Are you in or approaching your 40s? Are you curious about ways to take care of your health, both physically and mentally? Here are 10 important ways to do so.
Are you in or approaching your 40s? Most of us start thinking about taking care of ourselves the closer we get to the middle of our lives. If you want to keep enjoying life in your 40s and beyond, you need to take care of your health.
Your physical and mental health are your most important assets in life. Here are 10 ways to take good care of yourself into your 40s.
1. Stay Active
Let’s be honest. Everyone knows physical activity improves your health and reduces the risk of lots of diseases, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes
The above makeup for most deaths in adults of 40 years and up. Working out, or just staying more active, will help you both immediately and in the long run.
What is even more remarkable is that physical activity also improves your mood. Studies show that exercise helps with depression, and people who work out on a regular basis have higher levels of serotonin, the hormone responsible for happiness.
Regular physical activity also helps you sleep better and gives you more opportunities for social contact.
Doctors agree that just 30 minutes of physical activity each day improve your quality of life. Yet, even though we know that fitness equals health, many of us just don’t get off the couch.
You have tons of options to get your daily exercise fix. You can go for a daily walk, try yoga, hit the gym, or take up a sport. You don’t have to be a fitness nut to enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle if you don’t particularly enjoy gyms or yoga classes. Just being more active in the house will help you be more active.
As people get older, they tend to become less active and pile on weight. Staying active counters that and prevents all sorts of diseases that come with being overweight.
2. Eat and Drink Clean
A healthy diet will fuel your body and stock it with all the nutrients it needs to keep you going. Today, many people are confused about the meaning of the word “diet” as they think it refers to various fads.
However, a healthy diet is any diet that helps you maintain your health. It’s not about restricting your food or hitting some arbitrary weight goal. A diet is all about feeling healthy, having more energy, and being happier.
The tons of articles, guides, and videos on nutrition might confuse you. However, you can figure it out by reading the Harvard Healthy Eating Pyramid. The pyramid is intuitive and easy to follow. It tells you how frequently you should consume each type of food during the day.
From there, you can measure your calories based on your body-mass index and make sure you are not eating more than you need.
In general, you should aim to eat a lot of protein and fiber, restrict snacks and processed foods, and stay hydrated. You can go for a ready to mix, hassle-free powder, 1st Phorm Greens, that promises to give you the benefits of eating 11+ servings of vegetables, along with a blend of superfoods, probiotics, and digestive enzymes!
3. Go Outdoors
Scientists say there are proven health reasons you should go outside. Taking a short nature break will boost your mood and restore your energy, but it can do so much more.
Just by appreciating nature, you can improve your short-term memory and reduce stress. Your brain is wired to relax whenever you slow down and enjoy the sky or green meadow.
The effects of going out are not only psychological. Studies show that going outside helps reduce inflammation, improves your vision, and boosts your immune system. Just by walking outside and breathing fresh air, you can stay younger for longer!
Finally, going outside also helps you be more creative and gives you more opportunities to socialize with people. As we grow older, we tend to drift apart from our social circles. Being active helps you find new friends.
4. Stay in the Shade
Going outside means you have to protect yourself from the sun. Science shows that the sun’s UV rays speed skin aging and can cause several harmful eye conditions, such as early onset cataracts.
Thankfully, it is easy to protect yourself from the sun. Always wear SPF sunblock and reapply regularly on your exposed. For your eyes, choose lenses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
You can also protect yourself by wearing long-sleeved shirts and hats in the summer months. The sun might be essential for our health, but direct exposure will harm you. Avoid tanning and stay away from tanning beds.
5. Prevention Is Key
By the age of 60, one in three people has some form of cancer. As we go through our fourth decade, many health problems may arise. If you regularly check your health, you will catch these problems early on.
Most forms of cancer are treatable if caught early on. These include breast cancer, colon cancer, and melanoma, all of which are very common.
Regular checkups and a mindset focused on prevention will keep you healthy and save you from a ton of medical expenses down the road. If you see unusual spots on your skin, feel irritated or have unexplained pains, go check yourself.
When you have health problems in your 40s and beyond, it is best to deal with them directly than wait and see if they go away by themselves.
If you must receive hospital care, opt for multidisciplinary care. That way, you will have your whole body checked, and you might prevent diseases by removing their root cause.
6. Cultivate Your Social Life
As we grow older, we tend to neglect our social life. This can lead to isolation and even depression down the road.
That is why it is important to do something social every week. This can be anything from going out with your buddies to just enjoying a phone chat with an old friend.
Pick up the phone and call a friend. A healthy social life is proven to help prevent dementia and depression, so don’t neglect it!
7. Follow Your Life Goals
The daily grind can make life feel empty. Going into your fourth decade without clear goals can lead to what is known as a mid-life crisis.
If you feel lost, uncertain, or just empty, you are not alone. Many people in their 40s feel confused about their life priorities. This can lead to depression, but it’s totally reversible.
To avoid the pains of a mid-life crisis, set clear life goals, and follow them with passion. This will give you a purpose to do everything else, including staying fit and eating healthily.
8. Appreciate the Present
Following your life goals doesn’t mean living in your head. It is important to appreciate the “now” and live your life to the full.
As we grow older, we tend to forget how lucky we are to be healthy and alive in this wonderful world. By appreciating the present, you will be happy with who you are and what you have achieved.
Lingering in the past or dreaming about the future is fine, but the present is where all your life happens.
Many people spend their lives waiting for that perfect moment in the future where they will be happy. The secret is that you can have that moment right now if you appreciate the present.
Research shows that volunteering and doing charity work can reduce depression and anxiety in adults. If you feel pressure from your career and everyday life, perhaps you should consider spending some time helping those in need.
Volunteering for a good cause helps improve the world and makes us feel better about ourselves.
10. Make Time for Family Time
Finally, going into your fourth decade in life, you should not neglect your family. Scheduling family time is one decision you will never regret as you grow older.
Your children will not always be kids, and your parents will not be with you forever. For most of us, the family is the most important thing in our lives, yet we tend to neglect it when we focus too much on work and other responsibilities.