Things You Should Do in Your 50s to Boost Your Longevity

Fifty is a great age, and it's a perfect time to start focusing on longevity (if you haven't already!). The best advice for anyone in their fifties is to use this decade to proactively address any health issues you have and create a foundation for fifty more years of good health and happiness.

From attitude to eating habits, there is a great deal you can do to improve your health and even reverse some of the damage already done. Use this "to do" list as inspiration. Simply pick one or two things at a time to get started. The best changes to make for your longevity are long-term lifestyle changes, so make them count!


Start a Healthy Lifestyle

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Having a healthy lifestyle can add up to 11 years to your life, but it's not always as easy as it sounds. Start small.

Researchers looked at people aged 45 and over and found that three factors could add up to 11 or 12 more years of life. People who (1) stopped smoking, (2) ate lots of fruits and vegetables, and (3) increased their exercise lived longer. This was true even if they started these habits in their 50s and beyond. So, start adding years to your life today.


Lose the Extra Weight

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Think there's no point to losing weight in your 50s? Think the damage has already been done? You are far from right.

Losing weight and establishing a healthy lifestyle now can do wonders for your health, especially for your heart. Don't use your age as an excuse; get to work on getting to or maintaining a healthy weight now. You'll feel better and may even live longer.


Get Tested

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From cancer to heart disease, thanks to modern medicine, doctors can catch things early and take action, but only if you give them a chance.

Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and be sure to follow up on all the tests or screenings recommended for your age and medical history. Sure, screenings aren't fun, but they can save lives.



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Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body. Not only does exercise help build healthy muscle, maintain mobility, and keep the weight off, it improves your heart's health, keeps your mind sharp, helps maintain your balance, and can even help maintain your sex life.

It won't take long for ​you to discover all of the reasons to exercise several times a week (or more).


Think Positively About Aging

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Having a positive attitude toward aging can actually add years to your life. In fact, researchers found that a good attitude about aging could add 7.5 years to your life. That's an incredible number.

Why the big longevity boost? No one knows for sure. While there could be a link between positive thinking and stress, researchers also think that people with a positive attitude may make changes in behaviors that lead to a longer life.


Increase Your Antioxidant Intake

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What makes antioxidants so great? They are what protect plants from the incredibly damaging effects of the sun. Plants are exposed to UV radiation all day long, which causes damage to their cells. To keep from getting "fried" by all this radiation, plants have developed high concentrations of antioxidants.

When you eat plants, your body can use these same antioxidants to prevent damage to its own cells. It's fantastic and easy. Find out which plants have the highest concentrations of antioxidants and eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for the best effect. 


Stay Energized

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Being more active helps you live longer—and not just because of the benefits of daily exercise. Researchers examined the calorie expenditure of 300 people and found that those who expended the most calories in a day had a 32% reduction in the risk of death.

Keeping yourself active can do wonders for longevity. So, hide the remote (and the couch), walk as much as you can, and do whatever possible to keep active and energized throughout your day.


Learn New Things

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Your brain loves learning—no matter your age. The more new things it tries to understand and the more connections it tries to make, the better it functions.

Shake up your routine by learning new things. Have you always wanted to learn how to cook? Perhaps you want to learn how to build something with your hands. Or maybe all you have to do is change your daily read to give your brain something new to think about.

Besides being interesting, engaging your brain may reduce your risk for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of age-related dementia—not to mention, it'll make you more interesting. 


Keep Your Heart Young

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Keeping your heart "young" involves two main priorities: keeping your blood pressure down and keeping your arteries clean.

You can monitor your progress by getting your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked regularly. Heart aging is complex, and heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. Understanding heart aging and taking action are critical steps to boosting your longevity.



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Believe it or not, forcing a smile on your face can literally change your mood. Your brain receives signals from your face and thinks "Hey, we're smiling, something good must be happening."

Pretty soon your mood actually improves. Smiling can be a great way to reduce stress. So make your 50s your smile decade and be happier and less stressed.

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