At times it can feel like we’re overwhelmed with information on what we should and shouldn’t be doing to best protect our health. And while by the time you reach your 50s you feel as though you know your body pretty well, there’s the small issue of the menopause to get to grips with.
But what about everything else? With the help of practicing GP Dr Rupert Critchley (BM MRCGP) we’ve rounded up the health mistakes you should be avoiding if you’re in your 50s.
1. Ignoring your breasts
“One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime,” explains Dr Critchley. “Keep regular check of breast health, as well as making sure you attend your local breast screening service (You will receive a letter and due checks every 3 years between the ages of 50-70).”
2. Avoiding your intimate health
“Attend to those hot flushes, there are many treatments out there that can be very useful for menopausal symptoms,” says Dr Critchley. “Remember, alternative therapies such as herbal remedies may be useful for some, however there is no clear cut evidence. Some may also interact with medications you may be taking already so ensure a visit to the GP to be safe.” Vaginal dryness isn’t only uncomfortable, but can have knock on effects when it comes to your sex life and confidence. Vagisil’s ProHydrate relieve vaginal dryness to make intimacy more comfortable. Feeling like your own natural moisture, you can try out their Internal and External Hydrating Gel.
3. Neglecting your brain
With all the emphasis on maintaining your physical health, sometimes it’s easy to forget about your brain. A recent study by King’s College London found that daily online brain training exercises geared towards memory and reasoning are beneficial for over 50s. They reported that the mental workouts helped people carry out everyday tasks and stay mentally sharp.
4. Being unaware of your blood pressure
“Keeping your blood pressure under control really can reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes. It’s a good time to invest in a home monitor and keep regular track of your blood pressure. Keeping an eye on this not only means you will be more mindful but also help you flag up when you may need to see your GP.”
5. Shunning exercise
Keeping your blood pressure in check as well as taking care of your heart is imperative as you enjoy your 50s. Find an exercise that you love, whether it’s a brisk walk or a dance class and commit to regular practise. Following on from point 4, research has also found that regular aerobic exercise seems to increase the size of the hippocampus, which is the bit of the brain that plays an important role in verbal memory and learning.
6. Cutting out dairy
Registered dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, Rick Miller explains: “We are finding that more women of all ages are giving up dairy and real cows’ milk in favour of milk alternatives such as soya and almond, in response to the dairy-free and clean eating trend, with potentially negative consequences to their health. One of the main risks of women cutting dairy from their diets is a lack of calcium and other bone-building minerals, leading to thinning bones and osteoporosis, particularly in women around the menopause. He continues: “Real cows’ milk is incredibly nutritious for women of all ages – a single glass contains 74% of our recommended daily vitamin B12 and 31% of our recommended daily calcium – both essential for boosting immunity, bone strength and overall health.”
(Article source: Good Housekeeping)