While it is true that our bodies always require maintenance and general upkeep, when proceeding towards certain milestones it behooves us to pay closer and more specific attention to our health. Such is especially true at the age of 50. This is by no means meant to suggest that 50 should be thought of in terms of the stereotypical misnomer of “old.” Quite to the contrary, 50 should be thought of as more of a precursor and opportunity.
At the age of 50 most Americans are not necessarily in the “danger zone.” However, preventive measures and assessment of one’s health can help abate possible problems that may arise before they ever do. Let’s face it, health at 50 is very important and it is important to pay attention to certain tips that may help you live, not only a longer, but a higher quality, life. Here are a few health tips for both the sexes to help ensure that your health and wellness stay at their pinnacle performance.
Daily Steps to Good Health
Ø Stay “Smoke-Free”
Ø Physical Activity is key (Try to start slow and work up to at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.)
Ø Maintain a healthy diet (Focus on fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, whole grains, and fat free milks.)
Ø Stay at a healthy weight (Here, it’s all about calorie balance.)
Ø Alcohol Consumption in moderation (It has been proven that a glass of wine a day can be healthy. However, as with all things, moderation and regulation are key as even too much of a good thing can be bad.)
Ø Aspirin (Taking Aspirin regularly reduces the risk of heart disease.)
Ø Immunizations (Get your flu shot every year! It does more than just fight the flu.)
Screening: What And When
Ø Abdominal Aortic AneurysmàIf between the ages of 65-75
Ø Colorectal CanceràAt anytime, this test is important so it should not be shirked
Ø DepressionàIf you go for a period of about 2 weeks feeling down or experience lack of enthusiasm or drive in that time
Ø DiabetesàIf you have high blood pressure you should get screened for diabetes
Ø High CholesterolàGet your blood pressure checked every two years but for reference purposes high blood pressure is right around 140/90 or higher.
Ø HIVàFor anything short of celibacy (and maybe even then) regular testing to ensure that you do not have HIV will ensure your physical health and quell any anxiety that the unknown may bring to your mind.
Ø ObesityàYou can calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index) and see if you are at your target healthy weight by using a BMI calculator found online, or you can simply ask your doctor.
Ø STD testingàAgain, if your are sexually active, getting regular testing ensures your health and the health of others are accounted for and protected at all times
For you ladies the process and suggestions remain the same as for the gentlemen in most respects, except for a few minor additions in the following categories.
Ø Breast Cancer Drugs (If breast cancer has appeared in your immediate family seek a physicians advice on whether or not such drugs may be in your best interests to take.)
Ø Estrogen Use For Menopause (Hormone Replacement Therapy.)
Ø Breast Cancer (Have a mammogram every 1 to 2 years.)
Ø Cervical Cancer (A Pap smear every 1 to 3 years is recommended.)
Ø Osteoprosis (To combat bone thinning, have a bone density test doen at age 65. Further testing in subsequent intervals of every 2 years may be required.)
It is important to take care of your health and by following these guidelines, and other suggestions found on such websites as that of “The Agency For Healthcare Research And Quality” you can lead a happier and more energetic life. Take care of your mind. Take care of your body. Take care of your life, and be fabulous at 50.