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Turning 50 is not what it used to be.

In fact, we are declaring 50 — and beyond — the prime of your life. Armed with the career accomplishments, strong personal relationships, life successes, and with hard-earned retirement on the horizon, people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s are poised to have some of their best years yet.

Here are a few ways to stay healthy, find the best of yourself, and share it with your loved ones.


Travel

From weekend jaunts to weeks-long vacations, road trips to ‘round the world excursions, venturing out of town broadens horizons, builds confidence, and offers a hands-on education that is nearly impossible to replicate. Plus, it turns out it’s good for your health, too. Studies have shown that travel reduces stress, lowers the risk of heart attack, and lowers the risk of depression. So book that solo trip, arrange a romantic escape, or plot a group getaway. No time to make plans? Find an organized tour package and let someone else do the work. Travel comes with another benefit, too: You will appreciate your home and surroundings more when you return.


Giving back

It is better to give than to receive, or so the saying goes. When you look at all the benefits, it is easy to see why. Whether it is giving time to an organization in need or donating money to a worthy cause, giving back stimulates endorphins, resulting in what is known as a “helper’s high.” But it hardly stops there — prioritizing philanthropy in your life lowers blood pressure, reduces stress levels, and increases self-esteem. It is also a great way to meet new people and strengthen bonds with friends and loved ones. Plus, recent studies have shown those who volunteer feel happier and live longer than those who do not. If you do not have loads of time or money, do not fret. As another saying goes, every little bit counts.

Hobbies

Work, sleep, social obligations, repeat. Life is busy — especially after 50. But if you are not making time for a hobby, you could be missing out on some major rewards. Whether it is playing guitar, learning a craft, gardening, taking a class, or participating in a sports league, hobbies and activities are a chance for our brains to relax and recharge. Hobbies also reduce stress, helping us to be stronger and smarter when we tackle larger tasks. They also stimulate creative thinking, allow for social connections, offer the chance for continued learning and provide fodder for interesting conversations. So, what is the activity you have always wanted to try? Pick one or two and give them your best shot.


Exercise

Lace up those sneakers and get moving! Exercise becomes increasingly important as we age; it helps prevent disease, increase energy, maintain or improve mobility, balance, and flexibility. But it is not just for the body — research indicates exercising is the best way to keep the mind sharp, especially in people over 50. A recent study showed aerobic workouts positively impact cognitive abilities — thinking, reading, learning, and reasoning — while more muscle-based workouts improved executive abilities, such as organization and memory.

Cannot find the time? Even 15 minutes of exercise can have a positive effect, so start small and work from there.