Contributed by- Dr. Dhrity Vats
40 is a magical number where most of us are at peace with a promising career, fulfilled ambitions and a beautiful family to go back home to. But, 40 is also a number when your body asks for more attention as you may be a stepping into risky zone. The same careless and carefree attitude towards lifestyle and dietary habits needs to be shed. In young age, many wild and weird health practices quietly creep into our life. But now, in 40’s, one cannot get away with those. With every passing day, the risk for illnesses increases; one needs to take extra efforts to stay healthy. If you wish to have a great healthy life ahead, act now, identify what will not work for you anymore and get rid of those habits. Remember, you have only one place to live in and that is your body. So if your health deteriorates, you are the only one to be blamed.
Here are 7 bad habits you can no longer get away with in your 40’s.
Taking food cravings lightly
You sure must enjoy a variety of nutritious foods. But if you have specific food cravings often, do not take them lightly. Your secret food cravings can mean a lot; especially in your 40’s. As your metabolism begins to slow down during this period, your risk for metabolic and lifestyle disorders increases. Sugar cravings for can point towards blood sugar fluctuations and type 2 diabetes. Know your risk for diabetes with regular blood sugar tests.
Craving for salty food could be due to blood pressure changes, while wanting more water can be dehydration. Mineral deficiencies and anaemia too show up with weird food cravings. Get a check-up and test yourself for iron, calcium or mineral deficiency.
Avoiding preventive health checks
Preventive health check-ups are not just a trend but a necessary change. Even if you are perfectly sound, with no health problems, you need preventive measures to maintain your health. Regular preventive checks can highlight your health risks and help in early diagnosis.
Many illnesses do not have symptoms and are detected only after clinical examination or laboratory tests. You sure, do not want to miss out on those. So, plan regular preventive health check-ups and tests.
Ignoring eye check-ups
A change in life is obvious at the age of 40. This can reflect on your eye health, which can present in various ways. While some eye symptoms may be obvious, an expert examination can help detect even minor troubles. Also, eyes are a common site for complications of diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid, kidney and other problems. Regular eye check-up can detect such problems early and ensure healthy vision.
Not doing hormonal check-ups
Talking about changes occurring at age of 40, the hormonal changes are the most expected ones. For women, this change of life, marks the pre-menopausal and menopausal period with a host of vague symptoms. The best way to deal with it is to do hormone tests for menopause.Timely diagnosis ensures prompt treatment, which can save you from further problems. Decreasing oestrogen during this period can cause other problems like calcium deficiency and bone loss. Know your calcium levels and bone density and keep your bones strong.
For men too, this may be a new phase towards raging and hormonal problems. Go for regular check-ups to prevent illnesses of the male system. Check your testosterone to ensure a healthy life.
The risk of thyroid too increases greatly during this period and can affect both men and women. Regular thyroid tests can keep a watch on your thyroid function.
Postponing dental check-ups
Dental health and oral hygiene is an area that needs attention at all ages; but surely more as you age. Apart from dental problems and gum diseases, many medical problems also show up in the mouth. Regular dental check can not only save you from tooth loss but also help detect such medical conditions.
Being unaware of vitamin tests
Your body needs essential vitamins. While a healthy, balanced diet can provide most nutrients, you may lack some as you age. The commonest ones include vitamin B12, for healthy nerves and vitamin D, for bone and general health. The deficiency of these vitamins is on the rise and may not be easily known, thus delaying diagnosis. Get your vitamin tests done to detect vitamin B12 and vitamin D levels, to prevent many health problems.
Ignoring your lifestyle
It is true that you have good enough responsibilities at work and home. But, to be able to fulfil those efficiently, you need to be in good health. While it may not have seemed that important earlier, as you move into 40’s, your health and lifestyle matters a lot. Sedentary life, having heavy and late dinners, sitting up late at night, being overstressed, all can only harm your health. But a healthy lifestyle can keep you in good health for years to come. So, do not ignore your faulty lifestyle; begin with healthy changes. Eat right, do regular exercises, sleep well, manage stress, quit smoking and drink moderately or avoid completely. Consult an expert, if required and plan a healthy diet and exercise schedule. Work towards maintaining an ideal weight; it can alone reduce several health risks.
From faulty diet and lifestyle choices to ignoring regular check-ups, there are a range of habits controlling your life. 40’s is a turning point, when you can do your best to prevent health problems. Preventive tests, health monitoring and medical visits can protect your health.
So take charge of your health now. Give up the bad health habits and see the change!
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