Our overall well-being and health must become top priorities as we approach our fifties. After all, we’re not getting any younger!
The body’s metabolism starts to slow down. It makes it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it.
Women enter menopause, which can lead to changes in hormone levels and an increased risk of osteoporosis. As for men, their testosterone levels decrease. It reduces their muscle mass and bone density.
Plus, adults aged 50 and older are likelier to suffer from chronic conditions than any other age group.
And so, it is paramount to take preventive measures to stay as healthy and energetic as possible. It’ll also help you ward heft medical bills.
Here are a few tips that you should consider:
Assess Your Lung Health
COPD is the 6th leading cause of death in the US. It affects over 15 million Americans, and 90% are over 40.
It is caused mostly by smoking but could be triggered by long-term exposure to air pollution, dust, and asbestos. If inhaled, asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer type that affects the lining of the lungs.
Veterans, in particular, are more likely to suffer from mesothelioma due to their exposure to asbestos during the Gulf War. If you observe any symptoms like a persistent cough, chest pain, or fatigue, you must visit your doctor and get tested. You can also seek legal help if you believe the exposure was due to someone else’s negligence. Simmons Firm is a veteran-focused law firm that serves clients on a no fee unless you win basis.
The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that the occurrence of CVD in US adults is around 40% between ages 40-59 years, a whopping 75% among those aged 60-79 years, and reaches an eye-opening 86% for people 80 and over.
High cholesterol levels are at the core of these numbers.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance the liver produces. It is also present in many foods. It is essential for many bodily functions like digestion and hormone production, but too much can lead to heart disease.
A cholesterol screening involves a blood test that measures the levels of various types of cholesterol in the blood. These include the following:
Blood Pressure Check
High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases your risk of stroke and heart attack. It is estimated that 1 in every 3 Americans suffers from this condition.
It is essential to keep your blood pressure under control, especially after age 50, when it starts to increase naturally. The ideal values are 120/80 mmHg or below.
Regular monitoring and the right lifestyle can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels. You should consult with your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:
You can also try natural remedies like reducing salt intake, exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, and managing stress.
Mammograms and Prostrate Exams
Women over 50 should get regular mammograms.
A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray that is used to detect breast cancer. It’s recommended for women aged 50 or older to get one every year or as per their doctor’s advice.
Some signs that you should contact a doctor include:
Breast cancer can be treated successfully if it’s detected early.
For men, it is recommended to get a prostate exam every year after the age of 50. It involves a simple physical examination to check for any irregularities in the shape and size of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is a leading cause of death among men aged 60 and up, so it’s important to get tested and stay ahead of the game.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a bulge or swelling in the large blood vessel (aorta) that runs through the abdomen. It can be because of high blood pressure or atherosclerosis. Men aged 65 to 75 who have ever smoked are advised to get an AAA screening.
During the screening, a doctor will use ultrasounds to measure the size of the abdominal aorta. It takes about 15 minutes and is usually pain-free. The screening will help detect the aneurysm before it becomes life-threatening.
Engage Your Mind
Mental health is equally important as physical health. Mental stimulation can help keep your mind sharp and prevent memory issues like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
You can engage your mind by keeping up with hobbies, playing chess or other games, solving puzzles, reading books, and engaging in cognitive activities. Social interaction with family and friends is also important for keeping your mind engaged. So, plan a day of chess and tea with your friends or a round of Scrabble with the family!
You can also take up a new hobby like painting, dancing, or playing an instrument. There are many online classes available to help you get started.
And if you’re looking for a lifelong company, you can always get a pet! They’ll keep you active and offer a loving companionship.
Learn to Deal with Stress
Stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health. It is especially true after the age of 50 when it’s harder to cope with the changes that come with aging.
Finding healthy ways to manage stress and take care of your well-being is vital. You can try practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yoga, and meditation to help you cope. Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress and stay connected with friends and family.
Regular exercise will also keep your body in shape. Try to include at least thirty minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. Also, make sure to warm up and cool down properly before and after each session.
Your body might undergo severe changes, but it still is strong enough to communicate its needs. So, be aware of any changes and take action immediately if you feel something is wrong.
It’s also important to get regular checkups with your doctor and take all medications as prescribed. Remember to prioritize your mental health — engage your mind, connect with people, and try to manage stress in healthy ways. Sometimes it’s the simple things that can make a big difference in our lives.
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