5 Things Experts Say You Should Stop Doing If You’re Over 50

By Kiersten Willis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | December 22nd, 2023

Useful advice – at any age

senior couples dancing, by Monkey Business Images. These five tips for those over 50 can help you be healthier and happier as the years tick by.

These five tips for those over 50 can help you be healthier and happier as the years tick by.

Hitting the milestone of turning 50 comes with many benefits. For one, your days of worrying about acne breakouts are largely behind you and allergies can be much less severe, experts say.

But there are some habits you may have continued over the years that you’ll want to quit when you’re 50 and older.

Tips for those over 50

Eat This, Not That spoke to various health experts to gather 50 things you should cut out of your life for good. Granted, some of these tips are things you shouldn’t do at any age, but they’re that much more important to take care of over 50. Here are five of them.

1. Skipping regular health screenings

Dr. Aditi Springstubb wrote that osteoporosis can pose a major health hazard after 65. Because of that, Springstubb, who works in internal medicine with Hoag Medical Group in California, says a bone density exam is crucial. Vitals and bloodwork are also important, with the latter helping monitor cholesterol. That can inform changes you may need to make. Other screenings such as those for prostate cancer and lung cancer can also be required for men 50-70 and people ages 55-80, with the latter screening depending on smoking history.

2. Not being mindful of the over-the-counter medications you take

Older adults can be at a higher risk of major drug interactions. Dr. Alexis M. Eastman, clinical medical director of UW Hospitals and Clinics’ Division of Geriatrics in Wisconsin, provided the statistics. She said that patients on at least six medications have an 80% chance of having a drug interaction. “Each time you add a new medication you’re adding to your risk,” she said. The Food and Drug Administration said you should speak to your doctor about your diet and any supplements and OTC drugs you take when you’re being prescribed a new medicine.

3. Overly restricting your diet

“Healthy eating is important, but you shouldn’t deprive yourself. As a dietitian, I often explain to clients the mental health benefits of a less-restrictive diet,” registered dietitian Rachel Fine with New York City-based To The Pointe Nutrition told Eat This, Not That. “An ‘eat less’ mindset can set us up for a cycle of guilt when unfair expectations are not met due to the biological consequences of food restrictions (such as increased cravings).” Instead, life coach and intuitive eating counselor Rachel Cole told Well+Good you should focus on following your cravings and paying attention to how your body is feeling.

4. Not wearing earplugs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you should try to avoid loud noises and wear earplugs to protect your hearing. Tiny hair fibers are inside your ear and loud noise can damage them permanently over time. “Loud noises are the number one cause of hearing damage, even more so than old age. Hearing protection is the only way to keep your hearing from becoming prematurely damaged,” Cary Audiology, based in Cary, North Carolina, noted.

5. Not living in the moment

There’s a reason why people have been turning to mindfulness. Being aware of what’s occurring in the present can decrease rumination, according to a study cited by the American Psychological Association. The APA also says practicing mindfulness can improve focus, make you less emotionally reactive and boost working memory.

Mindfulness, positivity, and happiness

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