Food & Wine
5 Ways to Support a Healthy Lifestyle Over 50
Keeping healthy is essential at any age, considering many diseases result from unhealthy lifestyles. As people get older, their bodies become more vulnerable to various ailments hence the need for enhanced health practices and less risky behaviors at the onset of the golden years. Turning 50 years old is a milestone worth celebrating and also a time to reevaluate your health.
There are specific precautions that are necessary to ease towards the healthy side of your latter years. If you are looking to stay active and feel great, there are ways to ensure a healthy lifestyle. You can secure your health by implementing several health practices, including:
Exercising builds muscle mass, thereby keeping you lean and enhancing immune protection. Being active and getting regular exercise is your best bet at slowing the body’s aging process. Adequate physical activity at any age defies the aging process, preparing your body to fight vulnerabilities associated with frailty.
There are certain conditions known to sneak up around the age of 50, even if there were no symptoms earlier. Some include heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and joint pain. Many diseases and symptoms result from sedentary lifestyles meaning you can avoid or decrease their severity through physical activity.
Strength training is vital as you age to replace muscle lost to the natural aging process. Loss of muscle tissue leads to less physical functionality, which can force you to indoor confinement. Exercise regularly to keep your body in its best state and avoid suffering the consequences of unhealthy choices.
- Improve Diet
Healthy eating helps you live longer, supports muscle, boosts immunity, strengthens bone, helps the digestive system function optimally, among many other benefits. Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends a Mediterranean diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and fish for longevity. There is evidence that improved diets prevent dementia that is more common with aging populations.
Foods to avoid include large or frequent servings of meat, sugar, and processed foods. Such foods are toxic to the body and can result in fatal diseases. Eating healthy does not mean non-enjoyable meals, as you can get creative and have sumptuous meals from nutritional ingredients. Your lifestyle and meals can be a delicious combination as you enhance your cellular function and enjoy longevity.
- Challenge the Brain
Like physical health, mental health is also as important. The Alzheimer’s Association states that keeping the brain active increases its vitality. The brain is the main engine of the body, and any slowdown affects body functionalities. Physical and mental exercises are hence essential to keep the brain functioning at its optimal state.
There are many ways you can keep your brain alert and active. Actions like teaching yourself something new periodically and not allowing your brain to be stagnant for long keep you sharp. The brain is like a germinating seed—the more you water it, the better it sprouts.
Other brain exercises include puzzles, learning a new language, engaging in a new hobby, reading, and meditating. Such seemingly passive activities enhance mental health and increase the chances of a long, fulfilling life.
- Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
Sleep is the magic ingredient for longer life. Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to detox the brain of all the toxins it accumulates throughout the day. It is tempting to cut back on sleep, especially with the demands of modern-day living taking more of your time than is available during the day. However, this is counter-productive because the less you sleep, the less productive you are the following day.
If you miss essential hours of sleep regularly, the brain function decreases, and permanent damage can occur. People who get adequate sleep regularly are less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Regular Doctor Visits
Regular doctor visits save lives. No matter how healthy you are, as you age, you are susceptible to particular health ailments. Some diseases lack symptoms to prompt you to go to the hospital, meaning detection only happens through medical check-ups.
Age increases the risk factor for some diseases, such as aneurysms. This disease is a critical condition caused by the weakening of an artery wall. Aneurysms are asymptomatic, so the best chance of detection is during wellness checks. Some aneurysm risk factors include older age, family history, smoking, hypertension, among others.
You have a chance of improving your quality of life in your later years by adopting preventative measures to keep disease at bay. You can detect life-threatening conditions early with checks like frequent colonoscopies and regular cancer screenings.
Live a Healthy Life After 50
Aging need not be a dreaded experience when you are healthy. Good health and fitness regimens improve your well-being, and you can look forward to aging gracefully with the lifestyle choices you make. The actions you take continuously can have a considerable impact, and you can look forward to a life of bliss in your older years.