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By Eileen O'Shanassy

You are approaching 50 and you’ve probably noticed your body just isn't what it used to be. Now is the time to evaluate your lifestyle and health habits so you can make sure your body allows you to do the things you love in the years to come. It is never too late to start a new exercise routine or introduce new healthy foods to your diet. Here are some points to cross off before age 50.

Dental Hygiene

We all hate flossing, and most can admit to not brushing our teeth once or twice after a late night. However, as we age, our teeth are more prone to cavities and the stresses from years and years of use. It is important to keep our gums and teeth in good shape. Unhealthy gums can lead to a chronic state of inflammation, which may contribute to cardiovascular disease such as endocarditis. Not having to get dentures will save you a lot of money in the long run, too.

Exercise Right

Sure, you may not run like you used to and your knees may hurt, but aging is no excuse to stop exercising. If you find your joints can no longer tolerate certain activities like running, try swimming, which is more lenient on the joints. If you have vein and circulation problems, an Ivein
center recommends having them looked at or treated if possible to help you exercise more regularly. Aim to have 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise weekly, which is the amount recommended by the CDC for adults aged 18-64. Regular exercise will boost your mood and strengthen your body, which will help you remain independent for as long as possible. Regular cardio-intensive exercise also improves heart health.

Exercise Your Brain

Just like the rest of your body, your brain needs exercise to be in top shape. Contrary to popular belief, the brain doesn't stagnate after a certain age. Rather, it remains "plastic" and able to form new neuronal connections with each crossword puzzle or new dance move you learn. Keeping your brain healthy will ward off dementia and other age-related conditions. So challenge yourself by learning a new language, playing a new sport, practicing the piano, or even singing along with your grandchildren's favorite songs.

Eat Right

Even if your blood pressure and sugar levels are within normal range, it is always beneficial to stick to a low sodium, low fat, and low sugar diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Having chocolate and fried chicken in moderation will help keep your waistline and cholesterol levels in check.

Turning 50 does not mean you have to succumb to all the stereotypical ailments of aging. By staying persistent with a healthy lifestyle, it is possible to enjoy life and feel young. Take it step by step and add some healthy habits to your life. Remember, life goes on after 50 and we want to be able to enjoy every minute of it.

About the Author:
Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

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