Over 60? Here’s What Women Should Stop Doing, Say Experts
The years after 60 should be a time for enjoying the fruits of a lifetime’s work. Unfortunately, preventable health problems can cut them short. But it’s never too late to improve your health and extend your life. To make your golden years as long, healthy and happy as possible, doctors urge avoiding certain habits and adopting others ASAP. If you’re a woman over 60, here’s what experts say you should stop doing. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
1. Being Sedentary
A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for the diseases that strike more often after age 60, including dementia, diabetes, cancer, heart attack and stroke. The good news: even small amounts of activity can make a big difference in your health, and it’s never too late to extend your lifespan with exercise. That’s the conclusion of a study released this week, which found that just 20 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous exercise is enough to delay heart disease in people over 70.
2. Letting Your Weight Creep Up
About 41% of women over age 65 are obese, which raises the risk of several serious health conditions, including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and dementia. If you’re not paying attention, the pounds can creep on. Experts recommend getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. Excess pounds aren’t safe at any age.
3. Being Socially Isolated
Several studies have found that social isolation can increase your risk of serious illness, including heart disease and even dementia. Feelings of loneliness stress the body, which can compromise the immune system and encourage unhealthy habits. One example: A study published last November, which found that older women who eat alone have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
4. Avoiding the COVID Vaccine or Booster
Experts say it’s important that people over age 60 not just be fully vaccinated against COVID-19—they should also get a booster shot, because the original two-shot series may not provide enough support to an older person’s immune system. If you’re over 60, get that booster. And while you’re at it, ask your healthcare provider about other routine vaccines recommended for people older than 60, including flu, pneumococcal pneumonia, and shingles.
5. Drinking Too Much
Binge drinking among people over 60 is booming, particularly among women: Recent surveys found that about 20 percent of people aged 60 to 64 report binge drinking, defined as four or more drinks in two hours. Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancer and heart disease at any age. Older people are more sensitive to alcohol, which can lead to dangerous drug interactions or injury from accidents or falls. At every age, experts advise drinking only in moderation: No more two drinks a day for men, and only one for women.