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Health Habits You Should Never Do After 50, According to Doctors

Stop doing them today.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

Aging is inevitable and yet it's hard to admit it's happening. Inside, you feel like you're 24 years old still—wanting to make the most of life, maybe even more so now that you know there are more years behind you than ahead of you. And yet—no one told your body. It's not the same as it used to be. And acknowledging this can save your life. You just need to change a few habits. "Asking how you're going to achieve a dietary, fitness, material, or spiritual goal is unlikely to yield the result you seek," advises Strauss Zelnick, author of Becoming Ageless. "Instead, start by asking yourself a far more important question. It's one I asked myself years ago: 'What do I want?' That answer will drive every decision you make. It will also make the 'how' easier to pinpoint and, eventually, accomplish." Read on to learn about habits you should never do after age 50—Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

You Smoke. It's Even Worse For You As You Age.

Mature woman with sore throat, standing in living room at home.
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You know smocking is bad for you; that's one of the first things we learn, along with the alphabet. But did you know it's even more dangerous for you after 50? "As the age increases the immunity of your body starts to decrease," says Dr. Amaan Malbari. "Smoking can have a bad impact on your lungs and your health as the immune system starts to fall down."

2

You Consume Medicine Frequently for Small Issues

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"As people start growing old there is a mindset created in them that medicine is mandatory as they are getting older but this mindset might lead to other complications," says Dr. Malbari. "When they have a slight headache, joint pain which gets normal without the help of medication, they feel it mandatory to take medicine for every health or body related issue and this becomes a problem so people above 50 years should avoid this mindset."

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3

You Ignore Minor Health Issues 

Senior woman suffering from pain in hand at home.
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Don't ignore your toothache, joint pains, headache or cough in your lungs, for example. "Some small issues may turn into a complicated situation as you start getting old, so get an appointment from your doctor and get diagnosed," says Dr. Malbari.

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4

You Have an Irregular Sleep Schedule

Senior Woman Suffering from Insomnia.
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"Sleep is the most important activity a person should do punctually when they turn 50," says Dr. Malbari. "As you start to grow old your body starts to get tired and exhausted very fast so sleeping and waking at a particular time become mandatory."

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5

 You Have Stopped Being Active and Exercising  

Tired senior hispanic man sleeping on dark blue couch, taking afternoon nap at the living room
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"Exercise is vital for healthy aging. It helps to prevent disease, improves overall ability, and can have numerous mental benefits as well," says  Dr. Alex Tauberg. "One big reason exercise is so important is that as we age we become more prone to sedentary behaviors. As we age muscles begin to deteriorate. This is known as sarcopenia. As sarcopenia progresses we are not able to perform the activities that we once were."

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6

You Push Yourself to Act Younger

Man tired after excercise.
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"At this age, blood flow has already started to reduce. Women reach the period of menopause and men experience a gradual decrease in testosterone," says Dr. Ahmed Helmy. "The body goes through changes. You cannot do what you used to do at 20— and this means your body can't either."

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7

You Spend Time in the Sun Without Protecting Your Eyes

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"Ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun can damage the surface of your eye, the lens and the cornea," says Dr. Ryan Young. "Luckily, protecting your eyes from UV radiation is as easy as wearing sunglasses and hats and avoiding looking directly at the sun. Make sure your sunglasses block 100% of UVA and UVB light."

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8

You Stop Having Regular Eye Exams

female doctor ophthalmologist is checking the eye vision of handsome young man in modern clinic
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"Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 50 in the United States. AMD is a result of the central portion of the retina, or macula, deteriorating," says Dr. Young. "It's easy to miss the early stages of AMD because you may not experience any symptoms. Later in the disease process, It can cause blurred vision, distortion, and eventually total loss of your central vision. It's important to have regular eye exams to proactively protect your vision."

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9

You Drink Beer

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"Stop drinking beer.  Sometimes people think that beer is a "lighter" drink than, say, brown liquor. Drinking beer is like drinking bread," says Payel Gupta, MD. "Beer adds to the middle aged spread perhaps more than any other alcohol. Instead of beer, try another drink that is bubbly and refreshing, or even add a splash of vodka to some seltzer or sugar-free tonic water."

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10

You Ignore Your Increased Risk of Heart Disease

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"Your risk for heart disease increases as you age so limiting foods that are higher in saturated fat and may elevate cholesterol is key," says Lisa R Young, Ph.D., RDN Limit red meat (especially ultra processed varieties) and full fat dairy including cheese and butter. Instead enjoy omega-3 rich fish like salmon, nuts, and heart healthy olive oil. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Emilia Paluszek
Emilia specializes in human biology and psychology at the University at Albany. Read more
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