Power Up Your Health in your 40s, 50s, 60s
Source: Prevention Magazine – http://www.prevention.com/powerupyour40/list/10.html
Prevention, Nov 2008, Page 144 – Power Up Your Health in your 40s, 50s, 60s (Section of – The Art and Science of Aging Beautifully) By Richard Laliberte
Power Up Your Health in your 40s, 50s, 60s – A game plan for every decade that ensures a lifetime of health and happiness.
“Every new decade brings its own rewards. To make sure you take advantage of each, you need to recognize the challenges that arise and refine the good health habits you’ve already put in place. Our guide forecasts the physical and emotional changes to expect, gives you a power-up strategy to handle each one head-on, and previews the lasting benefits you’ll receive if you follow the plan.”
Age Gauge at a Glance -> “Metabolism: Slowing down by 2% per decade. Muscle: Down to 6 to 7 pounds from 10 years ago. Bone: Dropping by 1% a year since your mid-30s. Libido: Declining because of high stress levels and hormonal changes. Stress: Especially high because of worries about kids, parents, health, career, and finances. Depression: More likely now than later in life.”
Power-Up Plan -> eat breakfast daily, jump-start your metabolism, increase intake of calcium and Vitamin D, calm stress with a breath, increase protein, be adventurous with your partner, and socialize at least once a week.
Essential Tests for Every Decade (Source: Office of Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services) -> Eye Exam: Every 2 to 4 years, Blood Pressure: Every 1 to 3 years, Pap test and pelvic exam: Every 1 to 3 years, Thyroid: Every 5 years, Mole check: Every year, Mammogram: Every 1 to 2 years, Blood glucose: Every 3 years starting at age 45.
Age Gauge at a Glance -> “Heart Disease: Average lifetime risk goes up to almost 40%. If you have two or more risk factors, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure, risks rise to 50%. Estrogen: Falling because of menopause, causing hot flashes, night sweats, and other menopausal symptoms, and raising risks of heart disease and osteoporosis. Colorectal cancer: More than 90% of cases occur after age 50. Immune function: Declining due to a shrinking thymus gland, which regulates T cells. Brain: Gradual decline of episodic memory (recall of events, times, and places). Attitude: Upbeat. Half of 51-year-old women say their lives are “first-rate” due to satisfaction with work and family.”
Power-Up Plan -> sleep at least 7 hours a night; “eat more green, leafy vegetables; manage menopausal symptoms; have a cup of yogurt a day; take notes when you eat; move more, think better; give back.”
Essential Tests for Every Decade (Source: Office of Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services) -> Fecal occult blood test: Yearly, Colonoscopy: Every 10 years, Sigmoidoscopy: Every 5 years starting at age 50, Hearing: Every 3 years. Add these tests with the 40s.
Age Gauge at a Glance -> “Oxygen: Maximal intake – a measure of heart and lung function – is down by as much as one-third on average, compared with age 25. Vitamin B12: Likely low, as an age-related decline in stomach acid allows growth of bacteria that feed on B12 in the GI tract. Gut: Half of people over age 60 have diverticulosis, a condition that can cause constipation, Bladder: Daily urinary incontinence affects 12% of women age 60 to 64. Joints: The hip and other key joints are more likely to develop arthritis. Creativity: High, marked by personal freedom, willingness to take risks, and courage to express yourself.”
Power-Up Plan -> daily exercise (take at least one day off), “establish a supplement plan”, increase fiber intake, work your pelvis muscles, keep your mind sharp, “practice your faith”.
Essential Tests for Every Decade (Source: Office of Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services) -> Eye exam: Every 1 to 2 years, Bones: Mineral density test at least once after 64. Add these test with the 40s and 50s.
My personal advice: It starts with YOU! You actively have to make a choice with your behavior. Look for reliable and credible information, which will empower you to make healthier choices. Discover healthy and positive role models. It’s never too late for health promotion and disease prevention!