f you're over 50, it's easy to feel like your body is slowing down.
But don't despair: there are plenty of ways to keep yourself feeling young and energetic. Here are 8 healthy habits that can help you live longer:
1. Eat a heart-healthy diet
A heart-healthy diet is the key to living a long, healthy life. When you're over 50, you need to take control of what you eat and how it affects your body.
A heart-healthy diet means eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes and beans, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and fish (if you eat meat), and healthy fats like olive oil or avocado oil.
In addition, limit sodium (salt) intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day; significantly less if you have high blood pressure or other health conditions.
2. Start or stay with an exercise program.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your health and well-being. For men over 50, it's even more important because it can help slow down some of the changes associated with aging.
Exercise helps keep your metabolism, muscle tone, and bones strong. It also has other benefits:
- It strengthens your heart muscle, allowing blood to flow more easily through your body; this reduces cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
- It improves lung function by increasing oxygen uptake in the lungs. This helps prevent diseases such as pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
3. Get your blood cholesterol checked.
If you're a man over the age of 50 and haven't had your cholesterol checked recently, now is the time to head to your doctor.
According to the CDC, men over 50 are at higher risk of heart disease and stroke than women in the same age group. That's why it's important to take care of yourself—and that starts with getting your blood cholesterol checked!
4. Take care of your skin.
It's never too late to start taking care of your skin.
You need to protect your skin from the sun. If you don't, it will age faster and you'll be more likely to get skin cancer. So, wear sunscreen every day, even if it's cloudy outside. You should also wear a hat or cap if possible because those will protect your head from getting burned by the sun as well.
5. See your doctor for routine health screenings.
You should be getting an annual physical, a colonoscopy every 10 years, and blood tests on a regular basis. This is especially important if you have any risk factors for heart disease or cancer.
6. Stay on top of work-related stress and depression.
As you get older, stress is a bigger problem. It can take a toll on your body and mind. Stress can cause depression, fatigue, overeating and drinking too much alcohol. Stress can make you smoke or use drugs.
Stress is something to be vigilant about because it can cause problems with health and well-being in the long run.
7. Build strong bones.
Your bones are made up of calcium and other minerals. As you get older, they start to break down more easily, which can lead to osteoporosis. So it's important to protect your bones by getting enough calcium in your diet and exercising regularly.
8. Drink only in moderation, if at all.
The old adage "moderation in all things" is good advice for many areas of life, but it's particularly true when it comes to alcohol.
Drinking too much alcohol can lead to health problems ranging from liver damage to behavioral changes such as aggression and depression. While you may not need to give up drinking entirely, keeping your intake within recommended limits is a wise move as you age. The recommended limit for men is two drinks per day (and seven per week).
It's never too late to improve your health and slow down the aging process.
By staying active, eating right, and getting regular checkups, you can stay healthy at any age!