Doctors Say Never Do These Things After 60
Aging is inevitable, but how we age can be determined by our lifestyle choices. Practicing healthy habits like a balanced diet, exercise, quality sleep and managing stress can make a big difference healthwise. As we age, our bodies change and things we did in our 40s don't work in later years. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who share their tips on healthy aging and things not to do after 60. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Changes to Expect After 60
Dr. Kuljit Kapur, Chief Medical Officer at Transitions Care tells us, "When you reach your 60s your body begins to age in ways that you may not have previously experienced. Hearing may become more difficult, as studies show that 4 of every 10 Americans have trouble hearing. Same with vision, as by the age of 65, you have a 1 in 3 chance of dealing with eye diseases like cataracts, dry eye, or glaucoma that can hamper your vision. In addition to these common issues, you may experience gains in weight, skin changes such as wrinkles and age spots, bone and joint pain, rising blood pressure, and difficulty controlling your bladder.
Clearly, as we age, everything about our bodies are aging as well – including our brains. Transitioning into your 60s and beyond means your brain is shifting in terms of function, structure and even size. As you age, your entire body may shrink in size, meaning your brain does too. This shrinkage may slightly reduce cognitive function and your ability to encode new memories.
However, reaching your 60s doesn't mean you can't find happiness. Surveys have shown that about 1 in 3 people in their 60s say they are 'very happy' – which is slightly higher than those 35 and under. Your 60s are a wonderful age to enjoy time with family and friends, explore new places, and live your life to the fullest. As we say at Transitions Care, it's about living!"
Don't Eat Sushi Often
Dr. Anthony Puopolo, the Chief Medical Officer of the telemedicine company Rex MD says, "We have been told that fish is one of the healthiest foods that we can consume but how it is prepared should be taken into consideration and is why you should think twice before eating sushi. The Japanese cuisine of sushi has become increasingly popular worldwide, and is generally thought to be a good choice for health conscious people, however, its use of raw fish in some of its recipes can be reason for concern.
While fish, whether it is raw or cooked, still contains high levels of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, uncooked fish could possibly contain the unwanted ingredient of bacteria. As we age, our bodies have a more difficult time fighting the effects of bacteria, and consuming sushi which contains raw fish can cause serious illness. Therefore, while eating sushi with cooked fish is fine, you may wish to reconsider consuming that sashimi dish."
Stop Lifting Heavy Weights
Barbara Bergin, M.D. Retired Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon warns, "Heavy weight lifting is something someone over 60 should avoid. Sure we see ads of hunky, ripped 90-year-old men who drink special protein shakes and lift heavy weight, but as an orthopedic surgeon, I can assure you heavy weight lifting in the elderly causes harm in many cases. Heavy weight lifting can cause rotator cuff tears, and stimulate the deterioration of mildly arthritic joints, which if left alone, could otherwise remain asymptomatic. Try something else: light weight lifting.. Back down on weights. Goals are to maintain strength for activities of daily living, not getting ripped."
Jumping Out of Bed
Dr. Bergin says, "Jumping out of bed first thing in the morning is a no no for someone over 60. As we age, our soft tissues begin stiffening/hardening. When we sleep, we often curl up and stay in one position much of the night. Our arms and legs rest in a flexed position. When we wake up, our body needs a little time to stretch out, especially the weight-bearing joints of the lower extremities. Try stretching a little before getting out of bed, especially the knees, foot and ankle. Your body will thank you for this little extra attention, and you'll be less likely to experience that stiffness and discomfort you have first thing in the morning, which reminds you that you're getting old!"
Dr. Jacob Hascalovici MD, PhD as the Clearing Chief Medical Officer shares, "Humans often do well, both physically and mentally, with company. As we age, we often tend to stay home more. We're dealing with losses, with more pain, with the difficulty of leaving home, or simply with loneliness, isolation, and the hassle of figuring out how to make more friends.. The more we self-isolate, however, the more we lose track of the big picture and may start to feel terribly alone. This can really damage our physical health as well and keep us chronically stressed. What kind of socialization might work for you?"
Drink Too Much Alcohol
Dr. Kapur warns, "Be careful with alcohol consumption – risk factors related to alcohol significantly increase as we get older. Drinking too much overtime can lead to liver problems, cancer, mental health issues, brain damage, and strokes. It can also worsen existing health problems such as diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, ulcers, and memory loss. It can be easy to lose track of how much we are drinking. A great idea would be to use a journal to track how much you are drinking and how often."
Not Getting Enough Movement
Dr. Kapur reminds us, "Getting adequate movement and exercise in our day improves our health and helps us look and feel better! Findings from a Harvard School of Public Health study showed that older women spend about 66% of their waking time sitting. (That's the equivalent of 9.7 hours a day not moving.) Even small changes can help improve your muscles, bones, and overall health! 20 to 30 minutes is recommended per day. Some fun ideas are walking, swimming, gardening, dancing, fishing, tai chi, or yoga."
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Dr. Kapur states, "Many people over 60 have trouble sleeping. Getting older can affect the quality and duration of sleep. Some contributing factors are stress, worry, and lack of physical fitness. Good sleep keeps the brain healthy and increases quality of life! Some ways to improve sleep are exercising, developing a bedtime routine, reducing bedroom distractions, creating a sleep schedule, avoiding substances such as alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco close too close to bedtime, and limiting the amount of time spent napping. A short daytime nap may be beneficial, but extended napping or napping later in the day can make it harder to fall asleep at bedtime and cause sleep disruption."
"Smoking can be one of the hardest habits to break," says Dr. Kapur. "We know the dangers of smoking (cancer, heart disease, emphysema, etc) and we all know it's bad for us, but many people assume that "the damage has already been done." One of the best ways to quit smoking is by starting with baby steps. Reducing tobacco intake by each week or by each day helps to eventually quit altogether. Pair up and do it with a friend to hold each other accountable! Also consider setting up a rewards system; treat yourself with something you can earn after each milestone (a dessert, a present, or even a trip.) The body's response to quitting smoking is almost immediate. Don't give up!"
Don't Let Stress Control You
Dr. Kapur explains, "When we feel overwhelmed with stress, our body releases "fight or flight" chemicals, which can cause us to feel sick and make it harder to relax. The first step is to identify what is bothering you and ask yourself how you can reduce this stress in your life. Some stress-relieving activities are yoga, meditation, deep breathing, reading a good book, or listening to calming music. Another great idea is to eat lighter, cleaner, and more nutrient-rich meals. Taking vitamins such as B12, B6, folate, vitamin D, and calcium are some of the more common nutrients seniors are deficient in. The healthier we can make our body, the easier it is to let go of stress!"