As our 50s come to pass, our physical, mental and emotional health starts to play a bigger role in our lives. From heart health to bone health, adopting good lifestyle habits can make a world of difference to your overall well-being. Here are some issues to take care of in your fifties.
Get Your Heart Healthy
You probably heard it in your 30s and then again in your 40s that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Unfortunately, this fact is still true. Therefore, it bears repeating: Taking care of your heart is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
- Eating a well-balanced diet. Explore following the principles of the Mediterranean diet.
- Getting approximately 20 minutes of exercise a day.
- Quitting smoking.
- Curbing alcohol consumption.
These small steps can dramatically lower your own risk of heart disease. Where isn’t not possible to adopt all of them, try following one or two.
Managing Menopause and Bioidentical Hormones
The average age of menopause for women in the United States is 51. While not all women will experience menopause at this time, it’s safe to assume that in the next few years most women will start to exhibit the symptoms of menopause if they haven’t already.
Hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and mood swings are some of the more noticeable symptoms of menopause.
A common mistake many women make is to assume that nothing can be done about these symptoms. In fact, many menopause symptoms can be managed on a case-by-case basis with dietary changes, medications or creams.
For example, bio-identical hormones (hormones that mimic the ones naturally found in the body) are another treatment option that might appeal to some. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of menopause and find that they’re affecting your quality of life, make an appointment with ReVital to discuss your options and personalized treatment plans.
Build Up Bone Health
There are over 200 bones in the human body and as we get older, their strength will gradually decline. In older age, the bones we tend to be concerned with are the hips, legs, back and arms. To reduce the risk of fractures and broken bones, be sure to engage in the following:
- Calcium and Vitamin D supplements – If you’re not getting enough in your diet consider
taking these as supplements to help keep up bone strength.
- Weight-bearing exercises – Walking, swimming or even yoga are a few examples of exercises you can do to build bone strength.
Cervical Cancer and Pap Smears
Once you hit 50, now is the time to get up to date with your screenings if you haven’t already. It is recommended that women in their 50s continue with screening tests such as:
- Pap tests – a screening tool used to detect cervical cancer in the very early stages.
- Mammogram – screening for breast cancer.
- Fecal occult blood test – A stool sample that looks for blood in the stool which may represent colorectal cancer.
Schedule your routine well-woman exam for this year if you haven’t already. These exams are a good opportunity to check in with your doctor and make sure your gynecological and breast health are being monitored periodically.