5 Ways to Better Health Over 50

Sickness and Aging no longer go hand in hand. You can be Healthy after 50.

For most of man’s history illness, frailty and senility has been an acceptable and even expected part of getting older. If one were to escape these and other ravages of aging like sloped posture, clumsiness, diabetes and high blood pressure just to name a few then one was considered blessed, lucky or maybe even “unnatural”.

Today more people are living healthy, active lifestyles well beyond fifty. How are they doing it? First lets take a look at what are some of the factors that contribute to a person’s state of health.

Factors determining health

There are dozens if not hundreds of different factors that contribute to a persons level of health but it’s generally accepted that the following are some of the most prominent.

  1. Heredity and gender
  2. Behavior
  3. Social and Economic Factors
  4. Clinical Care
Dahlgren and Whitehead in a study done in 1991 shows that outside of the hereditary and gender factors which are beyond our control the most important  factors are what they call Individual Lifestyle Factors which would include our behaviors like smoking, unhealthy sex practices, diet and exercise. These are followed by the Social Economic factors and then the access to good Health Care services.

Why behavior and lifestyle are so important to health over 50

If you’ve followed along then you know that the most important contributor to having good health is having good genes, but there are other things that matter too and in the long-term, especially if you’re over 50 they are often just as important as being born to healthy, long living parents. Why? Because health is also a result of all of the cumulative effects of many other factors over the course of ones lifetime. In other words no matter how lucky you may have been in the gene pool the cumulative effect of your behaviors over the last 50 or more years will have an adverse or beneficial influence on your health today.

5 Behaviors to improve your health

  1. If you smoke, STOP.                                                                                               Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people over 50 and smoking and diet are the biggest contributors to heart disease. Not coincidentally the second leading cause of death over 50 is cancer with lung cancer being fifty times more prevalent for men over 50 than either prostate or colon cancer. For women breast cancer and heart disease are almost equal from age 50 to 60 after which heart disease is number one.
  2. Health Screenings over 50                                                                                         It’s important that you become aware of any possible health problems as early as possible. Waiting for a health crisis to strike is not good health care. Sometimes a crisis that may require medicines or even surgery could have been handled with a change in diet or exercise. At the very least I recommend a yearly eye exam, dental exam, skin and mole check for cancers, diabetes blood sugar test, cholesterol and lipids test and rectal exam for colon cancer for men and bone density test for women.
  3. Exercise                                                                                                                         The studies continue to show over and over again the benefits of a regular exercise routine that includes both cardio and resistance training.
  4. Diet                                                                                                                                 It’s common knowledge that as we age our metabolism slows causing weight gain. It’s not always as easy as simply cutting back on calories, sometimes we may need to change the foods that we eat. Maybe adding more protein and less fat or changing the bad carbs that we eat for the good carbs.
  5. Adding Nutritional Supplements                                                                            Not only does our metabolism slow as we age but our bodies also become less efficient at processing the food and nutrients that we consume. Did you know that Japanese women have the lowest incidence of osteoporosis and bone fractures? It’s  believed that’s because of the high level of vitamin K2 in their diets.                     Other common deficiencies for people over 50 are vitamins D, and B12, Iron, Calcium and Zinc.