Are you looking for ways to be healthy at 40? The human body goes through significant changes during midlife which can leave you feeling less healthy than you did in your 20s and 30s. Research shows that health gradually declines with age. However, that doesn't mean that you can't turn things around. In this blog, we'll cover ways to help you live your best life at 40 years.
Health Tips to Practice at 40
Limit your alcohol intake
Are you wondering how you managed to drink like a fish in your 20s and 30s and always woke up feeling fresh as a daisy? How is binge drinking for you these days? Do you wake up with a massive hangover? Do you notice that you don't bounce back as quickly as you used to?
Well, science shows that your body's ability to process nutrients that limit how your body handles alcohol declines at midlife. If you were a heavy drinker in your younger years, your liver starts building fatty tissue around it making it less capable of handling alcohol.
According to Dr Mark Wright, a Southampton University Hospital Trust hepatology consultant, liver disease is no longer a preserve of the elderly. Dr Wright shares that doctors are now starting to diagnose younger people with liver disease. In fact, I've seen many clients in their 30's who have developed fatty liver disease after excess alcohol consumption and an unhealthy lifestyle.
If younger people (20 and 30-year-olds) are contracting liver disease, can you imagine what will happen by the time they get to midlife? There will be a serious liver disease epidemic.
Although there's no universally accepted standard of how much alcohol is safe to drink, and with some cancers its safest to have no alcohol at all, limiting alcohol to 1 to 2 standard drinks a day is the national guideline.
If you suffer from alcoholism, perhaps seeing an addiction specialist is the best route to take, for proper advice. If you would like support on how to improve your eating and what options you can use to substitute alcohol-containing drinks then see an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
Work out regularly
Working out and participating in regular exercise and enjoyable movement can be beneficial for your body in a variety of ways. The following are ways in which your body can gain from regular exercise.
By age 40 years, you might have noticed that you're unable to lose weight as quickly as you did in your youth. The body's metabolism slows down as you age, making it harder to shed those pounds easily. In addition you may gain more weight around your middle which is associated with increased chronic disease risk.
Research shows that by the time you turn 40 years, your body gains three to four pounds annually (1.5-2kg). Excess weight gain can contribute to serious diseases like heart disease, diabetes or stroke.
Improving your mental health
Is your mind starting to feel a little foggy? Regular exercise can help. According to science regular exercise can improve your cognitive functions in areas such as;
Most people don't engage in exercise because they either don't have the time, or the thought of having to do heavy-duty workouts intimidates them.
If you can handle heavy workout, well and good. If you prefer simpler exercises, brisk walks, cycling or jogging, those can be just as effective. I use the term "enjoyable movement" to describe fun activities like dancing, walking the dog, playing with the kids and swimming which can be looked forward to and enjoyed everyday. Exercise like weight training and aerobic activity is important but doing some a few times a week is better than not doing any at all. "Snackercise" describes chunking your exercise into 5 or 10 min blocks throughout the day. Any increase to what you are doing now is a step in the right direction. Getting a review and plan from a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist can be helpful.
Eat healthier meals
As I mentioned earlier, it's much harder to lose weight in your 40s than in your 20s. Making healthier food choices can help you prevent the development of chronic diseases that doctors associate with weight gain such as;
Here are some tips on how to eat healthier at 40;
Here's a list of more foods that you should avoid at 40.
Get adequate sleep
Are you in your 40's and finding it hard to fall asleep or get back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night? Research shows that older people suffer from sleep-related problems.
Hormonal changes and increasing daily life stressors can make it impossible for you to have quality sleep by age 40 years. Lack of sleep does not only leave you cranky throughout the day but can also lead to health problems.
If you're experiencing sleep problems, try the following tips, to help you sleep better at night;
Create a regular sleeping pattern- Irregular sleeping patterns are the number one cause of sleep-related problems. Establish a particular time to go to bed and ensure that you strictly go to bed at the same time each night.
Visit a therapist- See a professional counsellor if you're going through depression, suffer from anxiety or have recently gone through a traumatic experience.
Let a doctor assess your medication- Certain medications can make it harder for you to sleep at night. Let your physician look at all the medications that you're taking, to determine if there's any that are making it harder for you to sleep at night.
Your doctor is likely to make suitable recommendations or recalibrate dosages where applicable.
Avoid taking caffeine just before bed- Caffeine from beverages like coffee can keep you awake up to 6 hours after consumption.
Avoid using iPads and phones in bed
The devices have a backlight that makes it impossible for you to sleep. Therefore leave the devices in the living room as opposed to carrying them to bed. If you must carry them to your room, ensure that you leave them on for emergency calls, and place them on the nightstand where you can easily access them if need be.
Aging is inevitable, but you have a choice to live a healthier life by making healthier choices. It's easy to be healthy at 40. All you need to do is watch what you eat, work out regularly, limit your alcohol intake and get adequate sleep. And of course relax.... and enjoy life!
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Acknowledgement: Eve Carrie Writer