3 Things to Do When You Turn 50 to Help You Live to 100, According to a Neurosurgeon
These habits can help keep you healthy as you age—and they’re simpler than you may think.
Turning 50 can be a huge milestone in many people's lives, and it's often a cause for celebration. While a 50th birthday party can be fun, imagine the bash you'll have when you turn 100. Although it might seem futile to think about age 100 as soon as you turn 50, the halfway point is actually the perfect time to start (if you haven't already), and to begin making changes to your lifestyle, so you can enjoy the second 50 years of your life.
While there are changes you should make to your eating habits like eating whole grains and keeping an eye on excess sodium and added sugar, there are also lifestyle changes that can help you reach age 100, according to Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Gupta shared with CNN that following these three lifestyle practices can help your body and mind stay active. Read on to learn about each habit and how you can adopt them for yourself.
3 Healthy Habits to Help You Live to 100
Stay Up to Date at the Doctor’s
Whether it's the dentist, optometrist or your general practitioner, it's important to regularly go to the doctor for checkups to make sure your body is operating at its best. And once you hit age 50, those yearly visits should also be supported by screening tests like colonoscopies or mammograms. While Gupta knows that "no one likes to talk about [colonoscopies], 50 is a good age to start." And if planning for different doctor's visits can seem stressful, keep track of your schedule and history with this handy journal where you can record appointments, medications and more (buy it: Amazon, $10).
Take Care of Your Bones
"Start thinking about your bones. You didn't have to worry about those so much when you were younger, but osteoporosis starts to set in, " explains Gupta. And one way to take care of your bone health is to make sure your diet is rich in vitamin D and calcium (check out the best vitamin D-rich foods and best calcium-rich foods).
In addition to food, you can also support your bone health by performing weight-resistance exercises. While most people tend to go with aerobic exercises as they age, Gupta says, "you need to lift some weights. Put some pressure on the joints and muscles and bones to keep them healthy." While you could opt to lift dumbbells, exercises like sit-ups, working with resistance bands and even heavy gardening (i.e. shoveling or digging) would be appropriate, according to the CDC (for more exercise ideas, check out the best exercises for women over 50).
Beyond one's physical health, it's also important to stay emotionally healthy, which is why it's important to stay social. While Gupta acknowledges that it might not be as easy to make friends as when you were younger, Gupta recommends finding a club or group that shares interest in a topic like wine or cars and making connections that way. As Gupta says, "Sometimes just a single friend is enough, but if you're social and interacting with people on a daily basis, it helps you. It helps your health, both physically and emotionally, and it helps you live to 100."