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Turning 50? Make sure you’re thinking about these 7 important things

With each passing decade, we enter a new stage of life full of its own unique challenges and priorities. Here are 7 things you should be doing at 50 — and if you’re not, you should start today.

By: Ashley Davidson for Exact Sciences

A healthy lifestyle means something different in every decade. Here’s what you need to think about if you’re 50+.

Fifty may be the new 40, but that doesn’t change the fact that your body is, well, 50 years old. With every decade comes a variety of new challenges and priorities to make sure your aging body can keep going strong well into your 60s, 70s and beyond.

We talked to a group of experts in areas as diverse as financial planning, physical fitness and science and healthcare to get their advice on the seven things every 50-year-old should be doing starting TODAY.

1. Make an appointment with a periodontist

An often-neglected topic as we age is oral healthcare. Research has shown a link between gum disease and a variety of health problems, from diabetes and autoimmune conditions to cardiac disease — among others. According to Dr. David Genet, an Aventura, Florida-based periodontist, the mouth is a gateway to total body wellness.(1) In short, Dr. Genet says, keeping your mouth and gums clean is imperative for maintaining your overall health – and keeping your teeth forever.

Strength training becomes even more important after your 50th birthday.

2. Put down the alcohol and pick up some weights