In 2019, the average life expectancy for men in the United States was a little over 76 years. Humans are living much longer than even a century ago, and as such, retirement time stretches into decades rather than a few golden years after you leave the workforce.
If you are a man over the age of 50, it may seem like you have a more difficult time staying healthy and fit. However, there are many modifications you can make to your lifestyle so you can always be feeling your best and keep healthy.
Would you like to carry on with an active lifestyle past the age of 50 and well into your senior years? Here are some tips to get started.
See Your Primary Care Doctor
As you get older, you will more than likely experience some health problems, whether due to lifestyle or simply the aging of your body. Therefore, it is important that you maintain a good relationship with your doctor, especially your primary care physician.
Ideally, you should have a checkup and health screening annually. That way, your doctor will be able to catch any conditions developing before it is too late to start medicine or do a procedure to fix the situation.
Your doctor can also be a great resource and sounding board for ideas that you may have for lifestyle changes. Since he or she most likely knows your medical history better than anyone, you can always get sound advice on whether an activity or diet is safe for you to try.
You should also make sure that you regularly receive screenings appropriate for your age group. For example, colon cancer has higher occurrences in males over the age of 50, so be sure to let your doctor know that you would like to be screened in order to catch potential problems much earlier.
One of the most important aspects of a doctor-patient relationship is communication. Your primary care physician or medical assistant should be your first point of contact if you experience new symptoms or you seem unsure about any diet and exercise regimens you want to begin. Visit and read the full guide to know more about their duties.
Get Enough Nutrients in Your Diet
Maintaining a nutritious diet is a staple for having a healthy and active life, and the older you grow, the more important it becomes. Make sure you fulfill all of the food groups on a daily basis and vary your nutrient intake so that your body runs at peak function at all times.
One of the most common problems in older people is losing bone density. Adding more calcium to your diet can be a key to ensuring that your bones remain strong. Dairy products are usually a good place to start.
If you do not know of any nutrient deficiencies you have, then you should aim to get an overall well-rounded dose of vital nutrients every day in the foods that you eat. Usually just making better choices, like whole foods versus processed, and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, will do the trick.
To know whether or not you lack nutrients, you may want to get a blood panel done by your primary care physician. This type of bloodwork can test for some of the most common deficiencies, like iron, vitamin D, vitamin C, and calcium.
Sometimes, even with adding in more nutrient-rich foods, you will still have deficiencies. Therefore, solutions like supplements may be a way that you can maintain your nutrient levels without having to worry about getting them through the food that you eat every day.
Have a Good Social Life
When you get older, and especially after you retire, you may find yourself with more free time to enjoy with your friends and family. You should try and take advantage of this by revitalizing your social life or even making new friends.
Surrounding yourself with those you love has been shown to increase happiness and stave off severe symptoms of mental illness like depression. Try to keep in contact with your loved ones regularly, whether it be through a phone call, seeing each other in-person, or even social media.
The internet can be a valuable tool for finding new friends who have similar interests as you. Websites like Facebook have thousands of groups, so if you find one that matches what you like to talk about, you can potentially find new friends.
If you prefer to see people in a group environment that is in person, then you can also use the internet to facilitate these types of gatherings. Some websites allow you to sign up and list your hobbies and interests and then join groups that meet regularly in your area.
You can easily capitalize on your free time as your friends and loved ones begin to retire as well. Many retirees even do things like take group trips together or plan other types of activities that involve just spending time together.
Find a Healthy New Hobby
If you have been working for most of your adult life, then chances are, you did not have a lot of free time to pursue things that you may feel passionate about. Whether you want to pick up a new hobby or simply get back to something you enjoyed when you were younger, now is the perfect time to do it.
Hobbies come in many forms, from collecting to doing an activity that you would like to get better at. If you do not know where to begin, you can consider a few things that may make it easier to decide what hobby you would like to pursue.
You may have to go back to your childhood. For example, if you loved to climb trees when you were a child, then you may want to consider picking up rock climbing or hiking out in nature. Or, if you dropped musical lessons, you can always resume where you left off with a new teacher.
Your ideal hobby should be one that can benefit you mentally or physically. Many older seniors pick up needlework or other crafts that require close attention to detail. Studies have shown that these types of focused projects can actually reduce the chances of developing degenerative diseases like dementia.
If you find yourself at a loss on what to do, you can always volunteer for a cause that you’re passionate about. Many charitable organizations rely on free labor and could always use help. For instance, if you love animals, you can volunteer at adoption events for the local animal shelter.
Exercise on a Regular Basis
Studies have revealed that exercising regularly can have many positive effects on both your mental and physical health. This is especially true after age 50 because you need to work a little bit harder to keep your body in the best shape possible. Try to exercise at least three times a week.
If you want to get into group exercise or you need a place to work out, many gyms offer senior discounts for those who are over a certain age. They also have workout and group classes geared towards different age groups, so you can exercise with people similar in age and ability to yourself.
For those who don’t want to hit the gym, you can do many activities either in your own home or outdoors. Cardio options include going for a run, walk, or bike ride. Doing cardio exercises regularly, even low impact ones, can increase your metabolism and help you to burn more calories.
Sometimes instead of working out hard, you may want to wind down a bit. Yoga is a popular choice for older people because it involves much less impact, but can still provide a great workout. Depending on how long your session lasts, yoga can potentially burn as many calories as a rigorous cardio workout.
Remember, you should talk to your health team before trying any new exercise regimen. That way, you will not have to worry about potential complications or risks involved with getting your sweat on and trying to stay as healthy as possible.
Focus on Your Mental Health
Mental health and well being can be just as vital as physical health as you begin to show signs of age. You should regularly try and do exercises and activities that will keep your mind sharp. Doing these types of exercises has been proven to reduce the effects of many conditions that may develop later in life.
If you feel like you need to stimulate your brain, pick up a crossword puzzle or a word search book at your local supermarket. Even doing these types of puzzles for a few minutes a day will help immensely with your brain function. You can also download apps on your phone so you can do them on the go if you wish.
Meditation is a field that has been growing steadily in popularity over the past couple of decades. Practicing meditation can not only calm your mind but teach you how to cope with uncomfortable emotions and process your thoughts and feelings. There are many apps that you can use for guided meditation if you are new to the practice.
Another technique that may boost your brainpower is journaling. Writing down your thoughts can have a therapeutic and cathartic effect, making room for more important things in your brain space. Writing regularly, especially handwriting, also helps to retain cognitive function.
If you have trouble with processing your thoughts or feelings, it may be beneficial for you to see a therapist. Your therapist will give you methods to cope with your emotions in a healthy way. You may even be able to work through past traumas and problems with your therapist.
Invest in Your Own Happiness
As you get older, you may begin to evaluate your life and what you can do to make it better and more comfortable. Therefore, you should think about how you can use your money wisely in order to improve aspects of your life.
One factor that many seniors find to be very important is intimacy. However, sexual potency has been known to wane in later years of life. If this is a problem for you, then you may benefit from performance-enhancing drugs from websites like https://www.virilx.com.
Some people will also use the time to travel as they enter their retirement years. If you have a list of places you want to visit, try to budget for those trips and make estimates for how much they will cost. Travel can be a fun and exciting way to spend your golden years, especially if you travel with a spouse or close friends.
When thinking about investing in your happiness, you should consider things that will keep you happy in the long term. For instance, if you loathe the gym and want to work out from home, investing in an exercise bike or an elliptical machine might be a better option.
Another popular way people choose to invest in themselves is education. Whether that means taking classes at the local community college or simply reading more books, learning new information can bring happiness and keep the mind sharp. Try to sneak in at least a few minutes of reading every day to keep up with the habit.
Keep Healthy Using All of These Tips
It does not have to be a chore to keep healthy, even past the age of 50 or above. By working with your health team and setting up habits for success in your personal life, you can maintain a good quality of life during your golden years.
Do you want to know more about how you can revolutionize your life with healthy habits? Look into our Lifestyle section for more information on how to stay in shape and feel good.