Health | Did You Know

6 Common Health Mistakes Woman In Their 50s Make That Will Make You Rethink Your Habits

As the years go on and medicine advances, the definition of middle age is changing. A few years ago people may usually considered 40s to be 'middle age,' now, most people believe that 50 is the new 40.

There are 6 common mistakes that middle-aged women make that are affecting their overall health, all of which you should watch out for.

1. Ignoring heart health

There are so many little habits that can hurt your heart, and it's important that women know the symptoms and warning signs of issues. Smoking, obesity and a lack of exercise all contribute to heart disease.

"Heart age" is a real concern, but you shouldn't give up if you have made some bad choices in the past. You can always improve your choices as you age and over time it'll help your heart stay healthy.

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2. Letting menopause symptoms run wild

Hot flashes, sleeping issues and urinary problems are common with menopause, but you don't have to simple endure it. Hormone therapy has been found to help a lot of women, and even if that doesn't work there are other techniques that can improve your life. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been known to reduce hot flash severity, as does hypnosis. Bladder issues can also be helped with medication, so don't be afraid to voice your problems with your doctor.

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3. Not having enough sex

While a lot of people think that sex drives decline with age, it has been proven that it actually helps people a lot. It helps to give women improved pelvic tone, healthier vaginal tissues and improves psychological health.

There are more mistakes that most middle-aged women have been making...

4. Allowing hormonal changes to affect weight

The thing is, as you get older your metabolism slows down. So even if you are eating the same food as always, you are much more likely to gain weight. You have to step up your exercise routine, making sure you have 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. It sounds like a lot, but it's only 30 minutes, five times a week.

5. Losing sense of purpose

When you're younger, you have to take care of kids, go to work, and usually have so much going on that you don't have time to think. When you get older, you don't have to work as much, your kids are all grown up, and you may feel a little bit lost. Don't let retirement make you feel like you lost your purpose. You should try to find yourself things to keep you busy, whether it's volunteering, a new hobby, or learning a new skill.

Making sure that you feel like you have a purpose will help slow cognitive decline by 30%, and also reduces your risk of heart failure and Alzheimer's disease.

6. Skipping check ups

Just because you are older doesn't mean that you don't need to monitor your health. You shouldn't only go to the doctor when you are feeling sick, you should make sure that you are keeping up with regular screenings like blood pressure, cholesterol and PAP tests.

Also, after 50 there are some new screenings that you should add to the routine. In your 40s, you should start considering getting mammograms to watch for breast cancer. In your 50s, you need to screen for colerectal cancer, and then by 65 you should be having your bone density tested.

All these screenings may sound like a lot, but discovering any illnesses early may make all the difference.

It's important to make sure that you take care of yourself as you get older!

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at tanya@shared.com