You’re only as old as you feel — and you’ll feel a little younger by looking out for your health. If you’re on the other side of 40, it’s time to start establishing new habits.

  1. Investigate your family history. Understanding your family medical history can help steer your health care providers in the right direction when it comes to understanding how often you should have important tests and screenings. 
  2. Look out for vision problems. Macular degeneration affects nearly 10 million Americans over the age of 40. While genetics plays a part, a diet rich in lycopene and antioxidants may help slow vision loss. Load up on red fruits to reap the maximum benefit. 
  3. Check your numbers. It’s time to get to know important numbers in your life: your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, weight, and BMI. Having these baseline numbers — and adjusting your lifestyle accordingly to maintain these numbers in their health zones — is key to staying healthy for the next 40 years. 
  4. Load up on fiber. The body’s metabolism slows drastically after 40. Fiber can help you feel fuller longer so that you’re not tempted to take in additional calories that can cause weight gain — which could put you at a higher risk for heart attack, diabetes, and other health problems. 
  5. Get pumped up and stretch it out. After age 40, we lose 1% of muscle mass each year. At the same time, flexibility also goes downhill. Maintaining muscle mass and flexibility can help prevent injuries as you age and keep your mobility and range of motion in tip-top shape. Incorporate stretching, yoga, and weight-bearing exercise into your daily routine. 
  6. Pay attention to your thyroid. Feeling particularly worn out? Gaining weight? Your thyroid might be to blame. A quick test can detect this fairly common (and treatable) problem.
  7. Kick butt. It’s never too late to quit smoking — but the sooner you quit, the better. Within just two weeks of quitting, your blood circulation begins to improve, and in as little as 48 hours, your sense of smell and taste gets sharper. 
  8. Walk it out. Exercising doesn’t have to be grueling to be effective. Even a daily leisurely stroll for 30-45 minutes can have a massive impact on blood pressure, weight, and cardiovascular fitness. Try listening to an audiobook or podcast to help pass the time. 
  9. Make connections. Research has shown that having even one close friend can increase your life span. Make a habit of nurturing your friendships and finding time to share a meal or spend time together in-person. 
  10. Find purpose. Health goes beyond the physical body — it’s mental and emotional, too. Finds ways to give back to your community, help a neighbor in need, connect deeper to your faith, or explore spirituality.

Are you over 40 and have a health concern? Call us today at 317-272-0708 to book an appointment with our caring clinicians. 

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