Naturally, you should stay healthy throughout your life, before and after age 40, but if you haven’t maintained good health habits until now, 40 appears to be a dividing line between the vitality of your younger years and the possibility of health problems in later years.
If you haven’t paid too much attention to your health by the time you’re 40, you’re not alone. Most people spend the first few decades of their adult life earning degrees, raising a family, and furthering their careers. However, by age 40, it’s time to start researching ways to stay healthier.
Taking the proper steps to get healthy isn’t as difficult as you might think, but it does take some research. In particular, here are three broad areas you need to research to develop a good health plan.
Get a medical check-up
It’s hard to figure out where you want to go if you don’t know where you are now, so start with a medical checkup.
Here are three broad areas you need to research.
Seasonal Health Problems
The symptoms of a sinus infection vs. cold are pretty similar. You may be coughing, sneezing, and feeling congested. You can discover the reason for your seasonal ill health by visiting a doctor. It might not be what you think it is. For instance, you might be attributing your congested nose to a cold or flu and taking the wrong medications when the problem that needs to be addressed is your sinuses. They may be blocked with mucosa and can’t drain properly. By finding out why you have seasonal bouts of ill health, you can take corrective measures.
Is your vision getting worse? If it is, then there are steps you can take to improve it, like wearing sunglasses with UV-A and UV-B protection to reduce sun damage and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to get enough vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Check out your numbers
Do you know if your cholesterol levels, your blood sugar, your blood pressure, and your body weight are within a normal range? By knowing your numbers, you can take steps to normalize them and reduce potential disease risk factors.
Improve your diet
It can be not very clear to figure out the perfect diet. There are so many diverse opinions on this topic that completely contradict each other that it’s easy just to give up. Should you go Paleo, only eat raw food, try the Whole 30, or just follow Atkins? The worst part is that each book on a particular diet you read make convincing arguments for their perspective that are backed by lots of scientific and anecdotal evidence. So how do you decide what diet philosophy to follow? Research the best-recommended diets, pick a few, and then experiment. While you may not arrive at the perfect way of eating by following a diet philosophy, you’ll be far better off than following the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is loaded with preservatives, artificial colors, high fructose corn sugar, excessive salt, and fat.
Create an exercise routine
Your body needs a variety of exercises to stay healthy: exercises to increase your flexibility, exercise to increase your cardiovascular health, and exercise to build up muscle bulk and strength. You should do all of them. You could do yoga for flexibility. You could research good devices for tracking your health — for instance, a wearable fitness device like FitBit measures how many steps you take in a day. And you could lift weights three times a week on alternative days. There are numerous benefits to exercise. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can help you control your weight, combat susceptibility to illness, reduce health problems, improve your mood, boost your energy, help you sleep better, and put the spark back into your sex life. Hiking is another great option to improve overall body and mental health. You just need decent shoes and some camping gear to hit the trails for a day.
Will You Do It?
It’s one thing to be well informed on what to do to improve your health, but it’s quite another to actually take steps to change your health habits for the better. It does take discipline to change many ingrained habits for the better, but once you persevere long enough to adopt new health habits, you’ll appreciate your increased feeling of vitality and spontaneous happiness.