As you celebrate the fortieth birthday, you are bound to judge yourself as a social being, as an achiever, as a giver, whatever be your score in these disciplines there is one more discipline you should look at, and that is your health. Forty marks the mid of your life; assuming there is another forty or more to go. Life and death are beyond human control. Fortunately, men can take charge of their health, and work towards their general wellbeing. Ideally, you should have started working on it already, but you still have time to build upon all those good habits that can provide quality to your advancing life. Staying fit needs a lot of conscious effort. Studies and doctors say that you can prevent all those later age health issues if you work on your body now, at least.
Control your vision
The first thing to look into should be your eyes, your window to the world. Get them checked, see if you need reading glasses because this is the age when vision starts deteriorating. Start wearing proper sunglasses to protect yourself from further damage. Sun damage causes early cataract. Eat more of colorful vegetables and fruits specially those rich in lycopene (colored red). Care for your eyes now so that they do their job without much difficulty longer.
Keep a check on the numbers.
It is time to fall into a habit of medical checkups regularly. Monitor your cholesterol, blood sugar level, lipid profile, hormones, micronutrients, vitals and get your self-scanned more often than not. It’s great if you feel healthy but in an era when people as young as thirty are at a greater risk of heart attacks, being cautious will only pay you better in the long run and help you in managing your health better after forty.
Learn about your genes.
You might argue you cannot change them then why bother? The point is that if you know your genes better you know your risks better, and you manage them better. In the end, it is all about minimizing risks. While you should have been already aware of your family, it is never too late to look into your history and biology. It brings you closer to your people also. Look for all the disorders that could be passed on to you, diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers like breast, ovarian, cervical and colon give you a better chance if detected early. Knowing your chances of getting them keeps you on your toes. You are less likely to skip a colon scan at fifty if you knew your grandfather had it.
Invest in your muscles.
Easier said than done but as your metabolism slows down with your advancing age, you lose muscle faster than you can think. So pack up on right and lean proteins. Hit the gym when you can and when you cannot find workout routines for home and workplace. Take that darn staircase instead of the elevator. Play with the stress ball in your fist under the desk while you take that urgent video call. Don’t give up on your biceps yet, in fact, push yourself harder to keep them in shape. As they say, a stitch in time saves nine. After forty you should only be healthier and look even better, so work it out.
Watch what you eat.
I have written it down on the list, but then all of these points are equally important. One cannot be stressed more than the other. You are what you eat, pack up on high sugar and junk, I am sorry, but you will have to suffer from a junked up body. Eat healthy; be conscious of what and how much goes into your system. Take notes from all those tests and visit a nutritionist. Not only attend but also follow his/her advice. Befriend fiber and water; they will keep your colon healthy longer. Nutrition does not equals to calories. Now is the time to start nibbling than gorging on whatever comes your way. Analyze your plate before you dive into it. Staying fit and healthy at forty has far better payback than a plate loaded with fat and carbs will give you.
Modify yourself, adjust your outlook.
Yes, bring about a conscious change in your lifestyle. Learn to grab an opportunity to use your legs instead of that car that adds to the emissions. If it is just a mile that you are going, walk instead of driving. Instead of sitting for hours stand a few of them. Slow down, train your self to sleep better. Yes, the children are growing and so are their needs. There is added responsibility of aging parents, you have done tremendously well in your career, and now you are reaping the benefits by added responsibilities and leadership roles. Don’t let any of this get on your nerves, do whatever it takes to keep your mind healthy, Sunday church, praying, meditating, Yoga, music, painting, writing, reading whatever helps you relax make time for it. Make time for your partner enjoy your togetherness so that this togetherness remains sweet and young. A youthful relationship is crucial to a healthy life.
Yes give up all those things that hurt your internal system, give up on nicotine, on alcohol, on drugs take help if needed but give up on these slow poisons.
Give up on vicious relations and friends who tend to suck out your life. You know who they are free yourself from them. Your mental and emotional health is equally important.
Give up on things that inhibit your happiness but never give up on life. Age is just a number and it can be of great joy if handled with the care it needs. Stay healthy, stay fit.