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Over 50? Never Make These Health Mistakes 

Avoid these 10 things, experts warn.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

As we turn 50, an exciting new chapter in life starts. There's a freedom and confidence we didn't have earlier in life to look forward to, but there's also health issues to be mindful of. Aging is a natural and inevitable process that we can't stop, but we can adopt healthy lifestyle changes to help slow it down. Eat This, Not That! Health talked to several medical experts who revealed harmful health mistakes people over 50 should never make. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Not Having Hobbies

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Dr. Taylor Graber, MD, Anesthesiologist and owner of ASAP IVs says, Make sure to have healthy hobbies that involve movement, especially as you get older. Getting outside and walking every day, playing pickleball, playing golf, or just running around and playing with kids and grandkids are all helpful! Activity has many benefits, including mental health benefits, cardiovascular benefits and preventing the development of heart disease, muscle stimulation and prevention of atrophy (if you don't use it you lose it! Over time this can predispose you to muscle weakness and falls), and prevention of osteoporosis. It doesn't matter much what the activity is, as long as you are moving and you are doing it frequently, you will see health benefits!" 

2

Avoiding Medical Checkups

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It's important to stay on top of medical screenings when you turn 50 for prostate, breast and colon cancer, but for other things too, Dr. Daniel Boyer, a doctor of medicine with a focus on medical research and specializing in molecular biology, histology, pharmacology, embryology, pathology, pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery, gynecology, and obstetrics says. 

"Immunity weakens with age making you prone to several diseases. Adults over 50 years of age may be having certain diseases that don't show signs and symptoms yet. Many medical checkups are available that can detect many diseases in their early stages that may help manage them before they become chronic i.e cancer screening, as recommended by the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force, and also osteoporosis diagnosis."

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3

Skipping Medications

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Dr. Boyer explains, "Some people may regularly forget to take their daily prescription, leading to an increased risk of developing a severe form of the underlying medical condition that can become a health risk."

4

Not Quitting Smoking

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We all know smoking is unhealthy, but Dr. Boyer states, "Smoking reduces your metabolic rate, decreasing energy release in your body. This impacts your immune system, making you vulnerable to several health conditions."

RELATED: The Most Common Age-Related Problems After 60, Say Doctors

5

Ignoring Toxic Overload

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Jordan Trinagel, a Licensed Occupational therapist and online health coach says, "The largest organ of the body is our skin, which will reveal your real age before you do. Recent studies show it takes only 26 seconds for something you put on your skin to be absorbed into your bloodstream. If you want to slow down aging you have to address "toxic overload", which is when toxins in the environment add up in our bodies and our livers are unable to detoxify it all. Skin care products make a lot of promises to reduce wrinkles and fine lines but they may be hiding many ingredients that can cause "toxic overload" in your body and lead to chronic illness and faster aging. Refer to the Environmental Working Group, which rates products based on chemicals and ingredients." 

6

Having Silver Fillings

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Trinagel explains, "If you have silver dental fillings in your teeth you could be suffering from mercury poisoning. While the FDA claims it isn't harmful, there are many third-party research articles that will reveal mercury is one of the most potent neurotoxins, meaning toxic for your brain because it can easily pass the blood brain barrier. Symptoms may include decreased vision, coordination, speech and muscle weakness. Speak to your dentist to find out if they can be removed, or seek out an integrative doctor to test for toxins and then start a chelation protocol."

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7

Thinking You're Too Old

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"We live in an ageist society. There is a false narrative that at a certain age you have to stop exploring or trying new things," says Sylvia Gonsahn-Bollie, M.D. EmbraceYOU Weight & Wellness, C.E.O. & Lead Physician. "Choose to release the mindset that "People of a certain age can't ____." Instead embrace the mindset "I still can try". To help with this, consider making a vision board with people over 50 that you consider vibrant and thriving. The purpose of your vision board isn't for comparison but a reminder that you still can thrive after 50."

8

Using Processed Oils

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When cooking, Arika Hoscheit, a registered dietitian nutritionist with Paloma Health, says to pay attention to the items in your kitchen. "Processed oils like grapeseed, soybean, canola, cottonseed, corn, and vegetable oils are generally detrimental to human health and should be avoided. This is because they are heated to extremely high temperatures during processing which oxidizes the oils. Oxidation produces free radicals that can cause damage throughout the body. 1, 2 As we age, our bodies have to work harder than they used to in order to recover from insults. Thus, it's important to minimize exposure to harmful foods and substances in the first place.. Try to limit or avoid processed oils and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables which are high in antioxidants. Consuming plenty of antioxidants can help to protect the body from any free radicals that are produced."

RELATED: 7 Signs Someone is Getting Dementia, According to Experts

9

Eating Processed Meats

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According to Hoscheit, "Processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, sausage, bologna, and salami are high in saturated fats and sodium, and usually contain nitrites or nitrates. These additives can form nitrosamines in the body which have been shown to be carcinogenic. 1,2 Multiple studies have shown red and processed meats to be associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer (colon cancer especially). (3, 4, 5) Everyone should be limiting their intake of processed meats but it becomes even more crucial as we get older."

10

Not Eating Enough Fiber

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Elizabeth M. Ward, MS, RD says, "Inadequate fiber is associated with a gut that doesn't function to its fullest potential, which may lead to a reduced immunity and more infections, and higher blood cholesterol levels that clog arteries, putting extra strain on your heart to pump blood. Such strain increases the risk for heart attack and stroke, which permanently damages the heart tissue, and the brain, respectively." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more
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