AARP, Alzheimer's, aging

8 Expert Tips & Advice For Aging Well In Your 50s

According to research, aging well makes a difference with positive and fulfilling habits, behaviors, and attitudes.

The nation is aging. According to AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons), the years ahead can be fulfilling if we create healthy and purposeful habits, behaviors, and attitudes.

Genetics is only one contributing factor in aging well. AARP outlined eight indicators that make a difference, plus advice on how to kickstart them into your journey.


The AARP cites loneliness as a risk among older adults who do not maintain strong social connections. About one-third of U.S. adults aged 45 and older report feeling lonely, and the most vulnerable are low-income individuals, the CDC found. For older Black adults, loneliness differs from other ethnic groups because of the disproportionate barriers they face. 

Advice: To combat loneliness, AARP advises older adults to look for ways to “connect with others regularly,” such as talking to a loved one every day, taking up a hobby, or working part-time. Studies found that people with stronger social relationships increased their survival odds by 50%. 


Older African Americans have low levels of physical activity, which increases the risk of aging-related health conditions, according to studies. The AARP noted that those who tend to engage in physical activity they enjoy stave off potential risks of age-related illnesses. A 2022 study found that light physical activities such as walking, dancing, and gardening were associated with a lower risk of death.

Advice: Whether it’s 10 minutes or 30 minutes, try to do a physical activity about five days a week. AARP also suggests adding strength training.


A 2022 study published in PLOS Medicine found that the earlier you adopt a Mediterranean diet, the better. A Mediterranean diet consists of various fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, fish (especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel), and healthy fats like olive oil.

Expert advice: Prioritize your day with at least five servings of vegetables per day, in addition to two to three servings of fruit. Use healthy fats like olive oil instead of butter or vegetable oil, and swap the red meat out for fish.


A 2019 JAMA Network Open study of nearly 7,000 adults found that those who scored highest on a scale measuring “life purpose” were less likely to die over a four-year period compared with those who scored lower.  

Advice: What is important to you? Find out what your passion is so your later years can truly reflect your values and identity. This journey offers keys to new connections and adventures.


Studies report a connection between sleep duration and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, dementia, and death. Alzheimer’s also increases your risk for chronic health problems such as obesity, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Advice: AARP encourages older adults to cultivate healthy habits right before bed, especially if they have trouble sleeping. These include avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evenings and limiting screen time. Maintaining a sleep schedule is also essential. 


“Age is just a number,” so the saying goes, but studies show that optimism can take you a long way. Researchers note that ageist stereotypes can be a “self-fulfilling prophecy,” AARP reported. 

Advice: According to AARP, optimism can be cultivated by gratitude practices and positive self-talk. One approach is to shift your mindset about aging. 


AARP noted a study of 1,954 people found that those who were more conscientious were 22% less likely to experience cognitive impairment. Another showed a 35% reduced risk of early death.

Advice: Mark your calendar, AARP suggests. From setting reminders and intentions to prioritizing early arrivals to doctor appointments, these habits put you at the forefront of your life.


People who age well constantly learn new things and challenge their brains in order to stave off cognitive decline, experts say. That can mean taking a class at the community college, learning a new game such as chess or mah-jongg, or playing sudoku. Such activities also reduce stress, which can create inflammation that causes cellular damage to the body and brain.

Advice: Learn something new and do it often. 

If you haven’t done so already, consider how you can apply these productive habits, behaviors, and attitudes to your life at age 50 and into your golden years.