At some point as you age, you begin to realize that you need to take better care of your health to feel stronger and live longer. It’s usually in your 50s that common health conditions begin to creep up, which can potentially make you more vulnerable to injury or illness that can affect your mobility.
If you are proactive with your health early on, you’re more likely to enjoy life in your 80s and beyond. Here are seven things to start doing now to improve your quality of life as you age.
7 Things to Do in Your 50s to Improve Your Health in Your 80s:
Improve Your Heart Health
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women worldwide. Start now by eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins B, C and E. Walnuts, almonds, and whole grains are examples of foods to include in your diet to boost your heart health.
Other than your diet, remember to check your blood pressure every month. Heart disease tends to creep up on you as you age, and high blood pressure is a significant cause.
The good news is, you don’t have to visit your doctor every time you want to check your blood pressure. Easy Test Hub offers all the tools you need to make informed at-home lab testing decisions.
It also pays to reduce your salt and sugar intake. Processed foods are often high in salt and refined sugar, which can lead to heart disease.
Keep Your Mind Active
It’s never too early to start stimulating your brain cells. An active brain stays young, healthy, strong, and keeps growing.
Stimulating your brain helps reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as well. Keep reading mentally stimulating books, pick up a new language, or learn how to play an instrument.
Additionally, playing games stimulates memory power. You can also take online courses which are interactive and keep your brain cells growing well into old age.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
As you get older, it’s more challenging to lose weight and keep it off. Obesity, or even being overweight, leads to chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol. If you start exercising in your 50s, you’ll find it easier to keep it up in your 80s and beyond. If you currently don’t have an exercise routine, start with simple exercises like walking, tai chi, or swimming.
Take Care of Your Bones
As you age, bone health becomes very important because the risk of osteoporosis increases. Weight-bearing exercises like running can help maintain strong bones, as well as eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D.
Start now by visiting your doctor for a bone density test. Your doctor will recommend medications if your results indicate low bone density and the potential for osteoporosis.
Maintain a Healthy Digestive System
If you’re not already eating enough fiber, take steps to do so now because this simple change can help prevent colorectal cancer. If you need to follow a diet for weight loss, make sure your daily fiber intake is 30g or more per day to avoid constipation.
Look After Your Teeth
As you age, it’s also important to keep up with dental care because gum disease is associated with diabetes. Take steps now by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist every six months.
Deal with Stress
A lack of sleep, not enough exercise, and too much stress can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. To combat this, create some “me” time for yourself every day.
Start now by blocking out one afternoon a week to do something that makes you happy, like cooking or painting. Doing so will make you feel more relaxed and better equipped to deal with life’s challenges.
Taking Care of Your Health Pays
Taking care of your health in your 50s will help you enjoy life more when you hit your 80s. It starts with simple everyday changes and intelligent choices. As you will soon realize, it gets easier to stick to a routine when you’re focused on long-term results.
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