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I'm a Doctor and Warn You Don't Do This Over 50

Five things not to do after 50, according to doctors. 

Everyone has an unhealthy habit or two, but once we approach our 50s, certain behaviors can be devastating to our health, if not deadly. Dr. Theodore Strange, Chair of Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital tells Eat This, Not That! Health, "After 50 the aging begins to accelerate. Tendons and ligaments are not as loose and easier to strain and tear. There are the risks of malignant conditions such as breast and colon cancer that if detected with early screening can be cured. Atherosclerotic heart disease and other vascular issues like stroke are more common especially if smoking or with bad diets." To ensure you're living life to the fullest, here are the habits you should stop immediately according to doctors Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Don't Avoid Annual Screenings

woman with oxygen mask at hospital

Dr. Jae Pak, M.D., of Jae Pak Medical explains, "I think the most important health habit you can avoid after 50 is procrastination. There are many health screenings that are essential for people in their 50s and beyond, such as colonoscopies, bloodwork, vision tests and mammograms. Establishing a relationship with a general practitioner is the best way to stay on top of regular health needs, as they will steer you in the right direction according to your age."

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Don't Forget to Exercise Regularly

older couple tracking exercise outside

Dr. Hector Perez, Chief Surgeon for Renew Bariatrics, states, "Exercise is still important to do even after 50 because it can help improve mood, energy levels, and cognitive function. It can also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Muscles need to be used regularly to stay strong, so exercise is a key part of maintaining good health as you get older. Additionally, stretching and movement can help improve joint flexibility and range of motion. If you're not currently active, start slowly and work your way up to more strenuous exercises. Consult with a doctor before starting any new fitness routine."

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Don't Avoid the Doctor


Dr. Perez says, "You should visit the doctor regularly to stay healthy because it's important to get preventive care, checkups, and screenings for various health conditions. Early detection of problems can lead to better treatment outcomes. Regular checkups also provide an opportunity for the doctor to get to know you and your family well, so they can offer guidance on lifestyle choices that could improve your health."

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Eat Processed Foods

Woman reaching for chip and holding soda in processed junk food array on table with popcorn

According to Dr. Perez, "Processed food is bad for you because it's full of unhealthy additives, artificial flavors and colors, and preservatives. They are often high in unhealthy fats, sugar, and sodium, and can contribute to weight gain, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. Additionally, processed foods often contain empty calories that provide little nutritional value. Instead of processed foods, try to focus on consuming whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. This will help improve overall health and reduce the risk of developing health risks later on."

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Don't Skip Eye Exams

Sight of old woman verifying by apparatus

Dr. Viraj Shah OD, VSP Network Eye Doctor says, "As we age, the risk of developing age-related diseases—such as diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration—will increase. Many vision and health problems sometimes don't show any signs but can be caught early through an eye exam. Which is why everyone, but especially those over 50 years of age should see their eye doctor every year." 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.

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 about Heather
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