While 50 is young, physical changes start taking place around this time and making positive lifestyle choices is a must in order to keep healthy. Common health issues will also start occurring like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weakened vision and more. To help avoid some of these health concerns, experts reveal 12 things to stop doing now in an effort to maintain overall well-being longer. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Not Getting 7 Hours of Sleep
Dr. Steve Hruby, a Doctor of Chiropractic and founder at Kaizen Progressive Health shares, "Many of us believe that if we can get through the day with as little sleep as possible, we will be fine. Many people stay up late, even if they have work the next day. We believe everything is fine until we see no physical consequences of our behavior. However, this is not the case. If you sleep for less than six hours for an extended period of time, your immunity and other biological systems are likely to suffer. Your body's ability to create germ fighters is weakened when your immunity is low, making you more susceptible to infections and disorders. The ability of your body to combat them is also seriously harmed. As a result, it is recommended that one sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours each day. This is necessary for maintaining healthy health."
Checking Your Phone First Thing in the Morning
Dr. Cali Estes, PhD, MCAP, MAC, ICADC with The Addiction Coach says, "You open your eyes, grab your phone to see what time it is, and WHAM! You are on Facebook, TikTok, and checking email while lying in bed. This is bad for your eyes and can create headaches. Plus, any bad news or upsetting things you see will now be at the forefront of the day and you will be obsessed with them. You need to wake up fully, do your morning hygiene routine, and then tackle the day. For your mental and physical health, it is important to start the day phone free."
Chaye McIntosh, Clinical Director, ChoicePoint adds, "It is not healthy for a 50-year-old to use electronic devices for a longer period. They eventually lead to weak eyesight, a disturbed mind, and an unhealthy body. The best practice is to limit the use of electronic devices to as low as possible."
Excessive Anger and Fights
McIntosh states, "Excessive anger and fights tend to increase the fight and flight response of the body. Therefore, causing adrenaline in the body to increase. It is not good for the health of an individual. To lead a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life, one must skip bad habits and lead a pure, active lifestyle. This will make you stronger, but you will also feel better than ever before."
Not Doing Annual Blood Testing
Kent Probst, personal trainer, kinesiotherapist and bodybuilder with Long Healthy Life reminds us that, "Annual blood testing is important because it can detect a problem well in advance of symptoms, so you can correct the problem before it becomes a serious disease. It's getting a handle on how your body is functioning beneath the surface."
Taking Medications on a Daily Basis
According to Dr. Hruby, "We are a generation that lives on taking pills, especially bankers, who rely on a painkiller every day to alleviate job headaches. But we must stop immediately because taking medicines on a regular basis is harmful to our health. If taken too regularly, OTCs can cause negative effects. Furthermore, long-term tablet use can permanently harm your kidneys."
Choosing Walks Instead of Lifting Weights
Health and fitness expert Alicia Jones explains, "A walk feels great, and it absolutely has health benefits, but what's the point of having a strong healthy heart if you can barely lift yourself up from your seat? Simply put, there's no point in living a long life if your quality of life is poor. Walking is psychologically beneficial, it improves heart health and improves insulin resistance, but it doesn't build lean muscle that enhances your quality of living. You need to be able to fly up a flight of stairs with ease and energy. You've got to be able to lift grandbabies, lift your groceries and continue your best, strong and independent life. While walking is absolutely beneficial for your health, over 50 it's not enough. You've got to add weight training into your healthy habits. Usually walking is easy. On a nice summer day you slip on your shoes and you're off. Weight training is often overlooked for a nice healthy walk instead. If you're short on time, and that's why you've been favoring your walks over weight training, then you're doing yourself a big disservice. Simply give up 2 walks a week for weight training, and the rest of the time enjoy your walks."
Sleeping In On Weekends Even By One Hour
Jones states, "It's been a common practice to wake up early on weekdays, and then, on weekends, allow yourself the pleasure of a lie-in. While many believe this helps you catch up on sleep, it actually dysregulates your natural circadian rhythms. You're literally giving yourself a weekly dose of jet lag (which is why for many Monday feels exhausting every single week). Over 50 you're fighting with hormone shifts that further shift your natural circadian rhythms such as Melatonin production (the hormone that helps you sleep). It declines with age so now, more than ever, valuable sleep practices are needed to ensure melatonin production increases when it's time to go to bed. Changing your waking time disrupts sleep patterns and sleep quality which you probably already know over 50 becomes even more vital in order to repair the body and stave off cognitive decline and diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's. Instead, try waking up everyday at the same time. If you need more sleep, go to bed early instead of waking up later. You'll help your circadian rhythms function optimally, stave off cognitive decline and enhance sleep quality."
Eating to the Point of Feeling Full
Karin Ashley, an Integrative Women's Health Nurse Practitioner says, "There is a Japanese concept called Hara Hachi Bu, and it could help you lose weight, improve digestion, and be more mindful about eating. The practice is simply to eat to the point where you feel 80% full, not completely stuffed. American culture tells us to eat until we can't fit anything else in: the all-you-can-eat buffets, super-size meals, and extra large portions at restaurants. It's no wonder our rates of chronic disease have been drastically increasing! It takes about 20 minutes for our brains to receive the message of satiety, or feeling satisfied. If you eat only until you feel about 80% full, your brain will catch up in about 20 minutes with the message that you actually *are* full, or satisfied. This small change leads to fewer calories consumed per meal (and more leftovers for later!), less strain on your body to digest excessive amounts of food, and helps you become more in-tune with your body's nutritional needs."
Not Eating Breakfast
Dr. Hruby says, "The proverb 'you must eat your breakfast like a king' is not without merit. Breakfast is arguably the most crucial meal of the day. You are negatively damaging your metabolism and energy reserves if you skip a proper one. A balanced breakfast consists of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids."
Eating a Standard American Diet
Dana Ellis Hunnes PhD, MPH, RD is a senior dietitian at UCLA medical center, assistant professor at UCLA Fielding school of public health, and author with Cambridge university Press, of the new book, RECIPE FOR SURVIVAL explains, "A typical American diet is high in animal products: meat, dairy, chicken, turkey, eggs, and low in fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains, nuts, and seeds. A typical American diet is associated with increased prevalence of chronic disease: diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, cancer, obesity. Whereas, if you look at blue zones, where people live a long time, they eat in reverse, mostly whole, plant-based foods, which adds life to your years and years to your life."
Eating Highly Processed Foods
Hunnes shares, "These types of foods increase inflammation in the body, IGF-1, insulin, as well as often the risk of all the chronic diseases listed in 2. They add many calories but few nutrients. They also age you more quickly because of the inflammation and lack of naturally occurring antioxidants found in whole, plant-based foods, which fight off cell aging. A whole, plant-based diet includes whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes."
Dr. Eugene Symaco, M.D. from Mayflower Medical states, "Smoking cigarettes is one of the unhealthiest things a person can do. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 different chemicals, many of which are toxic. These chemicals include arsenic, formaldehyde, lead, and more. Smoking cigarettes is linked to an increased risk of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. It is estimated that smoking cigarettes causes one in five deaths in the United States each year."