Completing four decades of life and stepping into your fifth is a significant milestone. By now, you’ve likely established a comfortable rhythm in your life, made strides in your career, and may even have a loving family.
As you move further into middle age, your body undergoes significant changes. You may not be as energetic as you used to be or notice wrinkles forming around your eyes, forehead, and neck.
Although you have little or no control over the natural aging process, you can maintain good health and vitality well into your 40s and beyond. Some simple yet healthy lifestyle changes can boost your immune system, prevent chronic diseases, and promote your overall well-being. If you want to improve your overall health after 40, this article has everything you need to lead a happy and healthy life. Scroll down to learn ten effective ways to stay healthy after 40 and enjoy a high quality of life.
1. Time to Let Go of Alcohol and Tobacco
Alcohol and tobacco are the leading cause of various physical and mental health problems and serious health conditions. As you reach your 40s, it’s important to let go of any unhealthy habits and make sensible decisions about your health and wellness.
If you’ve been struggling with a vice, it’s time to seek professional support. Renowned rehabilitation centers like Restorations Health Care help you overcome unhealthy addictions and put you on course for a successful recovery journey. Health experts at Restorations Health Care have years of experience and create personalized treatment programs to address patients’ specific needs and sobriety goals.
Once you let go of these unhealthy vices, you can pave the way for better physical and mental health. Furthermore, you give your body room to heal from the adverse aftereffects of excessive alcohol and tobacco usage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with them. Embracing sobriety empowers you to be a productive citizen, achieve your life goals, and consequently, lead a happier and healthier life well beyond your 40s.
2. Shed Off Those Extra Pounds
Obesity is another major obstacle to a healthy life in your 40s and beyond. Excessive fat deposits in your lower abdomen, thighs, and hips are a warning sign that you might suffer from chronic diseases like diabetes, heart problems, and liver issues early on. Obesity is also associated with hormonal dysfunction, which leads to fluctuations in insulin production and, ultimately, diabetes. That’s why many physicians believe that shedding extra pounds around targeted areas is the key to staying healthy after 40 and preventing lifelong diseases.
Losing weight is even more beneficial to women as it helps regulate hormones and reduce the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. An ideal body mass index also helps women alleviate symptoms associated with menopause.
Maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically fit go hand in hand. When you maintain a healthy body mass index, you can reduce the extra pressure on your heart and lungs and keep your blood pressure, oxygen levels, and blood sugar levels in control. It also helps reduce strain on your bones and strengthens the muscles around them.
However, there is no magic wand that you can wave, and the extra fat on your body magically disappears. Weight loss is a long journey, and it takes time and effort to get your body in shape. For this purpose, you need to make small yet meaningful changes to your life and stay consistent with these changes throughout your life.
3. Monitor Key Health Indicators
As you progress into your middle age and go past 40, you need to stay aware of your health markers like blood pressure, blood sugar, oxygen levels, cholesterol levels, body weight, white and red blood cell count, uric acid, etc. These vital health markers will give you a comprehensive picture of your overall health and warn against any potential disease risks. We often ignore these health markers, which is why they are called “silent killers,” as they can easily go unnoticed, although they may be wreaking havoc on your overall health.
For example, there are sometimes no visible symptoms for higher blood pressure and elevated cholesterol and blood sugar levels. If these problems are left untreated, they can lead to life-threatening health conditions and chronic diseases such as stroke, heart attacks, kidney problems, and liver failure. Regularly checking your vitals and health markers can help you identify potential risks and abnormalities and take necessary measures to maintain healthy levels.
4. Prioritize Regular Exercise
To stay fit and healthy in your 40s and beyond, it’s important to prepare your body for natural aging and strengthen your muscles to increase your endurance. This is why you need to prioritize regular exercise or any physical activity.
Routine physical activity and targeted exercises strengthen your muscles, help you maintain a healthy weight, boost your immune system, and regulate your blood flow and oxygen levels. Regular exercise is also directly associated with improved mood and reduced anxiety and depression.
To keep yourself fit in your 40s and beyond, try to engage in physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week or 40 minutes a day. However, try not to engage in rigorous exercises right from the outset, as it can lead to muscle tears and body aches. Instead, start with 15-20 minutes of light to moderate-intensity workouts and gradually increase it to 40 minutes. The best physical activity to start with is brisk walking and light jogging, as well as some muscle stretching exercises, swimming, and cycling.
5. Eat a Balanced Diet and Stay Hydrated
While we all know the importance of a balanced diet and proper hydration, the importance of the food we eat to fuel our bodies increases as we age. A balanced diet will keep your weight in check, boost your immune system, and improve your overall health and vitality.
Try to eliminate unhealthy foods such as fried items, sugar, carbonated drinks, sugary or high-calorie snacks, and processed food. Incorporate healthy and nutrient-rich foods like lean proteins, healthy fats, complex carbs, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Use healthier alternatives for snacking, such as air-fried items, vegetable salads, healthy nuts and seeds, and fresh fruit juices.
Hydration is equally important to keep yourself fit and healthy, both physically and mentally. Make sure you drink plenty of water or other sugar-free liquids throughout the day, and increase your water intake during hot weather or physical activity.
As you cross the 40-year mark, staying physically and mentally fit becomes imperative to age gracefully and ensure a long and healthy life. With the above five easy strategies and simple lifestyle changes, you can keep lifelong diseases at bay, improve your overall well-being, and lead a happy and healthy life.