Health

What health changes do men need to watch out for after 50?

March 5th, 2020

It’s a fact of life that age comes with increased health risks. However, by paying attention to your body’s needs and and maintaining healthy habits, it’s possible to reduce the chance of negative health changes as you age. Here are the most important things men should pay attention to as they age.

Pay attention to heart health

Heart health is something everyone needs to pay attention to as they age. Certain lifestyle and health factors can even make your heart biologically older than your actual age. Studies have found women’s hearts tend to be about 5 years older than their age in years. Studies have shown that among men, 10% of 50-year-olds have hearts 10 years older than their actual age.

Heart problems are much more likely to occur in a person’s fifties than their twenties. Often, heart issues come as the cumulative result of habits and genetics. Heart disease and heart attack become much more likely. Smoking and eating poorly increase these risks, too. Fortunately, it’s possible to lower the risk of cardiovascular problems by adopting healthy habits. When you kick habits like smoking and excessive drinking, it doesn’t take very long for your body to appreciate it. Eating a heart healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can also reduce cholesterol and promote heart health.

Keep your mind sharp

At age 50, your brain is just about at its peak. Though you may not be able to recall information quite as quickly, people in the 40—60 age group have experience on their side. This is especially true when compared to people in their thirties. Memory and experience compensate for slowing processes. You might not be able to multitask as easily, but you probably make better judgments than younger people.

Conditions like obesity, diabetes, and hypertension can all affect brain health. Learning new skills like surfing or baking can contribute to brain health. Exercising your brain with activities and puzzles such as crosswords or sudoku can also make your brain stronger. Some studies have even found these help prevent memory loss later in life. One other way to exercise your brain is to share knowledge. This forces your brain to recall info and make it easy to understand. Plus, it’s always nice to pass on your words of wisdom to others.

Check your plumbing

Your genital health is a strong indicator of your overall health. If you experience erectile dysfunction, it can indicate other health issues. For example, it can be indicative of heart disease or high cholesterol.

Once you turn 50, it’s important to keep up with screenings. Numbers to keep track of include your blood pressure as well as your glucose, cholesterol, and testosterone levels. Additionally, it’s important to regularly get tested for prostate cancer and know your number for prostate-specific antigens. The prostate usually enlarges with age. However, if you frequently wake up at night to urinate or experience burning these could indicate prostate issues.

Eating a high-fiber diet can help you avoid health problems like fissures and hemorrhoids. High-fat, low-fiber diets can make men more susceptible to disease. Simply making sure to eat high-fiber foods like skin-on fruit, whole grains, and vegetables can help prevent these conditions.

Watch your skin for changes

Skin becomes drier and thinner with age, meaning it loses its elasticity and takes on lines and wrinkles. People also become more susceptible to skin cancer, so it’s important to have your skin checked by a dermatologist. Using sunscreen with a high SPF can help prevent skin cancer. If you notice any moles have changed size or shape, make sure to have them checked.

Maintain your musculoskeletal system

The best advice to maintaining your musculoskeletal system is, “remember FACE.”

Flexibility: Keep your muscles and tendons flexible by stretching regularly. The most important rule to follow when stretching is to stretch your limbs to a functional length. Fully extend and bend your knees, flex your hips, and raise your arms above your head to stretch your shoulders.

Aerobics: Give your cardiovascular system a challenge by exercising it. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week, or 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. This amount of exercise can prevent decline in the cardiovascular system and prevent heart disease.

Carry a load: Use your muscles in a functional way, such as squatting, going up and down stairs, or lifting boxes. This is a better way to exercise your muscles than gym machines that have little resistance.

Equilibrium: Practice your balance. Simple exercises like standing on one leg can improve your balance and prevent falls that have disastrous health effects.

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