What's special about a person after age 40?
Firstly, there’s actually no reason to wait till you reach a certain age before taking your health seriously.
Every minute of every day counts!
However, if you will be turning 40 soon, this post is for you.
A lot of people regard age 40 as a major milestone; which no doubt it is.
However, are you almost 40 and feel like you’re getting old?
Be not dismayed for 40 is the new 18!
Below are some critical lifestyle changes you must make to ensure you get your health on the right track.
- Improve your diet:
- Avoid junk foods.
- Go for nutrients over quantity. Eat fibre-dense meals.
- Eat more foods like lentils and legumes daily, they are rich in protein and are a rich source of fibre.
- Increased fibre intake would help reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol levels so, decreasing your chances of having coronary heart disease.
- Individuals with a high fibre intake are also at a lower risk for developing obesity and hypertension.
- Make it a habit to have a portion of fruits and vegetables with every meal.
- Choose fish and white meat over red meat which is high in saturated fat.
- Reduce your intake of baked food items like cakes, pastries and biscuits, as they contain refined flour, sugar and fat which are unhealthy.
- Avoid canned foods and processed meats like hot dogs, etc. as they contain excess sodium and saturated fats. 
- Always read the labels for store-bought produce. Just because an item is labelled ‘sugar-free’ or ‘light’ does not mean it is good for you.
- Drink more water:
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day.
- Stop drinking carbonated or fizzy drinks, they contain lots of sugar.
- Drink only natural fruit juices.
- With the new rave for fad diets and sham health experts, be wary of drinks purported to be elixirs, or 'weight loss aids' etc.
- A lot of these drinks contain harmful substances that are not good for your health.
- Incorporate exercise into your schedule:
- This could start with something as simple as a walk around your neighbourhood or dancing every other day, simple squats or jogging/skipping on the spot.
- Engage in safe sexual activities.
- Get more sleep:
- Often, we get carried away with the hustle and bustle of life that we forget sleep is really important to rejuvenate.
- After age 40, you definitely need to ease on the stress and get about 8 hours of sleep daily.
- Book regular check-ups with your healthcare provider:
- It is important that you never skip a doctor’s appointment.
- Yes, you feel young because 'age is just a number', right?
- The truth is you’re 'middle-aged' now, and ‘prevention really is better than cure’.
- Therefore, if you’re a woman, discuss with your doctor about getting a mammogram and if you are a man, get your prostate checked by your doctor and schedule a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test.
- There are a few other checks you should have on a regular, at least a yearly basis.
- These could be more frequent depending on what your results are like.
- Do not neglect your oral health as well
- Pay more attention to your skin:
- The first step is to go through your beauty products and throw out any that contains harmful chemicals.
- Ditch those harsh skincare products you used in your 20's for gentler ones that contain natural ingredients.
- And if you’re worried about wrinkles, moisturizing should be a big part of your skincare routine as well as adequate hydration.
- If you have never bothered about sunscreen, now is the perfect time to get one.
- Do not head outdoors without wearing some.
- Get your eyes checked:
- Even if you have never had problems with your sight, it is important that you get your eyes checked as you approach 40.
- This is because around this age your near vision typically deteriorates.
- This is particularly important for those who work with computers or other digital screens a lot.
- You may need to use larger fonts or get reading glasses that would prevent you from straining your eyes.
- You should also follow the 20-20-20 rule.
- This means that every 20 minutes you take a 20-second break and look at something 20-feet away.
- Quit smoking if applicable:
- If you have not stopped smoking, now is the right time to stop.
- The health benefits of quitting smoking cannot be overemphasised.
- Not only your lungs but entire body benefits from it.
Remember, your health is one of your greatest assets.
You owe it to yourself to live your life to the fullest being the best version of you.
And what better way to guarantee that than by revamping your health.
Therefore, go ahead and enjoy this new phase of life but make healthier choices while at it.
- Anderson et al, 2009. Health benefits of dietary fibre.
- The Economic Times, 2018. Turning 30? Eat berries, milk, leafy veggies, and avoid frozen & canned food.
- Tina Donvito, 2018. 15 Foods You Should Never Eat After 40.
- Lambert Hochwald, 2018. 10 Health Tweaks You Need to Make in Your 40s.
Editing by AskAwayHealth Team
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on a wide range of health care conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality health care. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified health care practitioner.
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