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Health Care in Your 50s

In your 50s, your health care concerns may increase. No longer are your needs limited to staying active, eating healthy, and scheduling routine checkups; now, they include other aspects of your health—from dealing with increased menopause symptoms to arthritis and osteoporosis. Luckily, preventative care measures are in place to help you live freely and actively.

Preventative Health Screenings

  • Blood Pressure Check: Schedule a blood pressure check every two years for lower blood pressure levels, and every six months to a year for higher levels.
  • Cholesterol Screening: High cholesterol can lead to heart disease. Schedule cholesterol screening every two years in your 50s.
  • Mammogram: Your risk for breast cancer increases as you age. Schedule a mammogram every year in your early 50s, and every two years in your late 50s. Talk to your doctor about the frequency that’s right for you.
  • Colon Cancer Screening: Your risk for colon cancer increases significantly once you hit 50. Schedule a colonoscopy once you reach 50 and every five to ten years thereafter.
  • Prostate PSA Test: Men in their 50s should have a PSA test, then talk to their doctor about future screening intervals based on their results.
  • Hearing Tests: Your risk of hearing loss starts to increase in your 50s. Schedule a hearing test every two years in your 50s.

Tips for Maintaining Your Health

Stay Active

Maintaining an active lifestyle can become more and more difficult in middle age. But routine physical activity plays an essential role in staying mentally and physically fit. Regular exercise can help you lose weight, reduce the risk of heart disease, and increase your daily energy. Aerobic exercises such as walking, dancing, biking, jogging, or swimming can help your heart pump faster. Weight bearing exercises such as weight training and interval training can help maintain muscle mass. Talk to your primary care provider about exercise routines and alternatives to start leading a more active lifestyle today.

Eat Healthy

To limit health issues that commonly arise with older age, it’s important to keep a balanced and nutritional diet. Eating lean proteins and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables can give your day and mood a boost. Nutrient-dense dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach help your body fight inflammation; while foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as nuts, berries, and fish support brain functions and may reduce symptoms of depression. Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption, along with foods high in sugar and saturated fat to stay on top of your game. Talk to your primary care provider about exercise routines and alternatives to start leading a more active lifestyle today.

Reduce Joint Pain

Chronic pain affecting your joints can be debilitating. Fortunately, joint pain in your 50s can be preventative and treatable. Arthritis, tendonitis, and bursitis are all treatable conditions that become more noticeable in older age. Over-the-counter pain medicines can help you ease the ache, while physical therapy may provide a more permanent fix depending on your condition. If less-invasive treatment doesn’t do the trick, advances in minimally invasive surgical procedures may offer longer-lasting relief—and get you back up on your feet faster. Talk to your doctor or an orthopedic specialist if you’re experiencing chronic joint pain.

Manage Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder is normal as men and women age. For men, overactive bladder occurs when the prostate enlarges during benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Half of all men over 50 develop the noncancerous symptoms of BPH. In women, an overactive bladder is normal as you start to go through menopause. Men and women can reduce the symptoms of an overactive bladder by limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption throughout the day and evening. Talk to your doctor if overactive bladder continues to be a major health concern for you.

Take the Next Step

If you have concerns about your health, there is no better time to talk to your primary care provider. Don’t have one? We can help. Simply use our Find a Doctor tool to connect with a provider.