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– Consider adding soy to your diet; it may help decrease hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. It’s also been linked to preventing osteoporosis.
– Get an annual flu shot.
– A woman in her 50s should schedule yearly mammograms and pelvic exams, a bone density test, a colonoscopy, an EKG, and a full blood work-up.
-A man in his 50s should have a sigmoidoscopy to screen for polyps and colorectal cancer.
– According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease claims twice as many women’s lives as breast cancer and all the other forms of cancers combined. The good news is that many of the same preventative measures recommended to reduce breast cancer risk also apply to cardiovascular disease: quit smoking, exercise regularly, eat healthy, and minimize stress.
– Weight gain during this decade may be slow, but if men and women are already carrying too much weight in their abdomen, they run the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Exercise–especially weight training–can help prevent all three of these conditions, while building strength and muscle tone.
– Follow heart-healthy guidelines set by the American Heart Association and reduce the amount of fat you eat while increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.
Women in their 50s
Women turning 50 want the rest of their life to be the best of their life. They’ve been in the workforce for more than three decades and they deserve to look as good as they feel. And while there’s no magic anti-aging pill, exercise is a close second. Exercise can regulate cholesterol, control weight, strengthen bones, lower cancer risk, ease depression, and minimize the unpleasant symptoms of “The Big Mâ€–menopause–which can hit as early as 40 and as late as 60, but happens most often around the age of 51. Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when the function of the ovaries ceases and the production of estrogen and progesterone drops considerably. These hormones control the development of female body characteristics, regulate the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, and protect the bones. For many women, premenopause and menopause is marked by the nightmarish symptoms of hot flashes, hair loss, night sweats, depression, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, bloating, weight gain, and lack of energy.
One way to deal with the symptoms is through hormone replacement therapy, which replaces the natural hormones with synthetic ones. There are numerous benefits of HRT, but not without side effects. Another way to deal with symptoms is through sleep, exercise, diet, acupuncture, and natural treatments.
As if menopause isn’t enough of a hassle, women in their 50s also worry about the onset of wrinkles. And while it might be true that “wrinkles are the etchings of experience and firm lines of character,â€ most women would still rather have them on the soles of their feet than their face. The good news is that a quick trip to the dermatologist can make a dramatic difference. At Skin Rejuvenation Clinic, a state-of-the-art non-surgical cosmetic clinic located in Edina, Botox is a popular option in reducing deep lines and wrinkles. Botox works by causing facial muscles to relax, making the lines disappear for smoother skin. The concept is simple: If an area of the body can’t move, it can’t wrinkle. The treatment takes just 10 minutes, there’s a noticeable improvement within days, and results last up to four months.
As the skin loses elasticity and firmness–changes augmented by sun exposure and declining estrogen levels–50-something women need to tone, cleanse and exfoliate skin, avoid heavy foundations, maintain a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, exercise, and get the recommended 6-8 hours of sleep each night.
Men in their 50s
A man in his 50s might want to slow down a little and enjoy the fruits of his labor–he’s worked hard to get where he is. And if he wants to enjoy life to the fullest, seeing a general practitioner for regular checkups is absolutely imperative. (On average, men visit their doctor 40 percent less than women.)
Compared with men in younger age groups, men in their 50s have an increased risk of bowel, prostate, and lung cancer. Men should have a prostate test when they turn 50 whether or not there are symptoms.
Mental health is important, too. Stress can lead to high blood pressure which can affect the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys. Fight back with a simple, cheap, easy blood pressure test and learn when to let go of certain issues. With age comes acceptance, peace, and wisdom.