Health Screenings You Need to Stay Healthy as You Age
"Depending on how well you take care of yourself, 50 may be the new 30. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you stay 50 years young."
Aging is a part of life, but it doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and just let nature take its course. Life certainly does not end when you’re over 50, and for many people, it’s just the beginning.
However, after you turn 50 you are at greater risk for certain health issues. This means you really need to stay on top of your health — but what does that really mean? What health screenings do you need? Get the health tips you need from Dr. Nancy Lin, PhD, in today’s video to help make sure your next 50 years are even better than your first 50!
- 2:09: Fear and Health Screenings
- 5:17: How do we best get over our fears of going to the doctor?
- 6:42: Most Popular Health Screenings
- 9:47: Screenings once you turn 50
- 11:16: Colon Cancer Screening
- 13:23: Breast Cancer Screening
- 14:36: Prostate Cancer Screening
- 16:49: Dermatologist visits
- 17:59: Ophthalmologist visits
- 18:58: Annual Physical Checks
- 22:45: Closely monitor your blood sugar
- 25:41: Weight Gain
- 27:10: Reasons for weight gain at 50
- 29:25: What do you do to stay active once you’re 50?
- 35:37: Wrap Up
Fear and Health Screenings
The number one reason why many people shy away from going to see a doctor is because they can’t afford it. They don’t have the means to pay for it. A close second reason is fear of the diagnosis. This can be fear of bad news, or even good news, or just fear of the unknown. Our bodies can be sending off a lot of different red flags and alarms but because of the fear that builds up, we might not want to address it. Fear can be crippling! And we are often plagued by different types of fears and phobias. Being fearful of good news, for instance, is an actual phobia known as euphobia. It is a repulsion to happiness. There is even a fear of phobias which is referred to as phobiaphobia.
How do we best get over our fears of going to the doctor?
This question has multiple answers. First, we can admit that we are afraid and come to terms with it. Actually, 40% of people have this fear, which is okay. It’s common to be afraid of what you might hear, but your doctor or healthcare provider should be there to help keep you healthy. Don’t keep this fear to yourself. Bring a friend or a spouse during your visit to the doctor. You can also try behavioral therapy sessions that will help you release any kind of anxiety at least for the short-term and then into the long-term.
Most Popular Health Screenings
If you are between the ages of 18 years to probably 65 years, the most popular health screenings include:
- Height and weight
- Blood pressure
- Cholesterol screening
- Breast and pelvic exam
- Testicular exams
Depending on how well you take care of yourself, 50 may be the new 30. In some ways, you are only as old as you make up your mind to be. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you stay 50 years young. We’re all getting older and wiser. If you have not seen a doctor for a while, then maybe it’s time for your checkup. You might notice that your body might be starting to look or feel a little bit different. You might wake up and you get aches all of a sudden when you didn’t have them before. Maybe it takes just a smidge a little bit longer to recover after any physical activity.
Screenings once you turn 50
Of the many changes you experience after turning 50, one of the most significant that occurs is that you are at a greater risk for certain serious health issues. This means once you reach your 50s you really need to stay on top of your health. You can do this by working with your health care professional or your doctor to make sure that you get regular screenings. This will ensure that you are aware and help in addressing any potential health concerns. These screenings include:
This is really important and one of the most essential screenings. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. What’s really shocking is that about 75% of all new cases of colorectal cancer occur in individuals with no known risk factors for disease other than being 50 or older. If detected early, the disease is treatable, with much better odds of making a full recovery. Colon cancer is a tricky one because there are no sensor receptors in our colon. A lot of times it really advances because we have no idea that it is forming in our bodies. Often times you’re going to hear from your doctor, friends, and family that you must go in and get a colonoscopy. If you have a family history of colon cancer, get screened even sooner.
Breast Cancer Screening
This one is absolutely essential for women. Apart from self examining, women typically begin getting screened for breast cancers via mammograms, thermograph, or sonograms, MRIs, and similar methods when they turn 35 or 40 years old. Once they turn 55, they switch to bi-annual screening. This is a reminder that you need to stay on top of these breast cancer screenings. For every 10,000 women, if you get regular screenings, 42 lives are saved every single year if you are 50 years old and above.
This one is essential for gentlemen. You have to get your prostate checked. Prostate cancer is very preventable if you get it checked beforehand. It mainly affects men over the age of 50 and your risk continues to increase as you get older. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer and cancer deaths in men. However, with early detection, the five year survival rate for most men with local or regional prostate cancer is nearly 100%.
Your doctor will perform a physical prostate exam annually and then ages 50 to 59 should have their Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels initially checked with a blood test. If the PSA levels are 3 ng/mL or higher, then men should talk to their doctor about having a biopsy of the prostate. If the PSA level is between 1 and 3 ng/mL, then men should see their doctor for another PSA test for every two to four years. If the PSA level is less than 1 ng/mL then men should see their doctor for another PSA test at age 60.
Staying current on your cancer screenings once you hit the big 50 is essential. However, these are not the only screenings to pay attention to. You also need to make a point to schedule regular annual visits to your skin doctor or your dermatologist. Check your skin, visible moles, and any changes in the coloration or different sizes of skin tags or moles around your body, especially on the head, as you age.
Most skin health issues found in later years is as a result of damage done when you’re younger. Once you turn 50, you start to notice age spots. Make sure you see your dermatologist for annual mole patrol to catch any potential issues earlier.
It’s also important to see your eye doctor, or ophthalmologist, because of glaucoma and other eye issues. All of the changes in your eyes are also very prevalent as we age. Conditions like vision loss, chronic dry eyes, and cataracts can develop as you age and specifically once you turn 50. Other serious and more common conditions that can increase with age include glaucoma, and macular degeneration. However, catching these conditions early is super important.
You also need to make a point to get through your annual physical checkup, especially after you turn 50. This provides very important information that is measurable and quantifiable so that your doctor can develop a baseline. When women get their mammograms, thermographs, and their sonograms, you want to see something that is charted and mapped over time. This is heat sensitivity activity on your breast tissues overtime. We want to see any big changes over time. It’s never one snapshot that tells you what’s going on in your entire body forever.
This also gives your doctor the opportunity to check and monitor your heart health, your blood pressure, your blood sugar levels and your cholesterol. Remember, early intervention and prevention is really key. We want to be more aware and correct issues before they develop into something more serious like a chronic health issues.
Keep in mind that your risk of heart disease significantly increases after the age of 45 and people aged 40 to 59 are more than five times as likely to have heart disease as people ages 20 to 39. In addition, two and three adults over 60 have high blood pressure. These conditions are very serious but often are as a result of factors that you can probably control, treat, reverse, and prevent by watching your weight, by exercising or by quitting smoking.
Find healthy ways to deal with the stress that’s coming to your life. Eat a healthy anti-inflammatory diet and minimize chronic inflammation. Remember the equation on health which is:
Less Inflammation In + More Inflammation Out = Healthier You
We have to make sure that we’re keeping the things that are making us inflamed out of our bodies. Also remember to take your Smarter Curcumin as well, as it is fast acting, and fights the free radicals that cause accelerated aging and chronic inflammation. We want to make sure that we are taking this consistently every single day so that if we do come into contact with inflammation, then it’s eradicated and addressed immediately and effectively from our body inside out.
Closely monitor your blood sugar
This is even more important as we age. Doing so helps us keep tabs on the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, blood sugar levels can also be an indication of metabolic syndrome. Monitoring our blood sugar keeps us in line with where we are with any indications of metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation, high cholesterol, or high triglyceride levels, all of which can lead to increased risk of heart disease. All of these things involve your health, your diet, your weight, your choices and your stress levels. These all go hand in hand.
It is important to eat healthy, stay active, and stay on top of your health. We need to really pay attention to our annual screenings and be proactive about them. We can save each other’s lives, or save our own lives by going in and just getting the data, setting up a baseline, and going forward with that information.
Gaining weight even just by one or two pounds every year is actually really significant because over time, this can be very dangerous. Gradual and sustained weight gain especially as we age has been linked to at least 20 chronic diseases including:
- Heart Disease
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome
- Chronic inflammation
If this applies to you, if you gained a few extra pounds, you really want to start to address it. Make sure you keep tabs on any sudden weight gain that could be an indication of more significant and immediate health issues. Also, ensure that you’re working with your healthcare professional or your doctor to help maintain a constant and healthy weight. Doing this will reduce a whole number of health issues. Losing weight is going to help you to decrease your likelihood of developing the conditions above as well as others such as sleep apnea, osteoporosis, and joint pain. All of these can be addressed if we address our weight gain.
Reasons for weight gain at 50
Weight gain is especially common for women who are going through menopause. Menopause can lead to hormonal changes. Estrogen decreases, and because of this hormonal decline, the body fat can be disrupted. The fat redistributes and coagulates around the belly, the hips, and the thigh area.
For both men and women, the muscle mass decreases, and since your body burns muscle faster than it burns fat typically, fewer calories are being burned.
It’s common for people to slow down as they age, but you need to keep on moving. Stay active regularly and exercise more days than not and remember to adjust your diet. These are all great ways to keep the extra pounds at bay.
What do you do to stay active once you’re 50?
If you’re over 50, just commit to walking and taking deep breaths. When you are chronically stressed, you typically will shallow breathe or hold your breath and you’re not outside enjoying nature. Also ensure that you’re taking Smarter Curcumin and addressing your inflammatory load as well.
Pick an exercise that you love to do. Do something that sparks joy in you and that you can commit to doing, and keep doing it. Adjust the activity to your lifestyle, but make sure you’re doing something that you can stick to, that keeps you motivated. You can take a yoga class, a pilates class, or a tai chi class.
However, it is important to keep in mind that we tend to slow down in our 50s. These types of exercises are super great for improving range of motion and flexibility but they might not do the trick in terms of keeping your metabolism up. For this reason, be sure to include some cardio and strength training into your routine. Strength training is huge in re-boosting your metabolism. If possible, be active every day for at least 20 minutes.
In doing all the above, just make sure that you listen to your body and address it. Be mindful of your heart, muscles and joints. Remember we don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. Have more fun and do things that spark joy.
Once you turn 50, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of living a very long, purposeful, happy and pain-free life, as well as decrease your chances of getting certain illnesses and certain type of diseases like cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
First and foremost, get screened. Get screened regularly for prostate, breast, and skin cancer. Stay active. Exercise and move your body regularly, every day if you can. Things like yoga and pilates are super fabulous for increasing flexibility and range of motion, and both will help you decrease your stress levels as well. It’s also very important to do some cardio and strength training especially as you get older, not only to keep your muscle tone up and build bone density but also to keep your heart rate and metabolism up.
Once you head into your 50s, your metabolism is going to start to slow down and you begin to lose your muscle mass. This means you need to be hyper vigilant about keeping extra weight gain at bay. You can do this by exercising and also by watching what you eat. Be very mindful, make better choices and pick from an anti-inflammatory diet. Make sure your diet is rich in lean proteins, dark leafy greens, and a ton of fres, organic fruits and vegetables.
Keep your mind active as well. Take up a new hobby, learn a new skill and read physical books. Get off your iPads and your smart devices and go outside and walk and maybe take a different route each time. Develop new neurons and synapses so that you’re using more of your brain. Connect with friends and loved ones.
Eating healthy, staying active both mentally and physically, managing your stress, and early detection of potential health issues, are all super important. There is no secret but there are key things that are common across cultures and genders that are the real secrets to success in terms of staying healthy and productive well into our later years.
Make sure that you stay current on your screenings. Don’t fear them. Stay current on your physical and other checkups like the eye doctor, skin doctor, etc. Find your tribe! Get out there, you have your smarter family as a support system, and bounce ideas and comments off each other. What you decide to do now will be the secret to your success as you plan to age gracefully and stay healthy.