Today’s mid-life looks quite different than generations past — 50 really can be the new 30. Medically, we know more about the body and how to maintain optimal health at every age. While there are a vast number of changes and improvements for people to live a healthier lifestyle, here are nine important health tips for those in their 50s and beyond.
- Perform Mental Gymnastics. Your mental state is imperative to good health. Choose activities that keep your analytical skills sharp and always seek to learn new things. Not only does this make your day-to-day life more interesting, but it may help to decrease the chances of dementia later in life.
- Maintain Good Oral Hygiene. This is something that many don’t associate with good health, but gum disease is linked to serious health conditions, including various forms of cancer and heart disease. Did you know that 3 out of 4 Americans have some form of gum disease?
- Increase Exercise. Regular exercise helps overall health in a number of ways, including regulating blood sugar and combating high blood pressure. If you’re not exercising regularly, find a low-impact regimen or activity you are comfortable with and start from there. It’s also important to keep increasing your exercise activity as you get more comfortable. If you’ve been doing ten laps at the pool for months and it’s easy for you, it might be time to add ten more to make your body work harder. (Note: Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.)
- Make Dietary Changes as Needed. As we age, we’re at a higher risk for heart- and pulmonary-related diseases. There are a number of things we can do to reduce risks, chief among these being a change in diet. As we age, we should reduce salt intake, cut down on unnecessary sugars, and add more natural fruits and vegetables to our daily intake.
- Get Regular Checkups. As you pass 50, it’s more important than ever to see your physician regularly. Many health risks can be diminished by early detection. Ask your doctor what tests you should expand upon if your family history indicates a high risk for any specific illness.
- Get Your Specialty Health Screenings. Outside of the regular yearly check-up, men should make certain to get checked for prostate cancer and women should be screened for breast and ovarian cancers. Early detection is key to success in treatment.
- Get Enough Sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep is imperative to overall health. Inadequate sleep puts you at a greater risk for cognitive decline, makes it harder to maintain a healthy weight and to avoid type 2 diabetes. Lack of sleep also puts you at greater risk for depression and increases your chances of having a heart attack.
- Participate in Regular Social Activities. Regular activity is important to overall health, both physically and emotionally. As people age, they sometimes take themselves out of social settings and this can lead to depression. It’s important to stay active, whether that means running around with grandkids or volunteering in your local church.
- Take Your Vitamins. A great diet is a start, but most people will not get all of the nutrients they need from simply eating well. As you age, make sure your dietary supplements contain all of the vitamins you need, like calcium for bone mass and omega-3 fatty acids to maintain healthy brain function.
These tips can help to maintain a healthy lifestyle in your 50s and beyond.