Book Excerpt: The Best of Everything After 50
I was perfectly fine with turning fifty -- except that it snuck up on me. Once I got over the shock and realized that I was really and truly going to be fifty, I wanted to do it right. While I believe I'm getting better as I get older, I also know that my body and lifestyle have changed with the years and I haven't really paid attention to how those changes will affect me in the long-term. I needed a new plan for dealing with my new reality. I had questions about big things (How can I prevent heart disease?) and less frightening but still important ones (Can I still wear 7 For All Mankind jeans?).
Knowledge is power, right? So I went on a quest to find the answers. I searched the Internet, bookstores, and magazines, but it soon turned into information overload. Everybody had an opinion -- and most of them conflicted with each other. Then one day, it hit me. I didn't want lots of information; I wanted the best information -- bottom line -- about what I needed to know now about my skin, hair, makeup, health, sex, clothes, exercise, money and more. Talking to my friends, it was clear we were all looking for the same thing -- a simple guide to living well over fifty that would give us the answers we needed in a simple format.
I wanted a straightforward book that put all of the most useful information in one place with common sense but without fuss or too much jargon. "Tell me what I need to know and tell me now" is part of the collective consciousness of women over fifty. We want to streamline our lives down to the essential elements.
I know . . . because I am this woman, too.
The book didn't exist, so I decided to write it myself.
I searched out the top experts in all these fields -- and more -- and asked them my questions, put myself in their hands, did their programs (to make sure they really worked), and then shared everything I learned. The result was The Best of Everything After 50.
Here's a small sample of some of the brilliant -- and simple -- ideas I learned from the many experts I interviewed, all of which changed my thinking . . . and could change your life:
- Prevention is the most important way to keep disease and illness out of your life.
- Fitness and exercise are essential to good health.
- Heart disease is the number one killer of women.
- Being a woman over fifty puts you in the "at risk" category for heart disease, so work on all the other potential risk factors even more aggressively.
- 10,000 steps every day is one path to a better life.
- Running with walk breaks will keep you moving for the rest of your life.
- Strength training is even more important than taking calcium for keeping osteoporosis at bay.
- Visceral fat (the fat around your waist) is a key factor in women's health.
- Vitamin D is the "little vitamin that could."
- You can eat every few hours, enjoy food, and still lose weight.
- Certain skin problems are reversible.
- Skin care after fifty is not as complicated as the cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies want us to think.
- Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate.
- You can put on makeup in five minutes and look great.
- Highlighting a few key areas of your face is like magic.
- You only need three products for your hair: shampoo, conditioner and gel.
- Sulfates in shampoo should be avoided.
- Blow drying your hair is unnecessary.
- Spontaneous sex is a myth -- good sex takes planning.
- Desire can be cultivated in many ways.
- You don't need to spend a lot of money on clothes to look wonderful.
- "Save more, spend less" should be your financial mantra.
- Creating a theme is the guide to your future.
- You can't get rid of small stuff until you've figured out where you're going.
- There are a lot of different paths to what's next.
- Women over fifty are beautiful -- really, really beautiful.
Author and blogger Barbara Hannah Grufferman shared this adapted excerpt from The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts' Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More with SecondAct.com. She lives in New York, and you can find her online here.
Read more: My Top 10 List: Barbara Hannah Grufferman