Turning 50? Do These 3 Things to Safeguard Your Health and Your Wallet

If you're turning 50, you enter a new phase of life. To maximize this phase, follow these steps to stay on top of your health and finances.

Spring is finally upon us! The month of March brings with it a number of notable moments to our year.

  • It marks the first official day of spring
  • It is Colon Cancer Awareness Month
  • It’s also National Nutrition Month
  • And if you were born in 1966 it marks your 50th birthday

As you turn 50, there are a few things to keep in mind from a preventive health perspective. Benjamin Franklin is famously quoted as saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” so while you prep for your big celebration and enjoy the nice weather keep the following 3 things on your to-do list and reap the downstream savings:

1. Get Screened

2. Finally kick those bad habits for healthy ones

3. Just keep moving

Getting Screened

A lot of progress has been made in the prevention and detection of colon cancer as screening ease and convenience has improved. However, there is still a need for increased rates for screening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about 1 in 3 adults aged 50 to 75 received recommend screening.

Regular colon cancer screenings are recommended for both men and women beginning at age 50 and continuing up through 75. Initiation of screening may be affected by family history, so it is important to have this discussion all well as all the following with your provider.

For women, make sure your Breast Cancer Screening is up to date. It is recommended that women get a screening mammogram every two years once they reach age 45 (as per the American Cancer Society’s guidelines) or age 50 (as per the US Preventive Services Task Force’s guidelines). The timeframe for this may also vary from person to person due to family history and other factors.

Turning a New Leaf on Bad Habits:

The big one here is smoking. Smoking cessation is one of the best things you can do for your health and your wallet.

The cost of a pack of cigarettes dependent on your state can cost between $5.40 all the way up to $11 dollars. Say, you smoke one pack (20 cigarettes) per day at $6 a pack. Here is what you can save, according to SmokeFree.gov’s future savings calculator.

* Based on price of cigarettes increasing 6% annually.

Just imagine all the things those savings could be used for—either a near-term goal or thoroughly treating yourself on your 60th.

Before you do that, however, at the age of 55, annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT may be recommended by your provider for those if you have at least a 30-pack per year history and still smoke or quit within the last 15 years.

As you celebrate remember a little goes a long way. Excessive alcohol intake can be just as detrimental to your health. The most current guidelines for alcohol from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, define moderate alcohol use as one drink per day for women and up to two drinks for men.

Just Keep Moving!

Whether you are just getting into a more active lifestyle or maintaining one, the benefits of staying active are incredibly wonderful and beneficial to your overall wellbeing.

You have probably heard the sayings “sitting is the new smoking” and “sit less, live longer.” One of the easiest and best things to do is get in the habit of walking.

The benefits of walking are abundant. It helps maintain a healthy weight, prevents as well as manages disease, strengthens, and improve your overall mood and wellbeing. The more you do it, the better the outcome, and if your work involves a lot of sitting just take time to stand more often until you can take a walk. You can also make the right choice the easy choice by taking stairs when able and choosing healthy nutritious snacks.

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