By Sharon Hurley Hall –
Are you over 50? If you are then it’s time to start looking after your health. As we age, our bodies become less efficient and it’s more difficult to recover from illness, process food, get rid of those extra pounds or even move around. There are several conditions that can affect us as we grow older. Here’s a guide to some of them, as well as tips on minimizing the risk.
Conditions Affecting Men and Women
Both men and women experience a slower metabolism after the age of 50, at the same time as their bodies become less able to process certain nutrients. This can result in weight gain and increase the risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart disease. Our hearts can also be affected by high cholesterol and blood sugar levels, while seniors may suffer from declining vision, cataracts and glaucoma.
Gender Specific Conditions
Some of the conditions that may affect women as they grow older include thyroid malfunctions and the results of menopause (bladder dysfunction, mood swings, aching joints, hot flashes and more). Cervical and ovarian cancer are also a worry, as is breast cancer. Men over 50 worry most about prostate cancer, and men who smoke may be affected by bladder cancer. Incontinence, male menopause and erectile dysfunction are other worries for men.
One way to help manage your health over 50 is to have a regular testing regime, including:
* an eye test every year or two
* a dental checkup
* a flu shot
* a mole check, once a year (to test for cancers)
* a blood sugar test (which may identify diabetes)
* a blood pressure test
* a regular cholesterol test
* a rectal examination (to check for colon cancer)
Gender Specific Tests
There are other tests that men and women should have. Women should have pap smears and pelvic exams every one to three years to assist the early detection of cervical and ovarian cancer. An annual mammogram is a must to identify possible changes in breast tissue. For men, a PSA-prostate test should be done once a year.
Exercise And Diet
Both men and women over the age of 50 can benefit from exercises to boost their balance, flexibility, endurance and strength. For women, who are more likely to contract osteoporosis than men, it’s good to do weight-bearing exercise several times a week. And if you back this up with no smoking, less alcohol and a healthy diet, you’ll be all set to maintain your health over 50.
Please check with your own doctor before taking action based on this article.
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Sharon Hurley Hall has been writing professionally for almost 25 years, and she does it because she loves it. She is a word nerd, a Scrabble fiend, fanatical about grammar, and is fascinated by learning new things. Since 2005, Sharon has mentored other writers at Get Paid To Write Online to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Sharon subscribes to the ‘fine wine’ theory of aging – getting older also means getting better! Find Sharon on her website, Twitter and Facebook.