When you reach 40, you’ll still be young but you’ll most likely need to check on your health to ensure that you can enjoy the rest of your life with a healthy body.
Your 40th birthday could therefore be the perfect opportunity to reassess where you are and how you want your future to be.
Time to Get Real
To make the most of your transition into your 40s, it is important to get a check-up. Let’s face it — your body changes as it ages and chances are, your lifestyle at this point in your life has done some additional damage to your health.
The fact that the body has aged and taken some abuse is the very reason why many people put off having a check-up. This is often because they fear finding out something they might not like. Don’t be that person!
Getting some objective data about your body will help you maintain a youthful vitality while minimizing the risks that come with advancing age.
Five Key Health Indicators
Testing can be as specific and detailed as you want it to be, but at the very least, you’ll need to get the data on the key areas below. These key tests should accompany basic health measures such as blood pressure. You should talk to your health professional about any testing you wish to undertake. For example, if you are a heavy smoker you might want an X-ray, or if you are a heavy drinker you might want to check your liver functioning!
A blood test is essential in establishing several physiological and biochemical health measures. The quality and composition of your blood can indicate the health of your organs and it can also reveal any diseases that may be present.
Type-II diabetes is becoming an increasingly common disease, thanks in part to diets that are high in fat and sugar. For that reason, one of the most important indicators that you’ll learn from your blood test is your fasting insulin levels. This is the reason why you will be asked to forgo eating hours before a blood test.
Your fasting insulin level indicates your body’s efficiency in regulating blood sugar. Type-II diabetes is due to both insulin deficiency and resistance, which will also show up as elevated blood sugar levels in your blood profile.
Hormone Balance Test
If possible, you might want to test your hormone levels as they are key factors to optimal body functioning. It is suggested the following be tested: DHEA, Androstenedione, Total and free testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG),Progesterone, Estrone, Estradiol, TSH, Free T3, Cortisol. You would also need to have a PSA test since men above 40 should start testing on a regular basis for prostate cancer. Keep in mind that not all health insurance will cover these types of tests or at least not all of them.
VO2 Max Test
At a basic level, a cardiac stress test at a medical facility will give you a lot of information about the efficiency of your heart. This will help you spot any abnormal blood flow to your heart.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous and feel that your body is really in a good shape, head to a fitness centre and undergo a VO2 Max test. Picture this: You jump on a stationary bike, put on a face mask that captures your breath and go for it. By pushing your heart and lungs to their limits, the VO2 Max test will show you how fit you are for your age.
Bone Density Scan
Women have to worry about osteoporosis — a gradual decline in bone mass and density. The fact is that men too have to watch their skeletal health after the age of 30. In order to accurately assess bone health, doctors use Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanners. With these low-radiation tests, you’ll get the data necessary to gauge whether your bone health is a concern and therefore, you will know if you need to address your nutrition and lifestyle.
Optional: Genetic Test for Extra Insurance
If you’re really interested in zeroing in on specifics, consider getting a genetic test. Getting to know your DNA is about as personal and revealing as a test can get.
Genetic analysis will uncover any vulnerabilities to any possible inherited illnesses such as Huntington’s disease, adult-onset cancer and Alzheimers to name just a few. Results of this test can give you valuable information in preventing such diseases. But knowing the truth about your genes can sometimes be burdensome when you get negative results. As such, genetic counselling is often provided to help people who received bad news as a result of their genetic test.
Okay, So Now what?
Armed with all these information, you should now be in the perfect place to design your life from this day forward.
Depending on your test results, you may need to seek expert guidance in order to make any necessary changes. The more problems you have, the more expert advice you’ll need.
Just remember, doing what you’ve always done will give you the results you’ve always got. Use your 40th birthday as the turning point and resolve that the next 40 years of your life will be healthy and prosperous one!