By the time we reach our 50s, we have to face the fact that we’re growing older. Metabolism slows down, muscle mass decreases, and it takes more work to accomplish less in terms of fitness. For many men and women, the 50s are a time when a number of life changes occur – including changes to body. Although the risk for chronic health problems increases with aging, taking the following steps can help lower your risk.
Stay Mentally & Physically Active
Research has shown that challenging your mind can improve brain function and help keep you healthier overall. To stay mentally active, you can do crossword puzzles, join a book club, play card games, take up interesting hobbies, and keep in touch with family and friends.
Get at least 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days. This should include aerobic exercise for heart health and weight-bearing exercise to build muscle and bone and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. If you find activities you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stick with them. You can choose from a wide range of activities, such as dancing, hiking, walking, running, swimming, or lifting weights.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Good nutrition can pay off, in the short and the long term. Be sure to get plenty of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, fiber, and vitamins and minerals every day. Talk to your doctor about adding nutritional supplements to your diet.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
When metabolism slows down with aging, it becomes more difficult to keep the weight off. In your 50s, you may have less energy and notice changes in your body shape, particularly postmenopausal women. Our bodies have a tendency to replace muscle mass with fat in our 50s, and fat burns fewer calories than muscle. This can make the weight-gain cycle difficult to break, but it can be done with diet and exercise. Pay particular attention to your waist measurement in proportion to your hips. A larger waist to hip ratio means greater risk for health problems such as diabetes.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
Sleep patterns can change as we age, but good sleep is still important for good health. Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of health problems. If you are having trouble sleeping or feeling more tired than normal, talk to your doctor.
Consume Alcohol Only In Moderation
The recommended limit on alcohol consumption is one drink per day for women and two for men. (I know – unfair!) The way your body handles alcohol can change as you grow older. Never drink and drive or get into a car with an impaired driver behind the wheel.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress is a common problem among men and women in their 50s. It can take a toll on both mental and physical health. Research has shown that high stress levels can increase the risk of serious medical problems, such as heart attack or stroke. Stress can also accelerate the aging process.
Make Sure You Have The Right Health Insurance
Having good health insurance can make it easier to get the preventative care you need and get treatment for health problems before they become more serious. Our friendly agent can help you find a health insurance plan to suit your needs with the lowest available premiums.