10 Healthy Habits For Every Man Over 50
For a lot of people, 50 marks the beginning of your transition into a new life. Here are 10 healthy habits you should develop to keep your body and your mind in tip-top shape.
RELATED: 10 Amazing Benefits Of Turning 50
Healthy Habits to Develop in Your 50s
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is a vital aspect of health that people often overlook. In fact, some even boast about how little sleep they have gotten because of how busy they are. Never allow yourself to be one of them.
As you enter your 50s, you might notice that your sleeping pattern starts to change gradually. You might wake up earlier even without an alarm clock. Similarly, you might not be able to stay up as late as you used to.
Our tip: Just go with the flow. Establish healthy sleeping habits by aiming for at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
Make sure that you are getting good quality sleep. If you're having trouble falling asleep, or if you're waking up in the middle of the night, then there might be some habits that you need to change. Here are some quick tips for better sleep quality:
- Try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
- Avoid exposure to blue light in the evening from electronic devices like smartphones and computers. Put your gadgets down at least 30 minutes before your bedtime.
- If you love coffee, try to limit your caffeine intake in the afternoon. A study shows that consuming coffee up to 6 hours before your bedtime can ruin your sleep quality.
- Optimize the environment in your bedroom for sleep. Some of the factors to consider include light, temperature, and external noises that may affect the quality of sleep you get.
- Consider taking a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is a hormone that tells your body when it's time to relax. A study on its effects showed that 2mg of the supplement helped improve sleep quality and energy for the next day.
2. Watch What You Eat
As you get older, watching what you put in your body becomes more and more important. With age, you tend to be more prone to various diseases caused by an unhealthy diet. Herein comes the importance of having healthy eating habits
As much as possible, try to limit your intake of meat and dairy, which are inflammatory foods. These can cause digestive problems and joint pains. Plus, they are often full of unhealthy fats that may cause cardiovascular diseases in the long run.
Additionally, aim to incorporate at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables into your diet. This doesn't necessarily mean eating only a plain salad for dinner. Just make sure you pack more vegetables alongside your regular meals.
If you really love meat, at least make sure that they are organic and of good quality. Avoid processed meats like bacon and sausages, as well as red meat like pork and lamb. If you're not a fan of vegetables, try blending them into a smoothie to drink with your breakfast or afternoon snack.
Finally, make sure to drink as much water as you can. It helps boost your metabolism, removes toxins from your vital organs, and promotes good circulation of nutrients to your entire body.
3. Drink Your Vitamins
Sometimes, even a good diet is unable to deliver all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Regularly taking vitamin supplements is one of the best healthy habits you ought to develop in your 50s.
Make sure that your multivitamin supplement contains at least the 13 essential vitamins. This includes Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins. These vitamins boost your cardiovascular and immune systems, ensure healthy bones, eyesight, and nerves, and many more.
If exercise was not something that you were ever passionate about, then it's time for things to change. Engaging in regular exercise is one of the best healthy habits to start as you enter your 50s.
Don't worry, this doesn't necessarily mean that you have to spend hours in the gym every day. Just make sure to at least engage in some form of physical activity each day. Warm yourself up to this routine by going for a quick walk after dinner, or cycling to work instead of taking the bus.
When you're ready, aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day. If you don't feel like walking or jogging, kill two birds with one stone by cleaning your yard or your house. As long as it gets your heart pumping, you're on the right track.
Incorporate strength training into your routine as well. Strengthening your muscles also has the added benefit of providing better protection for your joints.
Get a fuller picture of how your body is doing and chart your progress by wearing a fitness tracker. This is a great way to measure your heart rate and count your steps throughout the day. Nowadays, there are also lots of smartphone applications that allow you to log the food you consume.
5. Learn to Relax
Your 20s to 40s were years of hustling and grinding. As you near your retirement age, it's equally important to learn to relax. One of the best healthy lifestyle habits you should develop is to start practicing mindfulness and meditation.
These are great ways to reduce stress and give your mind much-needed rest. It gives you time to reflect as you focus on your body and your breathing.
Plus, if you engage in yoga as meditation, it also acts as a way to improve your balance. In the long run, this helps prevent falls and other potentially serious injuries.
Stress can cause tons of problems to your immune and digestive systems. As you age, learning to unwind is one of many must-have healthy habits you should form.
6. Don't Miss Your Preventive Screenings
A wise man once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Just like your car needs its annual preventive maintenance service, you also need to have at least an annual physical exam.
It is often tempting to skip this especially if you are feeling fine. However, routine screenings will help your doctor catch health risks before they become too complicated or too expensive to fix.
Make sure to consult your doctor about what tests, screenings, and vaccines to include. Some of the most important ones for men over 50 include colon and prostate cancer screenings.
7. Protect Your Skin
Who says skincare is only for women? Protecting your skin is one of the best healthy habits you should form in your 50s to help you always look like you just turned 30.
Use sunscreen every day to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Not only does it prevent wrinkles, but it also decreases your risk of getting skin cancer. Look for a product with an SPF of at least 30.
Additionally, clean and moisturize your face every morning and night. Make sure to use good-quality and natural products to avoid side effects like clogged pores and pimples.
8. Get a New Hobby
As you near retirement, it's important to keep your mind working and entertained. Find something you're passionate about and learn a new skill or develop a new hobby.
If your kids have already moved out, consider adopting a pet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adopting a pet helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Walking them also provides a great opportunity for exercise.
If pets are not for you, then surprise yourself by trying something new. Learn a language or study a musical instrument. These are great ways for your brain to build new pathways, thus promoting a healthier mind.
9. Limit Your Vices
If you smoke, quit tobacco altogether. Smoking does not have any benefits at all.
Quitting smoking decreases your chances of developing various heart and lung diseases in the long run. As soon as you quit, your body starts to heal. You'll start to breathe easier, have more energy, and develop a better sense of smell and taste.
If you also love drinking, moderate your intake to no more than 14 drinks per week. If you can, why not drink plenty of water and milk instead? It's a much healthier alternative to drinking, and it's something your body needs more once you reach your 50s.
10. Plan for Your Future
At this age, one of the best healthy habits to have is to consistently review your financials. It is best to ensure that you are on track to meet your financial goals for your retirement.
While many people avoid the topic, it is also good to revisit your directives for health care. This also includes having “those” conversations with your spouse and children regarding estate and other related plans in case of unexpected and unfortunate events.
Why start at 50? Check out this video from Fit Father Project and develop those healthy habits as soon as you enter your 40s:
While your health might not have been your top priority before, this can no longer be the case in your 50s. Develop the healthy habits listed above to ensure you keep your body and your mind in excellent shape at all times.
Do you have other questions about healthy habits you should develop in your 50s? Ask us in the comments section below!
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