By Jessica Sharp
OMG, I am 40…ok..ok …40ish? Time to start thinking about my health!
Now at 45, I can’t say that I have really thought about “Healthy Aging” and me, but after a weekend of running around, trying to squeeze the last bit of summer in before the kids go back to school, and well, while the weather is still not …WET…I woke this fine Monday morning …EXHAUSTED. And while working today, finding my second wind gone AWOL, I thought, WOW! I am really getting old!
According to Live Science, 40 years of age is the real milestone, when a lot of health risks increase. And even if you have passed 40 years of age it is never too late to start taking better care of yourself. What does this mean? Gosh, this can mean so many things to different people.
For me personally, if I try to tackle too much, I will get overwhelmed and just fail at it all. So I thought it would be helpful to share with you all some little steps that can set you on the right path to making sure you age both physically and mentally healthy.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR DOC!
Dr. Mathai states it is important to see your doctor at least twice a year. Discuss your overall health, have your routine physical and age-appropriate testing done. Build a relationship with your provider so that they can be your ally. They will help you reach any goals you may have and make the following changes in your life.
This can really be a tough one for all of us, as we all have different sources of stress! Maybe your job is super taxing. Maybe you overbook yourself, or have a hard time saying no. Whatever your particular brand of stress is, there are many simple and some more life-changing skills that can help! Put yourself first! This is so hard for people but really can make a huge impact on stress levels and happiness.
CREATE BETTER HABITS! GOT VICES?
Don’t we all? Make a plan to change any unhealthy habits into healthy ones. For example: are you an emotional eater? Instead of reaching for the ice cream during a rough day, go for a walk. Then make sure you reward yourself for making good choices!
LET’S EAT LIKE ADULTS!
Ronald and his friends don’t have anything on a good home-cooked meal! This may seem hard to do, but is really one of the easiest ways to help protect yourself from diseases. If you eat out regularly set a goal to cook and eat your own food 4 days a week, and only eat out once a week. Healthy meals are easy to prepare at home, and you have all the control over what ends up in your mouth. Go for well-rounded meals, with lots of fresh veggies and a healthy serving of protein.
GET ACTIVE! This is so much easier than people think. Find something you like to do that raises your heart rate for 30 minutes a day. Go for a walk, swim, dance! If you’re having fun, this won’t seem like a punishment!
DRINK MORE WATER! Pretty self-explanatory. Put down the sugary, highly-caffeinated drinks, and put some good ol’ H2O in your system. Increasing your water can help with many daily health woes such as fatigue, headaches, constipation… and the list goes on. So why wouldn’t you?
So in closing, make a pact with yourself. Start treating yourself as the important individual we at Oregon Health DPC know you are. Build a team of support around you. Let Dr. Mathai and your spouse, significant other, kids, friends all know that you have made a commitment to yourself and to them to do everything you can to be around for as long as possible. Start by taking small steps, MAKE IT FUN, and believe you are worth it!
Call Oregon Health Direct Primary Care and let us help you begin your journey to HEALTHY AGING!