Important Middle-Age Health Checks
By the time you hit age 40, there are a lot of things which you need to be looking out for. I’m not only referring to a midlife crisis here! Unfortunately, your body is going to be deteriorating over time, and this is the age you should stop and take a good look at your health. You’ve probably got a variety of responsibilities related to your job and family to worry about. However, you should still be looking out for yourself in any way you can. If you’re concerned about the state of your health, then you’re already off to a great start! Here are some things you should be looking out for as you age.
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The first thing you should be wary of is problems with your vision. While there’s no real way of predicting these things, a lot of adults start experiencing problems with their vision around 40. Of course, no one wants to be the hypochondriac in a comedy sketch. One good way of checking the state of your vision is by reading fine print. If you’ve never had glasses, and you struggle to read the fine print on labels and documentation, then it’s time to go see your optician. You’ve been using your eyes your whole life, and various factors can damage them over time. Too much exposure to UV light is one of the most common causes for ocular problems. To lower the risk of this, make a point to wear sunglasses in sunny weather. As you can imagine, some sunglasses offer better protection than others. If you want to make sure you’re getting the best defense, look at companies such as Zero UV. Another common condition which breaks down a person’s vision is macular degeneration. This is passed on genetically, but there are still ways you can combat it. A diet containing a lot of lycopene and antioxidants can do a lot to slow the effects of this condition.
When your body starts to age, it’s important to measure a few things related to your health. Your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol should all be checked. This will give you useful information, and show you any lifestyle changes you might be in need of. Your doctor can give you a blood sugar test, and will be able to recommend any necessary habits or medication. They can test your blood pressure too, but most pharmacies will have the resources for this. Once you have these stats, it will be much easier to determine a few risk factors. When you have high blood pressure, you’re at a much higher risk of heart disease, kidney failure and other conditions. The sooner you find out about these conditions, the easier it will be to combat it.
40 is a good age to look back at your family history, and consider any genetic conditions. There are a lot of factors totally out of our control which can increase our risk of serious diseases. Heart disease is a big one. Also, as you reach middle age, you have to start thinking about cancer. This isn’t exactly pleasant to consider, I know. However, you’re not young anymore, and if you do hit the “C word”, it’s best to know as soon as possible. Understanding your family’s genetic history can be hugely beneficial in looking after yourself. For example, if your family has a history of colon cancer, it’s a good idea to get a colonoscopy in middle age. If you have a genetic background of heart disease, this is another big one to look out for. You should have a calcium test, which will determine the state of your arteries. If they’re starting to harden, then you may need to get on with a number of lifestyle changes.
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As you reach middle age, it’s probably a good idea to start working out. Perhaps you’ve been reminding yourself to do this for a long time, but still haven’t got around to it. Well, now is the perfect time to start! From age 40 onwards, you’ll be losing approximately one percent of your muscle mass every year. This will go on indefinitely, so start hitting the gym, and doing some cardiovascular exercise. Draw up an exercise schedule, and try your best to stick to it. If you don’t like the competition and crowds down at your local gym, then you can still work at retaining your muscle mass. Get a set of weights and start doing some bicep curls at home. Any kind of resistance training will give you a lot of health benefits as you move into later life. You may also be noticing that you’re less flexible than you used to be. Luckily, there are simple, slow-paced exercises which can help with this. Yoga and Pilates are two practices which will help you keep nice and limber. Aside from the physical benefit, these kind of exercises are great for stress relief, and can be done easily at home.
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As you age, you also need to be paying close attention to your oral health. Don’t get yourself into some huge panic if this is the first time you’ve considered this area! A lot of people think that as you get into old age, you’ll inevitably lose every tooth in your head. While this is a possibility, it’s completely avoidable with a good dental plan. Oral issues faced by older people include receding gums. The main sign of this you should look for is increased sensitivity in your teeth. Usually, this is nothing to be worried about, and can be treated with a change in brushing method or a special mouthwash. If your sight is beginning to fail, you might want to get a magnifying mirror or a light. The one thing a lot of aging adults ignore is medicines which make their mouth dry. You might not think it, but some of these can be detrimental to your dental health. Saliva contains substances which protect your teeth from decay, so make sure you mention your dry mouth to your dentist. While some conditions are harder to beat than others, the best thing you can do to protect your oral health is see a professional dentist regularly. Visit Carefree Dental to discover more information.
When you hit middle age, you need to start paying more attention to the food you eat. As I mentioned before, you’re at more risk of heart disease, so high-fat foods should be something to look out for. Wasn’t it nice back when you could eat and eat and never put on any weight? Unfortunately, those days are over! Your metabolic rate is going to be increasing steadily as you age. You need to compensate for this by taking in fewer calories. You should also be making a point to get enough fluids and fibers into your system. Cut down on sweet things to make sure you’re only getting a healthy amount of calories. Don’t completely cross them out though. You still need to retain foods which are high in fiber, and get enough water. Getting the right nutrients is important for anyone, at any age. However, in middle age, it becomes even more important for you to get the right nutrients. Make sure the food you eat is full of lean protein, fruit and veg. You should also be getting low-fat dairy products, as hard as they are to find.
You’ve probably heard it more than enough, but try to quit smoking. Ideally, you should have done this years ago. If you’re still puffing at age 40, you seriously need to give quitting a go. There’s no end to the reasons why you should quit smoking. About 100,000 people in the UK die every year due to smoking, and many make it through treatable, but horrific diseases due to the habit. The worldwide health campaign against tobacco isn’t going anywhere. Because of this, there’s now more support for people trying to quit than ever before. From self-help techniques to e-cigs from Arizer, you’ll definitely be able to find something which works for you. I know how hard quitting smoking can be. However, countless people have managed to kick the habit before you, so there’s no reason you can’t! Once you make it, you’ll feel better immediately. Aside from that, your chance of heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure and so on will all be reduced.
Finally, consider a thyroid check. This is one of the many parts of your body that can deteriorate with age, so it’s important to make sure they’re in a good condition. If you notice yourself getting tired a lot more, or that you’re piling on weight much faster than you used to, then go in for a thyroid check. The thyroid gland in your neck is what controls your energy levels and hormones. This can become diseased in middle age, so keep an eye out! Thyroid disease is passed on genetically. However, if it’s caught in its early stages and properly medicated, the effects will be much softer on you.