Just because you have hit your 40s, it does mean that it is too late to take control of your health. As the decade when many people naturally develop serious health issues, it is important that you do what you can to guard your physical and mental well-being. Here are five ways that you can begin and maintain a healthy lifestyle after you turn 40.
Know Your Numbers and Family Health History
When it comes to protecting your health, knowledge is power. You will get a head start on taking control of your well-being if you take the steps to learn about your own personal health history. This starts with knowing all of your individual health metrics. For example, what is your baseline blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol levels, blood sugar readings, and weight?
This is also the time to make sure that you know your family health history. Because so many health conditions are genetic, understanding your family history will help you to make more informed decisions about potential screenings. Once you reach age 40, you will want to sit down with your medical care provider and create a timeline detailing your future screenings and tests based on all of your genetic predispositions.
Focus on Diet
Although it may sound cliche, it is true that you are what you eat. You cannot expect to lead a long and healthy life if you have not made a commitment to nourishing your body with the right foods. Be sure that your diet plan includes a base of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Eating a sufficient amount of high-fiber foods will also improve your digestion and waste removal systems, functions that tend to deteriorate as you age. It is also imperative that you take in adequate amounts of calcium. This is particularly important for women. As you get older, your bones become more brittle, potentially leading to osteoporosis and other health issues. Upping your calcium intake can help to mitigate this damage.
Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day can make a world of difference in your overall health. Getting your body moving can build up bone density, help you to maintain balance, and assist in your efforts of keeping off that extra weight gain.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise plan, especially as you get older. You do not need to push yourself to the extremes to see the benefits. Simply raising your heart rate and working up a bit of a sweat will provide invaluable benefits.
Do Not Ignore Strength Training
While many people go hard after cardiovascular work, they neglect to do any strength training. Beginning at around age 40, you will lose approximately 1% of muscle mass per year. As you lose muscle mass, your metabolism also begins to plummet, making it more likely that you will put on weight.
If you are wondering how to get started, a strength training app can point you in the right direction. This modern innovation can provide all of the workout guidance that you need, providing advice for strength training either at home or at the gym. Apps like this are great at taking information like your age, time constraints, weight, and experience in strength training to create a routine specific to you that will help you build muscle effectively without over-working you. It is also easier to track your progress when using an app, delivering motivation and encouragement.
Look Into Supplements
As you get older, your nutritional needs may change. While you always want a nutritious diet to be the backbone of your overall health plan, you can use vitamins and supplements to fill in the gaps. Rather than relying on them completely, look at them as an insurance plan.
In addition to a daily multivitamin formulated to fit your individual health profile, you may also find a calcium supplement valuable. If you struggle with keeping your blood pressure in check, you may want to look into a magnesium supplement. Many health experts also recommend taking an omega-3 supplement in order to boost your cognitive function as you reach the later years of life.
You owe it to yourself to take these steps as soon as you hit the fifth decade of your life. Failing to do so may mean that you suffer serious health consequences down the road.