Health mistakes can lead to a greater risk of illness.
We all make mistakes.
Some mistakes are small and have little lasting impact.
Other mistakes are significant and can affect ourselves and others for many years.
According to a recent Money Talks News article titled “7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50,” recognizing common pitfalls can help you avoid them.
When it comes to our bodies, what we do can either promote wellness or illness.
As bodies become more vulnerable in aging, greater care is often required to maintain health.
What are some common health mistakes to avoid?
Losing social connections.
Feeling lonely is no minor matter.
In fact, it can prove quite deadly.
According to a 2018 study, those who lived isolated lives doubled their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
Other co-occurring illnesses and conditions include obesity, cognitive decline, depression, and a weakened immune system.
Gender may also impact the risks associated with loneliness.
A recent survey found 71 percent of retired women who lived alone were happy with their number of social connections.
Men in the same demographic reported only 48 percent satisfaction.
Consuming too much high-sodium foods.
Sodium is often found in salt.
Unlike some other countries, Americans tend to go a bit overboard on sodium with about 90 percent over age two consuming too much of this mineral.
By decreasing your intake of sodium you can decrease your blood pressure and your chances of experiencing a stroke or a heart attack.
That seems like a pretty doable behavior.
For example, get the “lightly salted” peanuts (or better, “unsalted”) version instead of the regularly salted.
Postponing colorectal cancer screening.
Sometimes health mistakes come from simply not wanting to do something.
This is likely the case with those who refuse a colonoscopy.
Adults ages 50 to 75 should schedule regular screenings with their physicians.
These screenings can find precancerous polyps in the colon and allow for preemptive treatment of colorectal cancer.
Failing to take a daily aspirin.
If you are over age 50, you do not necessarily need to take aspirin daily.
It can benefit those who are at higher risk of stroke or heart attack.
Because aspirin affects blood platelets, it is not recommended for those who have increased bleeding risks.
Talk with your doctor before taking any medicines!
Certainly do not rely on medical advice in an estate planning blog!
Not lifting weights.
The risk of developing osteoporosis increases with age.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, some 10 million individuals have the disease and about 44 million have low bone density.
Either of these conditions place people at greater risk of breaking bones.
Weight-bearing exercise and consuming vitamin D and calcium can help prevent these diseases and other negative consequences.
Not drinking enough water.
Not drinking water may seem insignificant to list among common health mistakes.
Older adults often carry less water in their bodies.
This fact, paired with the dehydrating effects of many medications, increases the need for drinking water.
Severe dehydration can cause seizures, hypovolemic shock, heatstroke, and kidney or urinary issues.
How much water should you drink?
For men, the recommendation is 15.5 cups.
For women, the recommendation is 11.5 cups.
Quit smoking and you dramatically decrease your risk of having a heart attack.
Additional benefits include improving heart rate and blood pressure, lowering carbon monoxide levels, and improving circulation and lung functioning.
By actively avoiding these common health mistakes, you will be treating your body with the respect it deserves and may minimize your healthcare bills.
Reference: Money Talks News (May 24, 2021) “7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50”