It’s never too late to take care of our health, but it’s particularly critical as we get older. While you may still believe and appear younger than your age, aging can have an effect on our bodies, and if we don’t make good lifestyle choices, we risk acquiring illnesses like dementia or not aging well. Dr. Eric Ascher explains what terrible health behaviors to quit after 50 and why.
1 — Why Taking Care of Your Body is Crucial After 50?
Dr. Ascher explains, “After 50, your body may require more monitoring. After years of weekly stressors—mental, physical and emotional—you need to make sure your body will continue to function properly. Similar to a car that needs an yearly inspection after a year of usage — you must ensure all the fluid levels are correct and the engine is still powerful so you don’t have a breakdown on the highway.”
2 — Changes You Should Expect After 50
Dr. Ascher adds, “Your body might not recover as fast by age 50. A night out drinking in which you can bounce back within a few hours may take you the rest of the day or more. You may feel muscular discomfort for a lot longer than you did at a younger age, especially if you are a weekend warrior when it comes to exercising. Muscle mass reduction happens more rapidly as we get older. Mentally and emotionally, you may have witnessed your parents and friends go through health difficulties that might influence your decision to live a healthier lifestyle in order to avoid long-term illness.”
3 — Eating Fast Food
Dr. Ascher explains, “When you’re younger, your chances of heart disease, obesity and diabetes is lower. “As you get older and your metabolism slows naturally, high sugar and high cholesterol diets become more dangerous. This does not imply that you should never eat it; rather, moderation is key. Water consumption is also critical.”
4 — Skipping Yearly Screenings
“Annual screenings are vital,” according to Dr. Ascher. While many doctors advocate for yearly screenings starting at age 50, this is not overly old! Colon cancer screening with a colonoscopy, breast cancer screening with mammography, cervical cancer screening with pap smears, anemia testing, high cholesterol testing, blood pressure checks, routine blood work, and heart disease evaluation all have their place. “Your doctor will conduct a thorough questionnaire during your annual checkup and evaluate the relevant screening tests based on your age and lifestyle. Preventative medicine is the greatest cure, and catching problems early rather than waiting for them to get worse is always preferable.”
5 — Not Using Sunscreen
“Sunscreen is crucial at every age,” Dr. Ascher emphasizes. “One of the most prevalent forms of cancer is skin cancer and it can be largely prevented by using a quality sunscreen. I generally advocate for zinc oxide-based sunscreens rather than chemical ones because they provide better protection while also having less risk.”
6 — Not Exercising
“Physical activity is essential for maintaining a healthy heart, circulation, and mind. It also lowers your risk of various illnesses. Muscle mass decays more quickly with age, and bones become more brittle. Exercise can help you avoid that by both lowering the rate at which muscle mass breaks down as well as exercising regularly. To see the benefits of exercise, I recommend getting at least 30 minutes of activity each day minimum three to five days a week. For a lot of people, it’s as easy as picking something they’re interested in. Work out with a friend, go to a park, or take classes that are new and exciting to you. The monotony of a running on a treadmill in your basement will soon become tiresome and stale.”