As you know, serious changes occur with age in the body, and in order to detect the problem in time and prevent its development, it is necessary to carefully monitor your health.
Undoubtedly, by the age of 40, the body begins to work against us — we are entering middle age, increasingly feeling the changes taking place with the body. The risk of developing serious diseases increases, for example, cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, body composition changes (after 30 years we lose about 3-5% of muscles every ten years), excess weight appears, metabolic processes slow down. However, many of these negative effects of aging can be prevented by changing your lifestyle and regularly checking your health.
A leading British diabetes specialist, Dr. Roy Taylor, recently said that if you can’t fit into the trousers you wore in your 20s, it may be a sign that fat is predominant in your body composition and you are at risk of type 2 diabetes. Waist size is an important indicator of health, because fat accumulating in the middle part of the body can be especially dangerous because it is located around organs such as the liver and pancreas. This increases the risk of developing insulin resistance, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
“Ideally, the waist size should be no more than half your height. Just take a piece of rope, the length of which is equal to your height, fold it in half and see if it fits you at the waist. If this is not the case, do not panic, but it’s worth working on,” says another British specialist, Dr. Michael Mosley.
Time to climb the stairs
If you want to quickly check how your heart is working, climb four flights of stairs (60 steps) and mark the time. “If it takes you more than a minute and a half to climb four flights of stairs, you should pay attention to your health and consult a doctor,” says Dr. Jesus Peteiro, a cardiologist at the University Hospital of La Coruna.
Checking the mammary glands
Women (especially those who are 40 years old and older) should regularly check their breasts. Dr. Zoe Williams, a general practitioner and TV presenter, recommends doing this once a month and says that we should pay attention not only to seals. “There are many different signs, for example, irritation or dimples on the skin of the breast, peeling of the skin in the nipple area,” she says. “If you notice any unusual changes, it is important to contact your doctor as soon as possible.”
Measurement of blood pressure and cholesterol levels
According to statistics from the National Health Service of England, almost 40% of adults have high or borderline cholesterol levels, which only increases with age. If you are 40 years old or older and you have not taken the test before, it is strongly recommended that you take the test, especially if one of your relatives had cholesterol or heart problems. It is important to understand that high cholesterol has no symptoms, so the only way to determine it is a blood test.
Blood pressure also increases with age due to a decrease in elastic tissue in the arteries, and this process may be asymptomatic. “90% of patients have no symptoms,” says Dr. Nighat Arif, a general practitioner from Buckinghamshire. “But high blood pressure can have serious consequences, such as a heart attack or stroke, kidney damage, or even vision loss.”
Balancing on one leg
The ability to balance on one leg is an indicator of longevity and health. According to a Medical Research Council study involving 5,000 people, those who could balance on one leg for more than 10 seconds with their eyes closed and then get up and sit on a chair 37 times in 60 seconds (or 35 times for women) tended to have a longer life expectancy.
“Practicing standing on one leg once a day is an easy way to improve posture and balance. When I brush my teeth, I set a timer and stand on one leg, jumping from one to the other. Every day, try to increase the number of seconds, and then bring the time to a minute, ” says Dr. Mosley.
A study published in the journal Heart and Circulatory Physiology has shown that being able to touch your toes can mean that your arteries are in good shape. Researchers have found a correlation between poor flexibility and atherosclerosis in people aged 40 and older.
“Ideally, we should be able to touch our toes at the age of 40, as this demonstrates the flexibility of the lower back, glutes, ankles and hamstrings. Flexibility is essential for proper blood circulation and muscle elasticity,” says osteopath Nadia Alibhai.
“I always recommend having a regular (once a year) check of moles in a specialized clinic after you turn 40,” says Dr. David Jack, an aesthetic doctor and skin care expert. “Doctors in such institutions do this every day, so if there is something unusual that may not be recognized by the therapist, it can be quickly diagnosed and immediately begin treatment.”