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1. Commit to Exercise.
Plenty of functional movement is proven to improve mental health, prevent diseases like heart disease, and improve memory as we age. It can also counter bone loss and a slowing metabolism. Be sure to get up and moving, take breaks from sitting to stretch, and aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Strength training two to three times a week can also boost your bone health.
2. Check in with your Mental Health.
Depression is one of the most common health problems for women in their 40s, leading to sadness, anxiety, and irritability. Men can also experience depression, with changes in their sleep patterns, fatigue, and a decreased interest in sex. Watch out for symptoms like trouble sleeping and concentrating. If you’re feeling a little off, talk with your physician.
3. Men: Talk to your Doctor About a Prostate Screening.
At age 40, men with more than one first-degree relative who has had prostate cancer should talk to their doctors about the benefits and limitations of prostate screenings. At 45, Black men who have a first-degree relative who was diagnosed with prostate cancer under the age of 65 should be screened. At age 50, men who are at an average risk of prostate cancer should get a screening.
4. Women: Schedule your Biannual Mammogram.
Your risk of breast cancer increases significantly in your 40s. A low-dose X-ray of your breasts—AKA a mammogram—looks for changes or abnormalities in your breast tissue. The American Cancer Society lowered its recommended screening age from 45 to 40, but a family history of breast cancer and other risk factors might mean scheduling an exam sooner.
5. Women: Watch for Symptoms of Menopause.
Signs and symptoms vary for women who are experiencing perimenopause—the window when your body prepares to stop having menstrual cycles. Menopause is marked by no menstruation for 12 months, usually in your 40s or 50s. During this transition, you may experience mood swings, changes in sexual function, and heavy periods. Your doctor can help.
Hot Topic to Discuss
+ Eye see you! Once you turn 40, it’s important to schedule regular eye exams to detect common age-related diseases, including dry eyes, glaucoma, presbyopia, macular degeneration, cataracts, and temporal arteritis. This is especially important if you have diabetes!
+ In your 40s, dentists begin to notice receding gumlines, which can cause sensitivity and an increased risk for decay. Be sure to regularly brush, floss, and use mouthwash—and don’t skimp on dental visits.
- Cervical cancer check every three years, with testing for HPV every five years
- Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes screening every three years
- Colorectal cancer screening starting at age 45, then every 10 years
- Mammogram Every year starting at age 40
- Blood pressure screening every year
- Cholesterol test every five years
- Full-body skin cancer screening every year
- Eye exam every two to four years
- Influenza (IIV4, RIV4, or LAIV4) every year
- Tdap every 10 years
- Chicken pox (varicella) two doses, if born in 1980 or later and not previously administered
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) once, if not previously administered
- COVID-19 (Pfizer, Moderna) one booster shot at least two months after your last dose or booster
Are you always tired? You might be vitamin deficient. Be sure to get plenty of vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, iodine, iron, vitamin B-12, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber in your diet. Vitamin D deficiency is so widespread that many medical professionals consider it an epidemic.
Read more from our Annual Health Guide in the November issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine or here.
November 22, 2022