Going well, and you have to try to maintain that spirit as long as possible. However, from the age of 40, a transition begins that makes us have to take more care of our habits and adapt our lifestyle to our physical state. These changes are common in men and women, although some of them and, therefore, the necessary care, are specific to each gender.
Changes and care of women after 40
Hormonal changes and, generally around 50, the arrival of menopause: hot flashes, psychological changes, insomnia, vaginal problems, …
Pap smears, that is, cervical cancer screening tests should continue after the age of 40 if everything has been normal in recent years, every 3 years, although we should not stop doing an annual check-up. In addition, most scientific societies recommend mammograms to detect breast cancer from the age of 50, with a minimum frequency of 2 years.
Skin and aesthetic appearance: The gradual decrease in collagen, which is what keeps the skin firm and smooth, is part of the skin aging process. As a consequence, wrinkles appear over the years and the skin loses tone.
From 40 onwards: changes and care in men
Although the annual visit to the urologist is recommended from the age of 50, from the age of 40 it is not a bad idea to have a check-up to see that everything is in good condition and to rule out future problems. In addition, the first symptoms of alterations such as erectile dysfunction may appear.
Hair loss. It is a process that usually begins in adolescence due to the increase in the number and activity of androgens (male sex hormones). It may not be serious as long as it is not associated with an underlying disease.
We are going to make a summary of some actions that we can all carry out from the age of 40 to be in top shape:
As the years go by, it gets harder and harder to be at your ideal weight, so it’s time to be more vigilant about what you eat and what you drink, both in quantity and quality.
With an intensity appropriate to your condition, physical activity is essential for weight control and to prevent the onset of cardiovascular problems. Did you know that regular exercise helps prevent diabetes and control cholesterol? If you don’t know how to start, you can visit your doctor to help you know your physical limits and, if necessary, rule out hidden cardiovascular problems. Above all, watch out for injuries and always stretch before and after exercise.
Do not forget to visit an ophthalmologist to evaluate your visual acuity and detect the beginning of presbyopia. Other problems can also appear, such as the dry eye.
Over the years, blood vessels lose elasticity and blood pressure tends to rise. The consequences of high blood pressure can be aggravated by other factors that increase the chance of having a heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. Hypertension is especially dangerous because it does not usually give symptoms that warn of its presence. However, do not get obsessed: the Program of Preventive Activities and Health Promotion (PAPPS) of the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine recommends, from the age of 40, taking your blood pressure every 2 years.
Glucose and cholesterol controls.
From this age, you should also have tests done from time to time to detect changes in glucose and cholesterol levels. But again, no need to obsess: In people without risk factors, the PAPPS recommends checking cholesterol every 5 years.
It is a factor that has a very negative impact on health and, after 40, we must seriously consider eliminating tobacco permanently. We assure you that your quality of life will improve immediately. The Spanish Association Against Cancer, with which we collaborate, has specific programs to quit smoking.
We hope that this brief review will help you enjoy the passing of the years and allow you to always be in good shape, both physically and emotionally. Enjoy, at any age!