Healthy living for men over 50 – since when did being 50 years old mean that you are over the hill? Your body might not be as firm and fit as it once was, but there are easy ways to hold on to your health. Small changes now, whatever age you are, can make a huge difference in later life.
A few simple steps are key to giving yourself a better, longer and more fulfilling life. All it takes are a few changes to your diet, lifestyle and exercise regime. Best of all, they’re changes you can make whatever your age and fitness level.
It’s never too late to make a difference. Here are 10 ways to get started:
Don’t be salty
Changing to lower-salt bread and reducing your intake of salt-laden foods (burgers, sausages, ham, bacon, savoury snacks, salted butter and ready meals), could cut your salt intake in half and reduce the risk of strokes and heart disease.
Enjoy long lunches
The French have the right idea when it comes to lunch. It is not about the eating, rather the time spent away from the work environment. A 2011 study by American HR consultancy firm, Right Management, showed that cholesterol levels soared in men who ate in stressed conditions, compared to those who ate in calmer environments.
Splash on the ketchup
A chemical in the humble tomato, lycopene, protects against prostate cancer – and it’s most concentrated in ketchup and tomato puree. Tomatoes may also help lower your cholesterol level and improve your eyesight. And fanfare of fanfares, fight heart disease, thanks to a bloodclot-reducing substance called P3.
Walking back to happiness
… Or a brisk walk. A recent study has found that brisk walking at four miles an hour for 30 minutes, three or four times a week, significantly lowered the risk of adult-onset diabetes.
Eat more fruit
You’ve heard it all before, but a daily shot of fruit really can lengthen your life, according to a 17-year study of 10,000 people. Fresh fruit was found to have the greatest effect on longevity, mainly due to its cancer-fighting properties.
Removing obstacles to a healthy sex life
At the turn of the millennium Liquorice Allsorts were taking a beating after it was claimed that liquorice was a cause of low libido in older men. Of course, the claim was proven to be wrong, so there’s no need to sidestep Bertie Bassett. Instead consider the root causes of lower libido such as alcohol, stress, drug use, depression, poor sleep patterns and even medication you may be taking for other conditions. If you are worried about low libido talk to your doctor and don’t ruminate that something is wrong with you.
Kick the habit
Smoking is the leading cause of cancer – full stop. And for every week you smoke, you lose a day of life, so the sooner you quit the better. Your lungs, heart, and libido will all benefit – as will your wallet.
Shed a few pounds
Simple health equation: reduce your weight and you’ll reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure. And it’s never too late to start exercising: a study of British men over 40 found that starting moderate exercise, even in late middle age, played a major role in cutting the risk of coronary heart disease.
Watch your cholesterol
Cut the amount of saturated fat you eat and you’ll cut your heart disease risk by up to 30%. Easiest way to do this? Go easy on red meat and dairy produce.
It perhaps comes as no surprise but researchers have found optimists do actually live longer than pessimists, it’s time to ditch the Larry David impression and start looking forward to what could be the best years of your life.
Healthy living for men over 50 should be more than just an aspiration. Half the battle is to conquer the mental block to taking action, once you’ve managed that the rest comes pretty easy.
For more stories like this visit our men’s health channel.Last modified: July 24, 2023