6 Healthy Tips for 50-Year-Olds
1. Sleep Well
Consistently getting seven hours of good sleep each night can lower your risk of a heart attack, diabetes, and depression. To help ensure good sleep, have a bedtime routine that helps you wind down each night. This might include reading, listening to music, or taking a bath. Regular exercise can also help improve sleep, but it’s best to work out in the morning or afternoon. Hitting the gym or going for a run too close to bedtime can interfere with falling asleep.
2. Watch Your Plate
Pay attention to your intake of sodium, sugar, and fat. Remember that some fats are “good,” including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, like those found in seeds, nuts, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon. Any fats added in cooking should come from olive, canola, corn, or vegetable oil.
3. Pick Up the Pace
Be sure you are getting 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week. This doesn’t just include running and cycling. Active games with kids or pets and gardening or house cleaning conducted at a faster pace can help you meet your cardio goals.
If possible, boost the intensity of your exercise as well. A Danish study found that middle-aged adults who regularly took part in fast-paced exercise, like brisk walking or jogging, decreased risk factors for heart disease and stroke by as much as 50 percent compared with people living a sedentary lifestyle. Casual daily walking alone seemed to have little impact.
4. Remember Bone Mass
Keeping your bones strong is essential to warding off osteoporosis. Any type of weight bearing exercise, such as strength training, walking, or yoga can help your bone mass. In addition, monitor your intake of calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D. Men over age 50 should try for 1,000 mg a day of calcium, 420 mg a day of magnesium, and 600 IU a day for Vitamin D. Women over age 50 should aim for 1,200 mg a day of calcium, 320 mg a day of magnesium, and 600 IU a day for Vitamin D.
5. Work Your Brain
Help ward off dementia with mentally stimulating activities, such as crossword puzzles, card games, or jigsaw puzzles. You can also try learning another language or taking classes at your local community college.
6. Get Regular Checkups
Your primary care doctor is an important partner in your health. He or she can recommend screening tests based on your age and personal and family health history. A primary care physician can also help you set health goals and monitor important markers such as cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.