Staying healthy after 50 requires a few basic steps to get anyone on the right track to better health. Feel your best and add years onto your life and subtract years from your appearance with a little conscious effort.
Most articles start out with eating right and exercising, which will be mentioned later in this article, but before working on the outside, the inside has to be ready first. Something as “simple” as weight gain, fatigue or not feeling your best could actually be signs of depression.
Maybe you’re facing retirement and are having major life changes which are causing anxiety or making you feel stressed. Many articles leave out that older adults have the highest suicide rates. Seeking therapy and addressing these issues is the most important step in staying healthy after 50.
If you cannot afford a local therapist, mobility issues prevent you from driving, consider looking for a therapist online. Read reviews., make sure they are licensed and try a few before picking one.
If you are ever in crisis or want to commit suicide, there is help available 24/7 & for free. Never hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
A balanced diet isn’t suddenly important because you’re over 50. It has always been important but the risks for developing chronic health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes is greater as you age. A well-balanced diet helps maintain a healthy weight and with keeping energy levels high. Avoid empty calories like full-fat salad dressings, soda, candy or anything with most of the calories coming from sugar or fat.
Aim for eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish. Cut back on salt and limit red meats.
Eat more protein which can be found in many foods such as eggs, almonds, chicken breast, and oats. Most of your fluid intake should be water. Try starting every morning by drinking 2, 8oz glasses of water and drink a glass before meals to avoid overeating. Sometimes hunger can be mistaken for dehydration.
Never ever starve yourself as it will bring an already slowing metabolism to a halt and it will do more harm than good even if a few pounds fall off initially.
Losing muscle mass is part of aging. Harvard Health reports after age 30, we lose about 3% to 5% per decade of our muscle mass. Becoming weaker means less mobility which can increase risks for falls and fractures.
Try adding in resistance training and lifting light weights or water aerobics if lifting weights isn’t an option for you.
Yoga is a popular choice among seniors because it’s about listening to your body and going at your own pace. When picking an exercise, find something you’re going to want to stick to.
Get 7-9 Hours of Sleep
Getting enough sleep allows the body to repair any cell damage that happened during the day while refreshing the immune system. Not getting the proper amount of sleep can make you more prone to getting sick and needing to go to the doctor more.
Sleepless nights can even hamper cognitive function and cause serve injuries risking mobility issues. Being groggy from not getting enough sleep can increase fall risks leading to serious injuries.
It’s ok to not be a morning person but not getting enough z’s can make you more irritable and not pleasant to be around.
If experiencing insomnia, make sure you’re not having too much caffeine or caffeine too late in the day. If it’s a medical condition inhibiting sleep such as restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea, make sure to address this with a doctor.
Try to keep a consistent sleep schedule and turn off any lights, consider getting a cordless phone for the bedroom for emergencies if your smartphone is responsible for keeping you up at night and wear comfortable pajamas. Consider sleeping in the nude if this is the most comfortable for you.
Learning will keep your mind sharp and slow memory loss. If you’ve reached the age of retirement it’s definitely important to find a hobby or activity to keep your brain actively engaged.
Stay socially engaged and regularly meet up with friends or even online in forums, take up a class or two at a local community college, create a game night or maybe become an avid reader.
The best part is that you have the freedom to learn about what you want. It doesn’t matter the topic, hobby, skill or class just as long as it’s something to keep your mind on its toes and thinking.
Take Care of Your Skin
Seniors are prone to skin infections and disease as their skin is thinner, dryer and less responsive. We lose sweat and oil glands as we age making it important to moisturize daily. A good moisturizer can also improve the texture of skin making fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable as an additional perk.
Make sure the daily moisturizer you’re using provides protection against the sun. Skin cancer is super common and it’s important to put sunscreen into your daily routine if it’s not already.
Try to avoid direct sunlight and if this isn’t an option, wear protective clothing such as a hat and long sleeves.
Smoking not only causes cancer but it can cause wrinkles and dental hygiene issues. Smoking can add many years onto your age and take even more off your life. Quitting smoking can be difficult but there are so many options helping with ending it for good. If you’re a smoker and want to quit, talk to your doctor and get on a treatment plan to assist in nixing the addiction.
Having sex is extremely beneficial to mental and physical health. Another important topic left out of many articles on staying healthy after 50 is having sex.
Continuing to keep a sex life can create closer bonds with your partner. As we age, keeping a close relationship with our significant other can sometimes be a challenge but regular lovemaking can keep the passion and closeness alive.
Sex is also a natural pain reliever as the body releases endorphins during as well as dopamine.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which awakes the award center part of your brain and is related to a higher cognitive function which can even keep away dementia.
Get Routine Health Screenings
Even if you feel healthy as a horse, it’s important to get routine checkups and a great way to ensure staying healthy after 50.
Make sure to schedule regular preventative care checkups such as mammograms, cholesterol, prostate, diabetes, liver function and more.
Many health problems are symptomless and only a trained professional can catch early signs of many common diseases.
Many health insurance providers offer free preventative care visits. Check the benefits offered with a particular plan you may have or if uninsured because of low-income, look into Medicare & Medicaid for free to low-cost care.
As with any health tip, it’s best to consult with your current care provider or a professional to understand the right plan for a healthier you. Some foods or exercises that could be right for one person may be harmful to you.