You've probably heard the expression "50 is the new 60."
While you may not have given it much thought, there's evidence that people are living longer these days. In fact, a 2015 study found that life expectancy at 65 is increasing about 1.5 years every decade.
However, this doesn't happen without work. It's up to you to take better care of yourself as you age.
The good news is that maintaining a healthy lifestyle after 50 isn't difficult. It simply takes making some changes to your lifestyle and sticking to them.
Let's go over ten things you can do to maintain your health after 50.
1. A Healthy Diet
One of the most important things you can do to promote healthy aging is maintain a good diet. Even if you ate healthy when younger, it's time to pay more attention to what you put in your body.
Most peoples' metabolism slows down as they age. This means it's time to cut back on saturated fats, sugars, and carbohydrates. A healthy weight reduces your risk of heart disease, adult diabetes, and other dangerous illnesses.
It's time to increase your intake of whole grains, vegetables, and foods high in fiber. You should also cut back on salt to avoid high blood pressure.
Increasing omega-3 fatty acids is great for your heart. You should also concentrate on healthy protein found in fish, eggs, and poultry. Make sure you remove the skin from chicken and stop eating fatty, red meats.
You should also cut out processed foods as much as possible. Instead, switch to a fresh food diet.
2. Stay Active
An active lifestyle is increasingly important as you age. This means getting plenty of exercise each week and making a point to get out there and have fun.
When it comes to exercise, make sure you're placing a lot of importance on your cardiovascular health. Jogging, cycling, or using cardio machines at the gym are all great ways to get your heart rate up.
You should also mix in some weight training if you don't already. This isn't the time to slow down. In fact, increasing the intensity of your workouts is a must after 50.
Swimming is one of the best workouts you can do. It boosts cardio strength and also works every muscle in your body. Plus, there's no impact involved in swimming, which is important if you suffer from bone or joint issues.
In addition to exercise, doing things like working in the garden, walking your dog, or taking on a home improvement project keeps you moving.
3. A Good Night's Sleep
Rest becomes increasingly important as you age. Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule helps promote both physical and mental health.
Shooting for a solid eight hours of sleep is a good goal. If you're not getting this, you need to take action.
Insufficient sleep may lead to weight gain and raise the chance of heart disease. It can also contribute to heart attack or stroke.
Ample exercise is a huge factor in getting healthy sleep. It's also important to keep a regular sleep schedule as you age. Make sure you get up and go to bed at roughly the same time every day.
If you suffer from insomnia and can't seem to get a good night's sleep, talk to your doctor about a treatment plan.
4. Regular Visits to the Doctor
This probably isn't the most popular of the health tips for seniors. However, after 50 it's time to increase the frequency of checkups and physicals.
As you age, the risk of developing chronic illness goes up. The best way to combat this is seeing your doctor on a regular basis.
A doctor can help by screening you for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart issues. Detecting and treating these conditions early is essential, as they lead to other, more serious health issues.
Men need to start having regular prostate exams. Women should start getting screened regularly for breast cancer. You should also have a skin cancer screening performed if you suspect an issue.
5. Get Enough Vitamins
Taking daily vitamins is very important for anyone over 50. Make sure you're taking a vitamin designed for older men or women.
Getting plenty of B12 is important as you age. This helps strengthen your central nervous system and blood cells. Vitamin D and calcium are also great for heart health and strong bones.
You can get this and other essential vitamins from a supplement, but it's important you also eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Relying solely on a supplement isn't a good idea.
This is where omega-3 fatty acids along with fruits and vegetables come in. These foods contain many of the vitamins you need and are essential to your daily diet.
6. Take Care of Your Mind
In addition to your physical health, after 50 you need to consider your mental health more and more. As you age, it's important to keep your mind working as much as possible.
Fortunately, maintaining a healthy mind is easy and fun. It can also expose you to new hobbies.
Reading on a regular basis is a great way to keep your mind limber. It's also a great way to reduce stress.
Other cerebral exercises like chess or puzzles also help stimulate the mind. These activities help keep you sharp and boost your mental reaction time.
If you've always wanted to learn an instrument, this is the perfect time. It will challenge your mind along with improving coordination.
Even simple things like going to the museum or attending an opera are great ways to keep your mind working.
7. A Strong Social Life
As you age, it's important you maintain a strong social life. This is especially important if you live alone.
Not only is this crucial for your emotional well-being, but it can also affect your physical health. In fact, a study found that loneliness may be twice as unhealthy as obesity in people over 50.
An isolated life leads to depression and this can result in a number of serious health issues for older people. However, there are some things you can do to avoid this
If you live alone, make it a point to visit with family and friends on a regular basis. If this is difficult, consider joining social groups in your community. Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people, interact, and give something back.
Social media makes it easy to find groups in your area. Join a book club or outdoor group and start making new connections.
8. Keep an Eye on Stress Levels
Today, stress is at the root of many peoples' health issues. This becomes an even bigger problem as you age.
Stress affects your physical and mental well-being. It can cause depression, sleep issues, and memory loss. It also weakens your immune system.
Unfortunately, there's no way to avoid stress altogether. But there are things you can do to drastically reduce it.
Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress, so make sure you're getting to the gym on a regular basis. Eating healthy is also a great way to combat stress.
Consider trying yoga or meditation if you feel your daily responsibilities are getting the better of you. It may also help to speak with a therapist about ways to deal with stress when it becomes overwhelming.
9. Stop Smoking
If you still smoke after 50, it's time to stop. It's never too late.
Smoking causes a number of serious health issues including cancer and heart disease. Because your risk of developing these illnesses goes up as you age, you can't afford to continue smoking.
After you give up smoking, your health will start improving right away. Within just a few weeks you'll notice drastic changes.
If you feel you can't stop on your own, talk to your doctor about medications or therapy that will help you quit.
10. Take Charge of Your Own Health
When we're younger, it's easier to get away with neglecting our health until a problem pops up. After 50, this isn't the case anymore.
Doctors can provide you with advice, medications, and prevention options, but it's up to you to take control of your own healthcare. The more involved you get in your own daily goals, the better you'll feel.
In addition to exercising and eating right, you need to understand what's happening to your body. Tracking your own health means you know exactly where you need to make changes.
Start by checking your own blood pressure on a regular basis. You can also start counting your caloric intake to make sure you're meeting dietary goals.
It's also up to you to ask your doctor about anything that's concerning you. Make it a point to write down any questions when they come to you so you don't forget.
You can also download apps that help you monitor everything from blood pressure to sleep patterns.
Great Health After 50 Is Easier Than You Thought
By taking care of yourself as you age, you'll have the ability to do everything you want to do. These aren't your declining years unless you want them to be.
To feel great and hold on to the energy you had when you were younger, use these tips for maintaining great health after 50. Incorporate them into your daily routine and you'll quickly start feeling better, physically and mentally.
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