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Health Habits You Should Never Do After 60, According to Doctors

What not to do to live your fullest.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The years after age 60 are infamous as the ones when aches and pains and doctor's visits increase. But experts say it's never too late to be proactive, rather than reactive, about your health. You can make changes to your daily routine at age 60, 70 or even later that can have significant benefits and help you feel younger. These are the health habits doctors say you should never maintain after age 60. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Neglecting Your Diet

Senior couple cooking healthy food and drinking red wine at house kitchen.

"As we get older, owing to years of standard American diet (lowish in produce and whole grains, high in animal products) many older adults are on three, four, five or more medications each day," says Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, a senior dietitian at UCLA Medical Center and author of the book Recipe for Survival. "It's never too late to incorporate more healthy nutrition patterns into your diet, which is one of the best things a person over 60 can do. More plant proteins, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruit and vegetables may help reverse some of these conditions and help remove some of the meds."


Eating Late at Night

woman getting food at night

"While you sleep, your digestive system also rests and recovers from the day; eating late at night forces it to work overtime," says Dr. Seun Sowemimo, a New Jersey-based bariatric surgeon. "Eating your last meal of the day earlier also allows your digestive system to sync with your circadian rhythm."

RELATED: The #1 Sign Your Blood Sugar is "Way Too High"


Being Sedentary

Tired senior hispanic man sleeping on dark blue couch, taking afternoon nap at the living room

Exercising regularly can literally make your body younger. Physical activity improves muscle tone and mass, decreases bone loss, improves memory, increases metabolism and improves sleep. Conversely, being sedentary raises your risk of a range of health conditions that can shorten your life, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise) each week. Some examples of moderate-intensity exercise include brisk walking, dancing or gardening; vigorous exercise includes running, swimming, hiking or biking.

RELATED: Signs Your Gut is "Unhealthy," Say Physicians


Being Lonely

senior woman with adult daughter at home.

Studies have found that being lonely can have negative health effects similar to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and may increase older adults' risk of developing dementia by 50%. Do everything you can to stay socially connected: Socialize regularly with friends and loved ones, join activity or support groups, or volunteer. 

RELATED: Habits Secretly Increasing Your Abdominal Fat, Say Physicians


Drinking Too Much

drinking alcohol

As you age, you might continue to consume alcohol like you did when you were younger. That can be dangerous, because alcohol affects older people differently. Older people are more sensitive to alcohol, which can lead to dangerous drug interactions or injury from accidents or falls. To stay healthy, drink moderately: No more than one alcoholic beverage per day for women, and two for men. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael
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