It’s no secret that age can have quite an impact on your health and wellbeing. However, getting older doesn’t necessarily mean that men over the age of 50 are destined for an unhealthy future. Men can do a variety of things to stay fit, active, and full of energy well past that age. Here are some simple health tips for men over 50 you can start practicing today to keep your body in the best condition for years to come.
1. Cut Back on Sodium
Having too much salt in your diet can cause all sorts of health problems for men, particularly over the age of 50. Consistently consuming excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke and adverse effects on essential organs. When there is too much sodium in your body, it puts extra pressure on the blood vessels and kidneys to filter and flush it all out.
To help avoid the health issues tied to eating too much salt, you can try gradual changes to your diet. Instead of seasoning with salt, try alternative spices or flavors, such as garlic or fresh salsas. You’ll also want to cut back on fast food, processed food, canned food and unhealthy portions. Try incorporating more leafy greens, fruits, vegetables and foods that are high in potassium.
2. Drink More Water
If you’ve always been a soda, sports beverage or juice drinker, it’s time to kick that habit! Staying hydrated is so important to your health, but you don’t need the extra sugar and calories that come with those types of drinks. Specifically for men over 50, drinking plenty of water throughout the day is great for your prostate health, as well as lowering your risk for developing diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.
To add some flavor to your water, you can always try a little lemon, lime, cucumber, mint or berries to spruce it up a bit. There are also plenty of carbonated selections of flavored water on the market that can make the transition from soda much more doable. Stick with it, and you may just find that you have more energy and drop a few pounds without having to do anything other than drinking more water.
3. Stick to a Regular Exercise Routine
Some men over 50 may get occasional exercise or go through cycles of being active, followed by long stretches of inactivity. The key to staying healthy after 50 is aiming for consistency when it comes to your activity levels. This is the time to set up an exercise routine that you can fit into your daily lifestyle that will help your bones and muscles stay strong and keep your cardiovascular system in good condition.
It is particularly beneficial for men in their 50s and older to incorporate strength training in their fitness routines. Although osteoporosis is more prominent in women, aging men also experience a loss of bone mass and flexibility as they get older. This is why it’s essential to stay active, lift weights, and focus on consistency when you exercise.
4. Lower Your Sugar Intake
Having a diet high in processed sugars can cause health issues for people of all ages. However, men over the age of 50 are at a higher risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes and kidney stones when compared to their younger counterparts. Eating too much sugar only increases these risks and can have an irreversible effect on your health.
The important thing to remember when it comes to sugar is that it’s in almost everything that is processed. Even foods that you don’t think of as being “sweet” are packed with sugar, including bread, granola bars, condiments and bottled drinks. The best thing you can do is become aware of these added sugars and avoid foods and beverages with high concentrations.
5. Aim for a Healthy Weight
As we age, it becomes harder to manage our weight, particularly around the midsection. According to a study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, men are more prone to develop visceral fat around the belly when compared to pre-menopausal women . This visceral fat is incredibly dangerous and can increase the risk of a heart attack, repeat heart attack, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.
By focusing your efforts on maintaining a healthy weight, you will also avoid those extra pounds around the gut that are so detrimental to your wellbeing. Try to find a balance in your diet and activity levels that help you lose excess weight or maintain your ideal weight. You will find it easier to lead an active lifestyle and prevent common health issues when you are at a healthy weight.
6. Quit Smoking for Good
You know that smoking has been linked to several health issues, including lung disease and heart disease, but have never been able to quit for good. The best thing you can do for your health right now is to commit to quitting. The longer you smoke, the more harm there is to your lungs and body, and the more chance there is for developing irreversible or even fatal damage.
Here are some tips that could help with quitting:
Identify your triggers and try to avoid them
Prepare and familiarize yourself with symptoms of withdrawal
Have a strong support system behind you
Be open to methods outside of simple willpower
Above all, don’t give up! Even if you have a setback, it doesn’t mean you have failed and your efforts to quit smoking were in vain. It’s not too late to pick up where you left off and continue your journey towards a smoke-free life.