Maybe your colleagues made “over the hill” jokes at your 40th birthday party, and while you plastered on a smile, pretending to enjoy the laughs at your expense, you started to wonder if you’d already reached the pinnacle of your success. Truth be told, real aging starts at age 35, but the changes do not manifest themselves until after age 40. Your 40s usher in a period when the risk for a multitude of health conditions increases.
Fear not, friend; this is not the end.
You are at a crossroads, facing a critical decision: will you hold on and merely survive or will you thrive as a business executive, embracing your good health over 40? Simple changes will alter the way you function in your job, boosting your performance and sharpening your mental skills.
The choice is yours. Will you take charge of your health after 40?
1. Changes Ahead
Hormonal fluctuations coupled with genetics set your body up for some gradual but significant changes in your forties. These shifts can affect your performance as an executive. You might notice that you do not have the unlimited energy of your youth. Afternoons used to mean entering meetings in your power suit; now all you want after lunch is a power nap.
2. The Metabolic Crawl
Not to be confused with a hip dance move, the metabolic crawl is when your metabolism slows down. It does so by roughly two percent each decade, which means that health over 40 can seem like an uphill battle.
If you don’t address your slowing metabolism, it might eventually betray you, crawling along, burning the bare minimum to get you through your day.
Your metabolism affects your energy levels, which in turn correlate to your job performance. And you guessed it: a sedentary desk job makes it even harder to fight this slump.
Here are some metabolic booster tips:
– Commit to not sit for more than 30 minutes at a time.
– Set a timer on your phone if needed to remind you to stroll around the office and get the blood flowing.
– Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
– Park farther away from your office.
3. Lean Strength
Lean muscle mass decreases by about a pound each year. Muscle burns more calories than fat and is necessary for supporting your joints and posture, which is critical to support good health over 40.
Inactive muscles are prone to injury from everyday activities, such as lifting, bending and twisting.
Try to integrate strength training into your weekly schedule especially if you sit at your desk for extended periods of time.
4. The Density Drop
Overall bone density drops by one percent each year, which could mean trouble for the future of your career. Osteoporosis may result in severe injuries that could prevent you from working and this can compromise your health. Your executive status might equal success in your career, but a sedentary lifestyle will result in the demise of your health.
Tight hips and lower back problems can cause pain that could decrease your productivity and can have you at the chiropractor more times than you’ll be at your desk.
5. Drive Dive
Libido diminishes during times of stress. And trouble at home will eventually manifest itself at the office. Take time for your most intimate relationships in order to safeguard your sexual and emotional health over 40.
6. A Mess of Stress
You might not be able to perceive elevated levels of stress, but as a busy executive, you are always on. Decisions and deadlines don’t bend at your convenience. High-stress levels lead to excess cortisol production. It produces belly fat and can increase the risk of depression.
7. Medical Musts
The following exams should be on your calendar and given as much priority as the most important business meeting of the year.
– Eye exam every two to four years
– Blood pressure levels every two years
– Thyroid levels every five years
– Skin examination every year
– Blood glucose every three years after the age of 45
– Pap smear and pelvic exam every one to three years
– Mammogram every one to two years after the age of 45
– Prostate exam
– Testosterone levels
This list includes only the basic, bare minimum panel of tests.
Individual testing needs may vary depending on your unique family history. Some tests are gender specific. Consult your doctor during your yearly physical, and follow his or her recommendations. An hour with your doctor could amount to years of added productivity and enjoyment in your life.
A change in priorities could be all it takes to get you back on your game and feeling better than ever. Take a moment to stop the pace of your frantic executive life, and focus on your health over 40. Start your journey now; you don’t have a moment to lose.
Take time to assess, prepare and move forward into your best possible self with excellent health over 40.
Leave a comment describing the steps you’ve taken to reclaim your health over 40.