As you pass the big 5-0, remember that maintaining healthy habits can help you live a vibrant, satisfying life as you get closer to retirement age.
Over the hill and feeling down about it? No way!!! The 50s... truly should be the prime of your life. Most of you may still be working heavily in your career or caring for elderly parents. Some may still have kids at home but many of the responsibilities in your life may be shifting. The 50s are a perfect time to start over on things that you have neglected. Your health, your weight, exercise? What is it that you can do to help you act and feel as young as you possibly can?
Don't let an unhealthy lifestyle that could lead to illness ruin what otherwise could be a fabulous time in your life.
- An annual checkup in your 50's is non-negotiable!
- It has been proven that exercise lowers your risk of breast cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease! Now is the time to change your eating habits to include more fruits and vegetables and eat way less sugar! Exercise can consist of walking, yoga and weight training. It can be done!
- A thyroid test is recommended in your 50s and every 5 years after.
- Blood sugar test every 3 years during this decade.
- The ever so lovely rectal exam is necessary every year in your 50s
- A colonoscopy should be done at age 50 due to higher risk of colon cancer at this age.
- WebMD suggests a pap smear every three years at this stage if you have had three normal pap results consecutively for three years.
- Women with a high risk of cancer may need to have a pap more often.
- If you have had a total hysterectomy at this stage in life, most doctors suggest that you can discontinue having a pap smear unless you have had previous issues with cancer or HIV.
- Regardless if you have had a hysterectomy or not, pelvic exams should be performed regularly by your physician or gynecologist.
- Most physicians will recommend a flu shot every year to any person over age 50.
- You should get a tetanus shot at least once in your 50s.
- You should get a vaccine preventing pertussis and whooping cough during this decade.
- If you have yet to have the Hepatitis A and B shot, then you should do so.
- Check with your physician about any shots that may be necessary that you have not had up to this point in your life.
Eye & Ear Health
- Your hearing and vision can begin to decline in your 50s.
- Proper care and screening is necessary at this stage in life.
- Have eyes checked every two years in your 50s and every year once you hit your 60s.
- Believe it or not, getting pregnant in your 50's is still a possibility for some. Therefore, take precaution if you have not had a tubal litigation, hysterectomy or your partner has not had a vasectomy.
- Many birth control options to consider include IUD's, Vaginal Rings, and implants.
- Continue to take care of your skin by using sunscreen.
- Conduct monthly self-inspection checks for moles and discoloration.
- A yearly dermatologist visit is recommended.
- Now more than ever, a good skin cleansing and moisturizing routine is necessary to help with wrinkles and keep the skin looking as healthy and young as possible.
- Continue to keep your mind sharp and fresh. It has been proven that the more active one stays after the age of 55, the faster and more accurate a person is able to process information.
- Stay sharp and continue doing things that interest you.
- You are never too old to quit learning.
- If you begin to struggle with depression or suicidal feelings, consult your physician immediately.
- You should get a cleaning at least once a year. Twice a year is even better!
- Your cholesterol should be checked at least twice during your 50's.
- Blood pressure should be checked every year at your annual visit and more often if you have high blood pressure.
- Diet and exercise are the two biggest gifts you can give your heart!
- A monthly self-breast exam
- A yearly mammogram should be conducted and make no excuses or exceptions!
- 70% of breast cancer occurs in women over the age of 50. You must make mammograms a priority.
Many women look at crossing the 50-year mark with anxiety about what health challenges may be coming their way. But with good eating and exercise habits, regular well woman exams and other preventative measures, you can rest easy knowing that you're doing everything you can to ensure good health.