Men over age 50 can continue to enjoy healthy and active lives.  Sometimes this involves making lifestyle changes to address particular health concerns that often accompany aging.  Many older men develop chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.  Some of the risk factors for these health issues are out of our control including age, race, and family history.  However, other risk factors and lifestyle choices can be controlled.  The following tips can help men over 50 to stay fit and healthy.

Stay Active

Regular exercise helps keep the body healthy and flexible.  It also relieves stress, elevates mood, and can improve brain function.  An active lifestyle improves heart health, helps maintain muscle strength, and reduces the risk of some diseases.  Aerobic exercise gets the heart pumping, and strength training builds muscle.  Men who have not been active should discuss any new exercise plan with their physician.  The CDC recommends 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week for men aged 50 and over.

Quit Smoking

Men who smoke should quit.  Those who kick the habit will have more energy and breathe better.  Quitting smoking reduces the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.  Those who have difficulty quitting should consult their doctor for help.

Lose Weight

Gaining weight is not a normal part of aging.  Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer.  Excess weight puts stress on the bones, muscles, and joints.  Osteoarthritis of the hip and knee are associated with obesity.  Being overweight affects our ability to be active and negatively impacts quality of life.  Contact your doctor for help with medical weight loss.

Maintain a Healthy Diet  

A diet that is lower in fat, sugar, and sodium can reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease.  Cut back on the amount of processed foods consumed, and eat more fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.  Eating complex grains and more fiber promotes regularity and colon health.  

Drink in Moderation

Alcohol should be limited to two drinks per day.  Alcohol use can worsen some health conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, ulcers, osteoporosis, and memory loss.  Mixing alcohol with many medications can be dangerous.  In older adults, consuming too much alcohol can lead to balance issues and falls.

Get Regular Health Screenings

Men over 50 should see their doctors for regular checkups and health screenings.  Health screenings should including blood pressure, cholesterol, colon cancer (colonoscopy), prostate cancer (PSA blood test), and type 2 diabetes (Fasting plasma glucose test and A1C test).

Next Steps

If it’s been a while since your last physical, it may be time to see a doctor for a checkup and men’s health screenings.  The physicians at RMD Primary Care are here to answer your questions about men’s health issues.  Contact us today for an appointment.