50s, as your children leave the nest, reach out to friends (especially those who’ve been through it) and stay active. Prioritize your mental health by investing in social connections and hobbies. And embrace this time to focus on personal growth and reconnecting with friends.
23. You Have More Time for Yourself
Whether it’s because you’re an empty nester or because your teenagers want little to do with you these days, you’re going to have more time for yourself in your 50s. Embrace this time as an opportunity to explore new activities and hobbies. Reconnect with friends. And prioritize your own happiness and personal growth. Do things that light you up.
24. You Have an Excuse for Forgetting Things
In your 50s, forgetfulness becomes something of a charming rite of passage. Misplaced your reading glasses for the umpteenth time today? No worries, it’s just one of those endearing quirks that come with this age. And it’s probably because you’ve still got a lot of things on your mind. Things more important than the name of your neighbor’s car. So, if you occasionally can’t remember where you left your car keys or reading glasses… oh well!
25. The Best Is Yet to Come
Turning 50 is a remarkable milestone filled with wisdom and promise. This age is a testament to your growth and resilience. A milestone filled with wisdom and promise. Remember, reaching 50 is not just about looking back—it’s also about anticipating the joys yet to come.