As we reach the age of 50, our bodies are undergoing significant changes, and people need to make some important adjustments in the way that they care for themselves. According to Becca Levy, the director of behavioral and social sciences at the Yale School of Public Health, making changes in how you care for your body will have a positive impact on your overall health as you mature. Choosing to be open to new information concerning your health is vital for quality of life. The medical industry is ever-changing, and being aware of these crucial health tips will help you ease into your later years.
1. Avoiding High Blood Pressure
To avoid high blood pressure after 50, limit added sugars to six teaspoons each day, or approximately 100 calories. The more sugar added to your coffee, tea, or cereal, the higher the risk of death from a cardiovascular disease. In a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, added sugar was shown to raise blood pressure even further than excess table salt.
Past the age of 50, estrogen levels in the body decline, putting people in a prime position for hypertension. High amounts of sugar will increase insulin, which in turn lowers nitric oxide levels and restricts the blood vessels’ ability to dilate. Start looking for alternatives to high-fructose corn syrup and refined sugar like Stevia and agave nectar.
2. Preventing Aches and Pains
By your 50th birthday, the body reduces production of vitamin D by as much as 75%. According to Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, Michael Holick, PhD, MD, you need to incorporate a 2,000 IU vitamin D supplement into your daily routine to avoid those nagging aches and pains as you age. Holick says that low levels of vitamin D in the body have been linked to diabetes, cognitive decline, and other age-related problems.
One of the more serious medical problems that the elderly face is the risk of falls. Beginning at age 30, the muscles used to stand will start to weaken, the pace of your steps slows, the length of your strides shortens, and vision starts to deteriorate. According to studies conducted at Winston-Salem State University, balance is essential for living a healthier and longer life. Improving your balance today can have long-lasting positive effects on your health in your later years. The Mayo Clinic says that one in every three adults 65 years or older will take a serious fall this year. Consider these five simple ways to improve your balance so that you don’t become part of that statistic in your senior years.
1. Balancing on a Wobble Board
If you are not already a member at your local gym, consider investing in a small piece of exercise equipment that can have a huge impact on your balance. A wobble board is a small gym device that challenges you to maintain your stability. Place the wobble board on the floor and be sure there is plenty of room so you don’t accidentally fall onto any furniture or objects. Position yourself on the wobble board with your feet shoulder width apart, tighten your abs, and begin rocking backward and forward and then side to side. Use a chair for support if you are new to this type of exercise, then continue for two minutes at a time. Pushing yourself further each day will boost overall health and balance.
2. Standing on One Leg
During the course of your busy day, you might not have time to exercise for balance health. There may barely be time to eat in the morning before you rush off to work, then you scramble home to eat dinner, watch television, and start the whole process again the next day. One simple way to improve your balance is to incorporate net-time. Net-time is being able to do two tasks at the same time without pushing yourself too hard. For example, when you are washing dishes at night, stand on one leg and hold the pose for 30 seconds at a time. When you are dusting the house, stand on a couch cushion or pillow while on one leg to create instability while you balance and clean. Increase difficulty by balancing on one leg with your eyes closed as you listen to your favorite music.
Glaucoma can cause progressive and permanent vision loss as a result of fluid buildup in the eye. The eye disease has two distinct forms: angle-closure and primary open-angle glaucoma. The symptoms for both types of glaucoma are subtly different.
Primary open-angle glaucoma is by far the most common in patients suffering with vision loss. The disease begins to work on the peripheral vision and works inward, incapacitating central vision. The end result is suffering with what is commonly referred to as tunnel vision. Acute angle-closure glaucoma, also known as narrow-angle glaucoma or chronic angle-closure glaucoma, will cause blurry vision that produces halos around the eyes. Both types of glaucoma will eventually cause gradual and irreversible damage to the optic nerve.
To prevent this disease, it is important that you are able to identify these eight signs:
1. Blurry Vision
When suffering from acute angle-closure glaucoma, there will be a very gradual decline in sharpness of vision. This decline in vision acuity results in everything appearing fuzzy and blurred, and the most severe blurriness comes at the latter stages. By this point, the problem may be irreversible and may not be correctable, even with surgery. Opticians recommend that when you experience the first signs of blurry vision that you seek the help of an eye doctor sooner than later. Early treatments can have a significant positive impact on your ability to see clearly in the future.
2. Nausea and Vomiting
When your vision is distorted for a considerable amount of time, you will begin to experience feeling of nausea followed by bouts of vomiting. Acute angle-closure glaucoma can cause vomiting and nausea followed by severe bouts of eye pain. The eye pain is the indicator that what you are feeling is more than a stomach virus or flu, and you should have the condition looked at by a professional. According to studies at WebMD, patients who were in early stages of glaucoma began to experience regular bouts of nausea when driving their vehicles at night.
We live in a society that’s filled with over-sized meals, so it’s no wonder more of the population is overeating each time they sit down for a meal. To aggravate the issue, people are being brought up on fast foods with zero nutritional value and high amounts of fructose corn syrup. A study conducted by Scientific American showed that excessive eating releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes the body feel good. Dopamine creates a positive reinforcement for overeating.
To break this addictive eating behavior, it’s important to identify these eight signs of overeating:
1. Feeling Distressed After Eating
One of the obvious signs of overeating is the feeling of disappointment for not pushing away that plate sooner. Binge eating, another term for overeating, leaves people unable to control themselves. According to studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic, people who overeat will repeat this vicious cycle day after day even after feeling depressed as a consequence. When it is time to eat, a person will feel comfortable for a moment, but the binge pattern takes over, and as soon as they are done eating the self-loathing and regret sets in.
2. Increased Waist Size
A potbelly can appear immediately after eating a large meal. Studies at the Mayo Clinic have shown that binge eating can result in weight gain, which then reinforces compulsive eating. The worse a person feels about his or her appearance, the more that person will reach for food to cope. They eat to feel good. They start to feel worse, then return to food for comfort.
Hearing loss can be a result of exposure to dangerous noise levels, and it is fast becoming one of the more common occupational illnesses in America. Permanent hearing loss can occur from repeated exposure to anything from loud machinery to the blast of a single shotgun shell. According to studies conducted at the Mayo Clinic, over 10 million people in the United States have permanent hearing loss from loud noise, and another 30 million are currently exposed to dangerous levels on the job today. These workers underestimate the potential harm from hearing loss because the damage occurs over a long period of time. The following eight tips can help you prevent hearing loss.
1. Wearing Earplugs
Earplugs will protect the delicate lining in the ear and reduce the chances of suffering permanent hearing loss. If you are going to be exposed to loud noises like a snowmobile, firecrackers, power tools, firearms, or concerts, pack a pair of earplugs. This will allow you to still hear but reduce the damage that can be done by excessive noise. If possible, take a break from the noise for 10 minutes in order to allow the ears adequate time to recover. Invest in a good quality earplug that will limit noise and protect the inner ear.
2. Using the 60/60 Rule
If you frequently listen to music on your MP3 player, iPod, or mobile device using headphones, turn down the volume to 20% and only listen to your music for a maximum of 60 minutes each day. Many new music devices come with a smart-volume feature that will automatically regulate the volume and reduce any chance of serious damage to your hearing. Earbuds are ineffective at hiding surrounding noises, so as a result the wearer will turn up the volume to dangerous levels to enjoy music.