Assessing Your Midlife Health
So, you’ve reached midlife, somewhere between 40 and 60 years of age. Maybe it’s time to start assessing your health. Where are you health-wise? What lifestyle habits got you to this point and how do you improve on those? Studies show that most Americans gain at least two pounds per year, most of that between the ages of 25 thru 34.
It’s likely that you didn’t change what you were eating during those years but you did change your amount of physical activity, due to long work hours and family responsibilities. Getting fit during middle age can be challenging. Over 50% of American adults are overweight or obese. Now that you’ve reached midlife, it’s time to take control of your health and get back on track.
So, how do you get control of the weight gain and resume a healthy midlife? According to a recently published clinical research study reported in the July 2007 American Journal of Medicine, if you adopt four lifestyle changes – even at age 45 or 50 – it is both doable and very beneficial.
What are those healthy lifestyles? They are basic and very easy to implement.
- Eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables a day (learn what is a healthy diet)
- Maintain weight that is neither underweight (BMI under 18.5) nor obese (BMI over 30).
- Get regular exercise – such as walking, 2.5 hours a week or 30 minutes a day.
- Don’t smoke
It may sound easy but studies have found that only less than 10% of middle aged adults practice these healthy lifestyles. If you don’t take control now, you are less likely to adopt these lifestyles later.
Wouldn’t you rather adopt these four healthy lifestyles rather than take pills to achieve health benefits? Exercise has been replaced by the computer and we are all feeling the effects. What’s even more concerning is that our children have adopted our unhealthy habits and obesity is growing among our children.
If those of us in mid life start adopting a healthy lifestyle, it will have a positive impact on our children. It’s worth a shot.
For those of us middle age and older, walking has been shown in numerous research articles to lower blood pressure, prevent or improve diabetes, reduce cardiovascular disease and even improve mental health. Go get on those walking shoes!