Boost Your Odds of a Healthier Life

40 

Set yourself up for success: Partner up. If it’s been awhile since your last visit, schedule a checkup. This is a good time to start building a relationship with your physician and to check on key health indicators, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Your physician will discuss your target levels and a plan of action for levels that don’t meet your goals.

Exercise Rx: Take charge of your fate. Aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderately intense aerobic activity, such as brisk walking. Strength train at least two days per week. Why? Most adults lose 0.5 pounds of muscle per year after age 30, largely due to inactivity. It’s also common to gain an average of 1 to 2 pounds of fat with each passing year.

These small changes can add up, increasing your risk for type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart attack and some cancers. While aerobic exercise is the most effective way to lose weight and burn fat, strength training helps preserve the muscle you have and can boost your metabolic rate by as much as 15 percent.

Reminder: The American Cancer Society recommends women ages 40 and better have an annual mammogram. If you have a family history of breast cancer, your physician may advise starting before age 40. Call (423) 495-4040 to schedule your screening mammogram.

50

Set yourself up for success: Safeguard your skeleton. Ladies, your risk for the bone disease osteoporosis increases after menopause. Once your period stops, you can lose up to 20 percent of your bone density over the next decade or so, unless you take steps to stay strong. Strive to consume 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day from food and/or supplements; men need 1,000 milligrams. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Aim for 600 IUs per day.

Exercise Rx: Stay on the strength train. Keep up with your goal of strength training at least twice weekly and doing at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity. Strength training helps protect you against diabetes, depression, heart disease and loss of balance. A recent study also found that postmenopausal women who participated in weight-bearing exercise, such as lifting weights, using resistance machines, walking or jogging, reduced their lifetime risk for osteoporosis by up to 11 percent.

Reminder: Screening options, like colonoscopy, can detect colorectal cancer in its early stages and find abnormal growths (polyps) years before cancer develops. You may need testing before age 50 if you have a personal or family history of polyps or colorectal cancer or other risk factors. Talk with your physician about scheduling a screening. 

60

Set yourself up for success: Keep striving. As you age and maybe even leave the workforce, ask yourself: What do I want to accomplish now? Whether it’s volunteering, starting a new business, taking a class or traveling, continually setting new goals can help you live better longer. In fact, a recent study found that people who had a purpose in life were much likelier to maintain their independence over time, rather than succumb to disability.

Exercise Rx: Find balance. Staying active strengthens bones and muscles, which helps reduce your risk of falling and lowers your chance of injury if you do fall. Visit nihseniorhealth.gov and search for “balance exercises.” Talk with your physician about adding some of these moves to your routine. He or she can also identify health conditions or drug interactions that increase your risk of falling. Stick with your goal of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.

Reminder: Ask your physician about having a vaccination to prevent shingles, a painful rash that can appear on the face or body years after a person has had chicken pox. If you’re 65 or older, have a pneumonia shot.

Mission Health Care Network | 2525 de Sales Avenue | Chattanooga, TN 37404 | MissionHealth@memorial.org
You are logged in as . Logout Change Password
Current Password: New Password: Re-Enter New Password: