8 Ways To Stay Healthy After 40

a middle aged man keeping fit

You’re probably reading this because you’ve spent four decades of your life. Being 40 means you’ve outgrown your youthful appearance, have wrinkles around your eyes, and have observed your skin loosening up around your cheeks and neck. 

At this age, your body starts undergoing significant changes, metabolism naturally slows down, hormones start acting up, and your bones start making cracking sounds. Your old habits may seem like permanent fixtures by the time you turn 40, yet it’s never too late to start living a healthier life. Continue reading to discover eight effective ways to stay healthy after 40. 

1. Start Preventive Healthcare

Preventive healthcare focuses on regular medical checkups, tests, and scans to monitor health and diagnose any concealed illness risk factors. Early treatments lower the risk of developing lifelong diseases or life-threatening conditions. 

The chances of developing chronic diseases or long-term health conditions increase as we age. At the age of 40, your body encounters significant changes. To keep yourself healthy and prevent diseases like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, or kidney issues, you need to schedule regular checkups with your healthcare provider. 

It would be a good idea to consult an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) as they have specialized education and training to provide advanced general and preventive care like recommending tests and scans to eliminate the risk of diseases in patients and ensuring their internal body systems are working fine. 

An AGACNP with a CCNE-accredited online MSN program provides general education to patients, identifies patients at risk of developing lifelong diseases, and helps facilitate access to vital preventive services. 

2. Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is necessary for people of all ages, but making healthier choices becomes more important once you pass the 40-year mark. A healthy lifestyle demands eating a balanced diet, avoiding junk food, and exercising daily. Introduce healthy fats, lean proteins, fruits, and loads of veggies in your diet. 

These essential diet elements keep our blood vessels, heart, and brain healthy. Avoid using processed food as it contains hidden carbs and preservatives. Make a habit of doing physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily. Start with cardio and light walk and increase intensity gradually. 

Try not to overstress yourself during an exercise as it may put excessive pressure on your muscles and damage tendons and ligaments. 

3. Maintain a Healthy BMI

Obesity is a major cause of lifelong health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. Excessive weight gain also puts pressure on your muscles and bones and accelerates bone deterioration. 

When you maintain a healthy body-mass index, your body can circulate blood more efficiently, and you’re less likely to develop physical and mental health conditions like sleep apnea, depression, breathing problems, and lifelong diseases. You can follow certain diet plans or adopt a healthy lifestyle to lose weight naturally.

4. Drink More Fluids

No doubt drinking more water or other fluids prevent dehydration and kidney issues. As we age, we need more fluids to hydrate our skin and keep it looking young. Hydration also helps regulate blood pressure and body temperature. 

You need at least 8-10 glasses of water daily to keep yourself hydrated. If it’s difficult for you to drink this much water, you can try adding flavors to it or drinking fresh juices. Excessive tea or coffee consumption causes dehydration, so it should not be included as fluid.

5. Take Care of Your Gut Health

What we eat directly influences our physical and mental health. Gut health is important for developing 80% of your immunity. 

However, taking care of your immunity is as simple as eating food rich in probiotics and prebiotics, like yogurt, sauerkraut, asparagus, artichokes, green peas, broccoli, lentils, whole grains, bananas, apples, and raspberries. Avoid foods like artificial sweeteners, refined sugars, factory-farmed meat, saturated fats, refined grains, and fried items that harm your gut health. 

Getting adequate sleep and managing stress levels can also help improve your gut health. 

6. Set a Sleep Routine

As you enter your twenties and thirties, your demanding job schedules, family commitments, and excessive alcohol and caffeine intake interrupt your typical sleep patterns. These sleep disruptions worsen as you grow older. 

If you don’t set a sleep pattern by the age of 40, chances are you’ll develop sleep disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, and snoring or mental health conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression. To stay healthy and prevent sleep disorders, try to set a sleep routine and make sure you follow it stringently. 

Get a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Limit screen time to at least 2 hours before bedtime to help regulate sleep-wake cycles. 

7. Quit Unhealthy Habits

If you haven’t quit smoking and excessive alcohol consumption already, now is the time. Let go of unhealthy habits that have a devastating effect on your well-being. Avoid eating junk food and try to cook fresh at home as much as possible. Leverage your free time on weekends to prepare meals in advance. 

A sedentary body leads to obesity, so try to dedicate 30 to 40 minutes to any indoor or outdoor physical activity. Give yourself a timeout every 40-50 minutes when using a computer. Avoid using processed food and readymade items. Reduce your sugar intake and try to replace it with honey, stevia, or organic brown sugar. 

8. Add More Lean Proteins to Your Diet

People over the age of 30 lose nearly 2% to 3% of muscle mass each decade. While routine physical activity helps strengthen muscles, lean proteins act as a catalyst in restoring muscle mass and developing firm support around leg and arm bones. 

Lean proteins also help reduce excess weight and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases later in life. They are a rich source of vitamin B, which strengthens the body’s immune system. Lean proteins also increase metabolism and repair damaged cells.

Final Thoughts

Age is just a number, they say! But to look young and stay healthy, you need to quit unhealthy choices and adopt certain healthy practices that can prepare your body for the years ahead. 

Remember that your mental health is as important as your physical health, so set aside some time for yourself, meditate, and read your favorite books. By the age of 40, you should learn to manage stress, eliminate regrets, and enjoy your life free from crisis.

We hope the above list will help you make healthier choices and prevent yourself from lifelong diseases. 

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Written by Dr. Ganga Sapkota
Updated on December 10, 2022

A graduated medical physician with years of experience in the medical field. Working as a full-time physician in Puspanjali Hospital, Chitwan, Nepal.