How to stay healthy in your 50s

March 25, 2019 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

Reaching your 50th birthday is a momentous occasion to be celebrated with well wishes and a few jokes to be sure.

Aside from being a milestone, turning 50 can be a call to action. As you notice your body changing with age, a few preventative measures can help make your 50s fabulous and set you up for the next decade.

Here are five tips for staying healthy in your 50s:

  • Get a colonoscopy. You should begin routine colonoscopies once you hit 50 (earlier if you are at higher risk). According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women. Use your 50th birthday to talk to your doctor about getting a colonoscopy. The test is safe and minimally invasive and is key in helping detect the early stages of colon cancer for effective treatment.
  • See your eye doctor. You may have noticed that reading fine print isn’t as easy as it used to be and that reading glasses have become your new best friend. Unfortunately, your eyesight doesn’t get better with age. But, working with your eye doctor is important because the signs of eye disease are often subtle. Be sure to get a good baseline exam (hopefully in your 40s). Keep your doctor informed of any changes, especially things such as pain in your eyes, decreased vision, trouble seeing when driving at night, redness and flashes or floaters in the eye.
  • Get serious about your diet and exercise. Diet and exercise always play a key part in your health. But as you age, your body has a way of reminding you that you aren’t in your 20s anymore and some of those eating habits no longer work. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics notes that, along with fiber, other key nutrients for the 50-and-older group include B-12, calcium, vitamin D and potassium. Skip the sugary drinks and keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If exercise hasn’t been a part of your routine, it’s not too late to start. Exercise can help prevent, delay or manage many of the chronic diseases that pop up after you hit 50 (such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and obesity), and help to prevent falls. The exercise you invest in today can impact your health for years to come.
  • Be good to your skin. Your skin is your largest organ, and as you age, you’ll start to notice changes to your skin such as wrinkles, age spots, loss of elasticity and dryness. Check in with a dermatologist for a regular skin cancer screening, as the risk for skin cancer increases with age. Other helpful hints to keep your skin looking great include regularly using sunscreen, staying or becoming smoke-free, and bathing in warm (not hot) water with a gentle soap and moisturizer.
  • Show your heart some love. The risk of heart disease increases as we age. The risk for heart disease among women increases once they hit menopause. Eating a heart-healthy diet that includes omega-3s, healthy oils and vegetables, and regular exercise, can help decrease the risk for heart disease. Take time to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have and educate yourself on the signs of heart attack and stroke.

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