Life constantly changes and so, of course, does your body. That fit teenage body of yours can, over a couple of decades, morph into something you didn’t quite expect when you hit your 40s. But there’s plenty you can do about it when you’re over 40 to ensure you keep in the best of health for many more years.
Here are some tips for what to do to keep healthy as you move into your middle years.
Don’t ignore the doctor
Men can sometimes be a little slow to go to the doctor, whereas for women it’s often just a routine thing to do once a year to check everything is OK. So if you’ve got out of the routine of having a regular medical check up then now’s the time to sort that out.
Sure, nobody wants to go to the doctor unless they feel they have to, but a regular visit can nip some of the possible medical conditions in the bud if they are spotted early enough. Your body, as it ages, is more susceptible to problems because that’s how life works, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep on top of things.
Your doctor can check you out for a range of possible conditions to help you maintain your health. Tests can include those for cholesterol, how your thyroid glands are functioning, if you have symptoms or signs of diabetes or if your blood pressure is abnormally high. All these conditions may have implications for how well your heart is working, and it’s often in the 40s that men can start to see the signs of issues with their heart. This may not be serious, but if your doctor identifies a problem it could be the beginning of heart disease.
Another potential problem could be with your prostate, and a prostate cancer screening is recommended for men 40 and older. If cancer is discovered early on it is easier to treat and outcomes can be much more positive.
Beat the stress
When you’re in your 40s, the chances are that you are part way through a career that may be very fulfilling but also very stressful. There are also personal problems that can, and do, cause stress as well as simple things such as not getting enough sleep, possibly because you are worrying about everything else.
Stress can affect the heart and if you don’t do anything about it may lead to heart disease in the future. The key to de-stressing is relaxation when you can calm your mind and body no matter what else is going on. You need your own space, very often, so you can make room for yourself. It’s important to listen to your body and especially to give yourself a routine for going to bed each night. Cut the electronic devices when you’re planning to go to sleep and, if you want, read a few pages of a book to help you get to the stage when you just want to drift off.
Improve your health with exercise
As you get older you can find that exercising regularly is just too much hassle; remember that gym membership you’ve barely used? Sure, there are plenty of folks who go to the gym regularly but if it’s not really for you there are so many other options to explore. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to keep fit. If you need the input of a personal trainer to motivate you then go ahead and find one who will help train you, no problem.
If you’d rather do your own thing then do some research on what you think will work for you. Not all exercise suits everybody so you need to tailor it to your own needs.
If you have a bit of a “spare tire” around your middle, you can deal with it. Your metabolism changes as you get older and what your body used to burn off in calories when you were younger – and maybe fitter – doesn’t always happen in the same way. So walk or jog, so you raise your heart rate and perspire a little, or take up yoga or Pilates or something more strenuous such as karate or kickboxing.
Look after your body
You’ve only got one body, so as you get older it makes sense to look after it. If you smoke, cut it out. Reduce your alcohol intake if you drink. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as part of your diet and why not make your body your temple? You’re the only one that can make the difference.