How to Stay Healthy After 40. Can you benefit from living a healthier lifestyle? I know that I can. Age 40 is when the risk of many health conditions increases. This makes it the perfect time to take stock of your health. Whether you have demanding jobs, aging parents, growing children or all of the above, it’s easy to put health aside. Forty is the time to evaluate your well-being, plan for the long-run and, is an excellent opportunity to do a little introspection. So let’s take a look at how to stay healthy after 40.
Seven ways to stay healthy when turning 40:
Age 40, vision can start to worsen. So have your eyes checked. If you can’t read the fine print on medicine labels or many different types of tags, you might need reading glasses, and if you can’t read the fine print, you might miss some vital information.
Too much exposure to the sun can increase cataracts, so sunglasses are a good idea. Be sure they have the UV-A and UV-B protection.
A diet high in fruits and vegetables may slow vision loss. They are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. It affects 9.1 million Americans over age 40. It tends to be genetic, but nutrition and a diet rich in lycopene may slow down that vision loss.
Know your numbers
Age 40 is a good time to check blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and body weight. You need to know what your cholesterol level is and if you haven’t tested before age 40, you should.
When you visit a pharmacy, have your blood pressure checked. Go to your doctor to get a simple blood sugar test. These test will help you and your doctor identify potentially hidden disease risk factors.
For example, people with higher blood pressure are at increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
Explore your family history
After 50, it’s time to look at your family tree carefully. This will tell you if your genetics increases your risk for cancer or heart disease. That’s right; it’s time to think about cancer and heart disease. Understanding your family history will help you and your doctor watch out for possible health risks.
Those with a family history of colon cancer should get a colonoscopy at age 50 and every five years after that. Talk with your doctor; he may want you to test every three years.
The same goes for heart disease: a calcium test can help determine whether your arteries are starting to harden and if you need significant lifestyle changes or medications.
Muscle up to stay healthy
Age 40, we lose about 1 percent of muscle mass per year.
Most people can benefit from incorporating weight-bearing exercises, along with cardiovascular exercise, into a weekly physical activity plan. You don’t have to go to a gym; it just needs to be some resistance training. As always, consult with your doctor.
We become less flexible as we get older. Adding yoga or Pilates can help improve flexibility, core strength, balance, and range of motion. If we maintain our muscle mass, our strength, then as we get older, we can continue to stay healthy and do the things we enjoy doing.
Fiber is your friend
The days of gorging without gaining weight are over. Your metabolism slows around age 40, so eating fewer calories can boost your health. You should also make sure to get adequate fiber and fluids. We want to make sure the calories that we are decreasing come from things like sweets, but keep those high-fiber foods in the diet, and also make sure we meet our fluid needs. Make sure you get plenty of nutrient dense food, like lean protein, fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy and whole grains.
Doing regular physical exercise, reducing your stress levels, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and polyunsaturated fats (yes, I said fats) all will help keep your blood vessels healthy. That maintains your heart health, and that keeps your brain healthy. An investment in a healthy lifestyle will pay off through every subsequent decade.
Age 40 should be a reality check for smokers.
Quitting is not easy, but, it will decrease the occurrence of every lousy health condition that you can think of, from heart attacks, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure as well as lung cancer and lung disease.
People who feel tired all the time, gaining weight, and whose hair and skin have lost their luster, may consider getting their thyroids checked. This gland helps control energy levels and regulates hormones, and 40 is a time when thyroid disease can show its face. A simple test can determine if your thyroid is functioning as it should.
An underactive thyroid primarily results from genetic conditions, but you can offset its complications with prescription medications. As always, consult with your doctor.
Life doesn’t have to be all downhill after 40. With the proper diet and physical activity, you could stay healthy, and this could be (and should be) the best time of your life.
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