In Your 60s: 5 Ways to Stay Motivated + Thrive
This feature was written by Studio MSP writers. While some of our advertisers were sourced, no advertiser paid to be included.
Staying healthy in your 60s will ensure you can keep doing all the things you love, from travel and exercise to hobbies and sex. But you do need to go after it. Be proactive about your health, and your body, mind, and spirit will continue serving you well for years to come.
1. Give Your Body the Nutrients it Needs.
It’s never too late to make changes to your diet or exercise routines to build up your strength or lose weight. Eat more fiber or consider incorporating a Mediterranean diet with more vegetables and beans and less meat and dairy. Burn calories with dancing, yoga, walking, or tai chi—any movement that brings you joy. These changes can improve chronic illnesses like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
2. Lube Up, Ladies!
Your sex life can continue its vitality in your 60s. In fact, sexual satisfaction for women tends to increase with age. Women experience a decline in sex-related hormones like estrogen and progesterone, which can cause vaginal dryness, but it’s nothing a good lubricant can’t solve. And be sure to talk to your doctor about your concerns.
3. Gents: Don’t Be Shy—Talk About Sex.
Men also experience sexual health changes in their 60s. It’s common to have drops in testosterone and sex drive. Then there are challenges like erectile dysfunction, which affects about 10 percent more men each decade beyond childhood. That’s 60 percent of men in their 60s. Medications, assistive devices, or surgery can help.
4. Stimulate Your Brain.
Your brain’s volume shrinks as you age, and blood flow to your noggin decreases, too. This can result in cognitive decline. But there’s plenty you can do to keep your mind active, like learning a new skill, taking a class, volunteering, and staying social.
5. Heed Fatigue Warnings.
If you’re feeling tired, even after a full night’s rest, talk to your doctor. Fatigue can be a sign of deeper issues, such as infections, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and more.
Hot Topics to Discuss
+ Know the signs of a stroke. About 75 percent of strokes occur in people aged 65 and older. Just remember it happens FAST: Face drooping, arm weakness, and speech difficulty mean it’s time to call 911.
+ Bone up for good health. Many people in their 60s have achy joints because of cartilage and joint fluid loss. Make sure you’re taking enough vitamin D and calcium to keep bones strong, and do weight-bearing exercises to ward off fractures and the onset of osteoporosis.
- Cervical cancer screening every three years until 65, with HPV testing every five years until 65
- Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes screening every three years
- Colorectal cancer screening every 10 years
- Lung cancer screening every year, if you are/were a smoker
- Mammogram every year, until age 75
- Blood pressure screening every year
- Cholesterol test every five years
- Eye exam every year, beginning at age 65
- Osteoporosis screening starting at age 65 for women
- Full-body skin cancer screening every year
- Fall-prevention screening every year, starting at age 65
- Prostate cancer test every two to three years (more or less frequently depending on test results and family history)
- Influenza (IIV4, RIV4, or LAIV4) every year
- Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) every 10 years
- Herpes zoster (RZV, Shingrix) for shingles, two doses over a two-to-six-month period
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) once, if not previously administered
- Pneumococcal vaccine (PPSV23, PCV13) two doses, one year apart
- COVID-19 (Pfizer, Moderna) one booster shot at least two months after your last dose or booster
Up to 40 percent of individuals over the age of 50 experience some type of hearing loss. Get your hearing tested and corrected to ward off dementia, a major side effect of hearing loss.
Talk to your dentist if you have arthritis, as this can make it harder to grip a toothbrush or floss and lead to cavities at this age.
The recommended dose of vitamin D for people in their 60s.
Read more from our Annual Health Guide in the November issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine or here.