Editor’s note: This the second in a four-part blog series on life skills and knowledge that are good to have at each life stage. The other blogs are: What to Know About Caregiving By 50, 60 and 70; What to Know About Money and Work By 50, 60 and 70 and What to Know About Living By 50, 60 and 70.
Staying healthy through your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond requires special attention after age 50. Here’s what you should know at each age to stay healthy:
What to Know By:
By age 50, it’s good to be aware of health problems that may slow you down and to be settling into a fitness routine you can sustain through your 50s.
1. Take preventative tests. Soon after you turn 50, there are a few preventative tests you should take if you haven’t already. These include a colonoscopy, a bone density test and, for women, a Pap smear and mammogram. Men should discuss prostate-cancer screening with their doctor, but routine prostate exams are no longer done on symptom-free men. Click on the links in this sentence for a complete list of recommended screenings for men and women ages 40 to 65 from the National Institutes of Health.
At age 60, you’ll want to pay special attention to your sexual health, your heart and your mental well-being. Fitness is still essential, though you may find you want to adapt your routine to your current fitness level to avoid injuries.
By the time you are 70, the focus is on continued fitness, nutrition and falls prevention. Mental health is also important. And good news — you don’t need so many health screenings.
1. Keep exercising. You may need to alter your routine, but maintaining regular aerobic activity and weight training are especially important as you near your 70s. If you have fallen out of the habit, it’s not too late to start. Just follow these guidelines.
2. Eat well. While there is a tendency to gain weight from your 30s to 50s, weight loss is more typical after 60. Some of this is due to loss of muscle (see weight training above) and some to poor nutrition. Research shows the better you eat, the longer you live.
3. Avoid falls. A fall and broken hip can lead to a precipitous decline in health. Take steps to avoid falls and prevent injury.