Taking care of your health becomes increasingly important as you enter your 40s as this is a pivotal decade where preventive measures and lifestyle choices can greatly impact your overall well-being. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense foods is crucial for providing your body with the necessary fuel and combating age-related health issues.
Regular exercise becomes even more important as it helps preserve muscle mass, strengthen bones and promotes cardiovascular health but additionally, paying attention to your mental health and managing stress is essential and this can be achieved through relaxation techniques, practicing mindfulness and seeking support when needed. Regular check-ups and screenings for conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and certain cancers are also vital along with prioritising sleep, staying hydrated and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption or smoking, which are key factors in maintaining optimal health in your 40s.
Want to adopt healthy habits to increase your chances of enjoying a vibrant and active life as you age? In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Tarun Sahni, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi, shared, “Taking care of your health in your 40s is crucial for mitigating health risks and ensuring a healthy and fulfilling life. In this phase, several health risks become more prevalent. Heart disease tops the list, as the risk increases with age due to factors like high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Type 2 diabetes also becomes more common in your 40s, especially with a family history or sedentary habits. Cancer risks, including breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer, rise with age, necessitating regular screenings and a healthy lifestyle. Osteoporosis becomes a concern, particularly for women approaching menopause, necessitating calcium-rich diets, weight-bearing exercises, and bone density screenings.”
He added, “Mental health issues like anxiety and depression may arise due to increased stress and life changes. To maintain health in your 40s, prioritize regular exercise with a combination of aerobic activities, strength training, and flexibility exercises. Adopt a balanced diet comprising fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats while limiting processed foods and saturated fats. Schedule routine medical check-ups, follow screening guidelines, and stay up to date on vaccinations. Manage stress through techniques like meditation and prioritize sufficient sleep. Avoid risky behaviours such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use. By addressing these risks and adopting a proactive approach to health, you can promote overall well-being and enjoy a fulfilling life in your 40s and beyond.”
Echoing that when a person reaches the age of 40, they stop looking after their health and also stop evaluating what they want in their life, Dr Jeevan Aggarwal, Associate Director, Internal Medicine at Max Super Speciality Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, recommended some tips on how to look for oneself and take care of your health in 40s:
1) Exercise – Stop sitting. Get a stand up or treadmill desk. Take micro breaks from your work and stand up and do stretching exercises or walk. Also, do stationary exercises. Do weight training to improve muscle strength.
2) Eat more healthful foods – Avoid junk food and eating out. Try to find replacements, such as dried fruit and granola bars for snacks that are high in sugar and fat. Cook healthy food at home and do mindful eating.
3) Maintain a positive attitude – One should always review their goals and how they are spending hours even in their 40s, this will help you to become more intentional and involved in your daily life and be able to meet your long-term ambitions. Make a habit of gratitude and keep up the positive attitude as it is good for the heart and soul.
4) Sleep – We need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Avoid electronics two hours before you sleep and taking the phone to bed. It is good, If we can avoid a blaring alarm clock waking us up. So, one should always try to sleep on time.
5) Begin preventative healthcare – Turning 40 typically means taking proactive steps toward maintaining your health. Visit your doctor annually for a check-up. Get your immunizations, regular check-ups done (for example, testing your cholesterol and glucose levels), Pap smear and mammogram for women. For men, make sure you have an annual testicular exam with a doctor and monthly on your own.
6) Drink more fluids – Our body consists three-fourths of fluids. The better hydrated we are, the better our skin looks and the better we feel. If you don’t like water, try to flavour it and drink as much water as you can in a day.
7) Meditate and Yoga – Take the time out from your daily routine to meditate as it will help you to understand your current state of mind. It also helps to have peace and guidance for the best path to take in future.
8) Alcohol, cigarettes and other potential addictions, such as shopping, playing video games or gambling, can create stress. So, it is advised to reverse this type of habit to gain some benefits. Quality of life can improve if we stop avoiding alcohol, and other addictions. Reach out to your doctor or people in your community for support.
9) Get your finances in order – Check on for your retirement plan and start saving for your future. Get your finances sorted and have emergency funds in case something happens, or experiencing ill health. Getting finances on track also reduces stress in your 40s.