Rules to Follow at 50
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50 Rules to Throw Out When You Turn 50 from 50 Rules to Throw Out When You Turn 50 Gallery

50 Rules to Throw Out When You Turn 50 Gallery

These rules were meant to be broken
Rules to Follow at 50
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Rules to Follow at 50

50 Rules to Throw Out When You Turn 50

50 Rules to Throw Out When You Turn 50
iStock

We believe that 50 is the prime of your life. You have years and years of wisdom and life experience behind you to help you avoid those silly ol’ mistakes, and yet you are still young enough to travel the world or live new experiences right in your own hometown. So while you’re in the best years yet, some long-held beliefs — and that whole “life rulebook” — need to be thrown out.

Back in your day, it was considered too forward to call back a person you were dating, white after Labor Day was considered to be a major social faux pas, and seeing a parent with brightly colored hair was shocking. Not anymore! After all, you’re 50, not dead.

Don’t think you can still learn how to bake bread or do the tango? Well, think again. It’s never too late to try something new or grow into your self-confidence. But of course, not all of life’s rules that are meant to be broken are fun. (You may want to rethink that diet soda and sugar-free candy habit at 50). For more rules that are no longer relevant as a middle aged adult, click here for the 50 rules to throw out when you turn 50.

Activism Is for Young Kids

Activism Is for Young Kids
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It may seem like the newest generation is leading the charge when it comes to social change, but just because you’re over 50 doesn’t mean you need to be stuck in your ways! Get politically active now by becoming an Election Day worker or volunteering for a cause you care about, like fighting hunger in America.

Age Is Something to Be Ashamed Of

Age Is Something to Be Ashamed Of
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Once many people reach a certain age, they start to become ashamed of how many years they have under their belt. Stop saying it’s the “21st anniversary of my 29th birthday.” You’re 50! Wear it loud and wear it proud. Age ain’t nothing but a number, after all.

Avoid Dairy

Avoid Dairy
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You may think that cutting dairy is the key to keeping trim, but think again! In reality, your bone mass reaches its peak when you turn 30. If you skimp on dairy products, you’re missing out on huge amounts of calcium your bones could benefit from. That means you’re on track for a greater risk of osteoporosis and joint pain. Dairy also contains good amounts of vitamin D, which can keep your skin, hair, and overall mood from degrading as you age.

Be Selfless

Be Selfless
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Presumably, at age 50, you’ve spent a good amount of your life caring for other people. Whether it’s your spouse, your children, or your friends, your needs probably come last at least most of the time. Every now and then, be a little selfish. Spend extra money on a sexy new outfit for yourself; book a solo vacation to that exotic island you’ve always dreamed of. This time is your time. Enjoy it!

Been There, Done That

Been There, Done That
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Nothing has to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Sure, you studied abroad in Germany in college, but when was the last time you went back to Europe? Re-experience your favorite life moments; you never know what istockphoto.comavel clichés might be totally worth it.

Canned Beans and Vegetables Are Just as Healthy as Fresh

Canned Beans and Vegetables Are Just as Healthy as Fresh
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Vegetables and beans are very important for a healthy diet, but canned versions of these super-healthy foods are soaked in sodium and bisphenol A (BPA). Sodium is a food that can really hike up your blood pressure. If you’re looking to extend the shelf life of your groceries, consider frozen veggies.

Carbs Are Bad

Carbs Are Bad
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It’s easy to feel that carbs are the way to a rounder belly, but that isn’t true! Carbs such as whole wheat bread, pasta, and oats contain fiber, and that is an absolute must-have for anyone over 50. Most women require between 25 and 30 grams of soluble fiber every day to help lower cholesterol as it creeps up with age. Cut the carbs and you’ll miss out on all of those health benefits and probably will feel even more tired than you were already.

Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness

Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness
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Listen, we’re not going to tell you to forego spring cleaning or to keep your house a mess, but we will tell you that you don’t worry about having a perfectly clean home. Take less time dusting off your bookshelves and spend more time with your loved ones.

Dance Like Nobody Is Watching

Dance Like Nobody Is Watching
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You don’t have to be a perfect dancer in order to boogie down. If you’re a little embarrassed when you put on your dancing shoes, consider taking a dance class.

Diet Soda Is Great for Cutting Calories

Diet Soda Is Great for Cutting Calories
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Diet soda is actually really, really bad for you. And you should stop drinking it. Don’t believe it? Here’s 18 reasons why.

Don’t Call or Text Back Someone You’re Dating

Don’t Call or Text Back Someone You’re Dating
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Did your dating years involve The Rules, the dating book that advised single women to "[not to] call him and rarely return his calls." Well, dating has changed in the 20-plus years since the best seller was published in 1995. So call or don't call, swipe left or swipe right, text or ghost the guy or gal (just don't breadcrumb them)! You are savvy and experienced enough at 50 to make your own rules when it comes to dating.

Don’t Eat Before Bed

Don’t Eat Before Bed
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It doesn’t matter what age you are, you’ve heard this advice countless times. “Not eating after 8 p.m. is the key to maintaining a healthy weight/weight loss.” Nope! Your body doesn’t know what time it is; it just knows whether or not you’re hungry. If you go to bed hungry, you’ll actually sleep worse, causing you to be sluggish (and famished) the next day. Have a healthy late-night snack instead of starving before bed.

Don’t Play With Fire

Don’t Play With Fire
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OK, we’re not telling you to have a lot of fun with arson or a live fire. But if you’ve never done it, having a bonfire at the beach is a beautiful experience. Just don’t forget the s’mores!

Don't Wear White After Labor Day

Don't Wear White After Labor Day
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You’ve been hearing this fashion/etiquette rule forever, but have you ever thought why you shouldn’t wear white after September? It was actually an arbitrary rule made up after the Civil War to try to separate old money from “new money.” Basically, it was just a way for women to be snobby to other women they didn’t like. So forget this silly rule. Wear white when you feel like it (except for at a wedding).

Dress Conservatively

Dress Conservatively
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Whether you were raised to dress modestly to avoid drawing attention from men or whether you just hold the belief that “a woman over 50 shouldn’t wear ___,” forget those rules! Rock that deep V if it makes you feel good, break out those platform heels when you go dancing, and don’t wear stockings if you don’t feel like it. You can dress however you want — you’ve earned the right.

Drinking a Glass of Wine a Day Will Help You Live Longer

Drinking a Glass of Wine a Day Will Help You Live Longer
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The science is out on whether or not drinking alcohol in moderation will help you live longer or greatly shorten your lifespan. However, after a certain age, the way you metabolize alcohol changes. It gets way more difficult for your body to handle that one glass; you’ll get a worse hangover and higher degree of toxicity from your drink.

Eat Low-Fat Foods

Eat Low-Fat Foods
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Do you know the best foods to eat to avoid Alzheimer's? Fat! Yes, it may be tempting to eat low-fat foods to keep slim, but olive oil, salmon, nuts, and avocados have all been linked to better cognitive function. All fats, even the saturated kinds, can help keep your cholesterol down and actually help you live longer.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

The Early Bird Gets the Worm
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There’s this perception that older people get up early or should get up early for their health. Nope! Don’t be sleep deprived and get up early just to work out or catch your 6 a.m. news broadcast. If you’re a natural night owl, make your own internal clock work for you. Some truly crazy things happen when you’re sleep deprived, after all!

Family History Is Ancient History

Family History Is Ancient History
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There’s no better time than now to get in touch with your family’s roots. Consider putting together your family tree or getting a DNA test to find our your ancestry. Heck! You can even just hang out with your mom and learn old family stories. Spending time with your mama is good for her health (and yours too).

Gray Hair Is for Old Ladies

Gray Hair Is for Old Ladies
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Celebrities like Jamie Lee Curtis, Helen Mirren, and Glenn Close proudly and loudly rock their gray hair, and you should too. Forget that dye. Heck, even younger celebrities like Kelly Osbourne, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna have dyed their hair gray on purpose. It’s on trend!

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
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Listen, life won’t go on forever. If you want something badly enough, go after it! Whether it’s a new job, a new love, or a major raise. Be proactive!

If You Haven’t Done It by Now, You Never Will

If You Haven’t Done It by Now, You Never Will
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Says who? You’re 50, not extinct. There are so many new things one can try to do in life. You can pick up a new sport, learn a new language, or do anything you want to. The time for self-improvement is now.

I’m Too Old For ___

I’m Too Old For ___
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Think your days of solo travel, going to music festivals, or skydiving are behind you? Well, they aren’t! It’s never too late to try something exciting and new. If you’ve always wanted to go scuba diving, what’s stopping you? Go explore the world!

Just Call the Handyman

Just Call the Handyman
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Don’t undertake a massive plumbing project on your own, but knowing how to do basic household maintenance like fixing a leaking pipe, rewiring a lamp, or tiling a bathroom floor can be very rewarding and save you tons of money.

Leave the Past in the Past

Leave the Past in the Past
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Maybe it’s been decades since you last talked to your best friend from high school. You may think it’s too late to reconnect, but it isn’t! Pick up the phone and give them a ring. You’ll have a nice time reminiscing about the good ol’ days, and maybe you’ll have a new old friend again.

Life's a Picnic

Life's a Picnic
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Life isn’t always easy, so don’t pretend that it is. How can you take this piece of advice and flip it on its head? Take a little time out and actually go on a picnic. Spending time in nature can de-stress you, and we all know classic picnic foods are the best.

Little White Lies Don’t Hurt

Little White Lies Don’t Hurt
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Oh, but they do. You are very much an adult, so just be honest with those around you. This isn’t a license to be rude or hurtful, but remember that honesty is always the best policy.

Losing Weight Is All About Counting Calories

Losing Weight Is All About Counting Calories
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Counting calories is actually sabotaging any hopes of losing weight. Plus, as you age, your metabolism fluctuates. There’s a very real possibility it will slow down. Instead of focusing on numbers, focus on your hunger cues and cravings.

Men and Women Can’t Just Be Friends

Men and Women Can’t Just Be Friends
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There’s an old-fashioned stigma that one person will end up catching feelings for another if a man and woman try to simply be friends. Let’s blame When Harry Met Sally. But it’s 2018! Men and women can totally have a platonic friendship, and they can be seriously rewarding.

Networking Is for New College Grads

Networking Is for New College Grads
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You may feel very secure in your career at 50, but you never know what may happen. Stay plugged in to your chosen industry through Facebook, LinkedIn, and networking events. Heck, you’re never too old to make more money and have new job opportunities!

No New Friends

No New Friends
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You may feel contented with the friends you have already. You have 50 years’ worth of relationships! But in fact, people with close friendships live longer. So connect with new people — you never know who you may hit it off with!

Once a Bad Cook, Always a Bad Cook

Once a Bad Cook, Always a Bad Cook
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You can always pick up a new skill, no matter the age. Do you want to learn how to bake bread at home? Bake some bread! If you’re seriously intimidated by the kitchen, consider starting with these simple weeknight recipes.

Rigorous Exercise Is the Way to Go

Rigorous Exercise Is the Way to Go
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You know which exercise is just as beneficial is high-intensity interval training? Walking. Truly! So instead of risking injury by going to that CrossFit gym or waking up at the crack of dawn to get an eight-mile run in, just take a 30-minute walk through the park. Heck, you can even stop and smell the roses along the way!

Sing Like No One Is Listening

Sing Like No One Is Listening
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OK, we’ll take this one literally. Sing like everyone is listening and embrace your flaws. We suggest doing this by going to karaoke. Trust us, it’s fun.

Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em
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Maybe you’ve been smoking for 35 years, and at 50, what’s the point in quitting? Well, smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death. Immediately after you toss your cigarettes to the side, you blood pressure drops, your body’s oxygen levels improve, and your risk of heart disease drops considerably.

Sugar Free Snacks Are Healthier Than Sugar Snacks

Sugar Free Snacks Are Healthier Than Sugar Snacks
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Sugar-free snacks aren’t a godsend of low calories; they’re actually full of harmful chemicals and artificial sweeteners. These compounds have been linked to cancer and seriously increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

There’s Shame in the ‘Senior Discount’

There’s Shame in the ‘Senior Discount’
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You’ve been paying full-price for dinner, shows, and movie theater tickets your whole life. It’s time to embrace that discount. Flaunt your 50!

There’s Something Wrong With Being Alone

There’s Something Wrong With Being Alone
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Don’t isolate yourself from others (loneliness can lead to health problems after all), but there’s no need to feel like you always need to be engaging with someone else. In fact, being alone and at peace with yourself is a useful skill at any age.

Time Heals All Wounds

Time Heals All Wounds
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Yes, nothing helps a broken heart or a major loss quite like time, but don’t be afraid to be proactive in your mental health after tragedy. There’s no shame in seeing a mental health professional, and actually, a therapist can be quite beneficial at any time.

Trends Are for the Trendy

Trends Are for the Trendy
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Do you really admire your niece’s habit of dyeing her hair wild colors but feel like you can’t get in on the action? Oh, please! It may be called “millennial pink,” but that hair color will look fabulous on you. Don’t be afraid to shake up your style just because it’s for “young adults.” You’re only as old as you feel, after all.

Wearing ___ Is for Young Folks

Wearing ___ Is for Young Folks
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Articles of clothing come in sizes, not ages (unless you’re an actual toddler). As we’ve said before, you’re only as old as you feel. Wear that cold shoulder top, V-neck T-shirt, or stiletto heel. It’s all about what makes you feel confident!

When in Doubt, Do It Yourself

When in Doubt, Do It Yourself
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You may have a lot of wisdom in your 50 years, but you don’t know everything. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or collaborate with a team on work projects.

You Can Eat All Your Favorite Foods No Matter the Age

You Can Eat All Your Favorite Foods No Matter the Age
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New allergies, intolerances, and food sensitivities can develop at any age. Maybe you used to eat cheese by the pound, but suddenly it makes you sick. If you’re having weird symptoms, consider getting an allergen test.

You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
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Oh, but you can! Don’t believe it? Consider actually adopting an older pet from a shelter. It will be good for you and for that sweet dog or cat.

You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About

You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About
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At age 50, you’ve been there and done that. You have plenty of wisdom to spread to the younger generation. Your daughter doesn’t think you understand the modern dating landscape? Oh honey, you know all about how tricky dating can be, and you have plenty of anecdotes to back up your knowledge.

You Need a ‘Beach Bod’

You Need a ‘Beach Bod’
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No matter what age you are, any person’s body on the sand is a “beach body.” But we get it, in your youth you were insecure. Throw those body issues out the door when you turn 50 and learn to love your body. If you want to feel the sun on your belly, rock that bikini no matter your size! If someone has issues seeing your buns out in the sun, that’s their problem, not yours.

You Need to Act ‘Dignified’

You Need to Act ‘Dignified’
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Says who? While you do have years of experience behind you, embracing your inner kid is the key to living a happy life. So go ahead, laugh it up. Smile, joke around, and have fun. Life is only so long.

You Need to Work, Work, Work

You Need to Work, Work, Work
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Yes, saving for retirement is important and you shouldn’t stop contributing to your 401(k) just because you have senior stats, but there’s no need to work your tail off, either. Feel free to take that extended vacation to Europe. Even if your time off is unpaid, there’s only so much time left to see some of the wonders of the world.

You'll Find Love When You Stop Looking

You'll Find Love When You Stop Looking
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Forget that! Be proactive! Get on dating websites, go to mixers, swipe right and swipe left to your heart’s desire.

Your Best Days Are Behind You

Your Best Days Are Behind You
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Oh, please! Your 50th birthday is called your “golden birthday” for a reason. At 50, many of life’s biggest hurdles (home ownership, childbirth, climbing the corporate ladder) are behind you. Now is the time to really live your best life. Don’t believe us? Take the word of these 15 celebrities on the joys of turning the big 5-0.

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50 Rules to Throw Out When You Turn 50