Thoughts for 40s: What Do Men Need to Do to Stay Healthy?
Your 40s brings with it all sorts of wellness niggles that you can feel a lot older than you actually are. You suddenly can’t get up off the floor that quickly, your back aches in ways in never has before, and let’s not even mention the state of your sexual health – 20 and ready-to-go, you ain’t. Still, in terms of your overall wellbeing, you’re actually still in pretty good shape. The name of the health game is still in the line of preventative care, rather than waiting for disease to happen and fighting off the reaper. Instead, get empowered with the knowledge you need as a man in his 40s to prevent chronic illness and make this decade the best yet.
When you’re in your 40s, it’s likely that you’ve got a hectic work and home life, trying to keep on top of deadlines, catching up with your mates and spending time with your family. When you’re so busy, it’s no wonder that most men in their 40s don’t make nutrition and exercise a priority. That said, as developed nations rely more on food of convenience, and the quality of ingredients goes further down, it becomes more obvious than ever that you are the only one watching out for the state of your body. In terms of your diet, this means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables – at least five-a-day – and healthy proteins. If you focus on these food groups, you can reduce your risks of cancer and heart disease. Don’t just do your healthy diet solo; get your partner and kids involved and plan your grocery shopping in advance so you won’t be tempted by junk on shop shelves. The key to healthy eating is to have good options on hand at work and at home.
Once you’ve got your family’s diet in place, it’s time to turn to your exercise programme. With each decade, the phrase “use it or lose it” becomes more and more applicable. In your 40s, many of your hormones – including testosterone and growth hormone – tend to decline. This ageing process can really do a number on your wellness and, if you don’t exercise, you’ll only hurry that decline along. Exercise stimulates growth hormone, helping you to maintain a lean body mass. However, without enough physical activity, your metabolism will slow down, your bone density will decline, and you’ll be more stressed and depressed than you should be. If you find it hard to motivate yourself, why not go to a class or work with a personal trainer? If you’ve got it written on your calendar and all paid for, you’ll have the incentive to workout until the health benefits become their own motivation.
Finally, take a look at your family history. If someone in your family has suffered from a certain illness or condition, it’s not a sure thing that you will likewise be affected, but history certainly has a way of predicting the future. Look into your family’s history of health problems, paying close attention to anything that occurred to someone when in their 40s. While having a grandparent who had a heart attack at 75 is something to take note of, being related to someone who suffered at age 45 holds is even more significant to your prevention strategy. You should primarily focus on your parents, siblings and grandparents, but it’s worth asking about other relatives as well. Take inventory so you can tailor your wellness programme to your needs, and consider talking to your GP if a particular health concern does arise when you’re digging.