Age 40 is a milestone when the risk of many health conditions can start to increase. This makes the birthday a perfect time for taking stock of your health.
Whether people have demanding jobs, busy home life, ageing parents, growing children or all of the above, it’s easy to put health aside. But 40 is the time to evaluate your wellbeing, health, think about the impact your health can have on others around you, and to plan for the long-run.
And if you’re not there yet, there’s no reason to wait. It’s not as if we are going to wake up and say, I’m 40, I’m going to make a change now. The earlier you can do it the better.
Here are five ways to stay healthier when you are nearing, turning 40 or already beyond 40.
1. Know your health numbers
Age 40 is a good time to check your blood pressure numbers, and cholesterol levels,
blood sugar and body weight. When you visit a pharmacy, take time to get your blood pressure measured, and visit your doctor to get a simple blood sugar test. Knowing these numbers will help you and your doctor identify potentially hidden disease risk-factors.
For example, people with higher blood pressure can be at higher risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.
2. Muscle Up
Starting at age 40, we lose about 1 percent of muscle mass per year.
So people can benefit from incorporating resistance based exercises, along with cardiovascular exercise, into a weekly physical activity plan. It doesn’t have to be over-complicated, even if just twice per week at 30-45 minutes to start with and remaining consistent. It Just needs to be some sort of resistance training.
As we age, we become less flexible and everyday living can encourage muscle in-balances and stiffness. It’s a good idea to maintain a stretching routine, yoga or some pilates. If we can maintain our muscle mass and maintain our core strength, then as we get older, we can continue to do the things we enjoy.
3. Up Your Fibre
Fibre is one of the unspoken heroes of good nutrition, perhaps in part because it feels old-fashioned. Fibre has several important roles, including reducing cholesterol, helping manage weight, appetite, energy levels and reducing the risk of colon cancer. An adult man requires some 30-40g of fibre a day, but it seems that according to research, most men achieve only around half of that. Fibre is found in grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. You can also find good amounts of fibre in cooked broccoli.
4. Up Your Protein Intake
We suggest that you should be including a lean protein portion in every meal. This doesn’t mean eating only three or five meals a day, this means splitting your meal times into regular feedings based on what you can realistically sustain given your current lifestyle. We always usually recommend a minimum of three times.
Eating protein regularly helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, it stimulates your metabolism and it also helps you build vital muscle mass. Muscle mass is key if you want to lower your body fat levels and look leaner.
What we recommend to our personal training clients, is to initially work on portion sizes and adding a lean source of protein to every meal. As a guide, a portion of protein is equal to the size of the palm of your hand.
For a medium build male, we suggest one portion per meal.
For a larger build male, we suggest one and a half portions of protein with each meal.
There are divided opinions as to the healthiest forms of protein you should be eating. As mentioned you should try to include lean protein sources with each of your meals. Where possible you should also choose organic and grass fed protein sources.
5. Shift Your Thinking
There are so many out there that love to talk about “the grind” and “sacrifice” they make to achieve their goals.
If achieving my goals and being healthy was such a terrible process and found it to be such a grind, I simply wouldn’t do it. I am guessing you would be the same.
The reason I’ve kept up my lifestyle, health and fitness is because I LOVE it. And not just the working out – the eating clean and feeling good. Focusing on finding something and a lifestyle you love is the number one thing you can do to faster consistency. We want to do the things we love, but also need to consider the things we need.
But there’s no law that says those two things can’t be done at the same time.
Have a great week,