There is no denying it. Reaching age forty is a watershed moment in the lives of women and men around the world.
Why the fear, panic and loathing? Part of it is societal, part of it is psychological and part of it has to do with concerns about health and…gulp…our mortality. When men and women reach age 40, it triggers an existential crisis that feeds the cliché of men buying sports cars and women shopping for facelifts. We either buy into the psychosis or rise above it.
“Forty is a good time to take a deep breath and do a little introspection,” says Dr. Nacha Harinrak, a wellness specialist at the Vitallife Wellness Center in Bangkok. “People make light of it, but forty is time for us to take stock of our lives and prioritize what’s important, and one of those core concerns should be your health.”
But what specific issues do you need to consider to ensure proper mid-life maintenance? Let’s run you through the checklist of things that you should be doing to stay on top of aging rather than have aging be on top of you.
Family History: Know Your Risks
Forty is a good time to start digging into that genetic family tree to get a more complete picture of your predisposition to diseases, especially cancer. In a recently published report by researchers at Stony Brook Cancer Center in New York, researchers concluded that “only 10% to 30% of cancers are the result of a natural mutation. The rest — up to 90% — are caused by external factors such as smoking, environmental toxins, or dietary choices.” In a word, most common cancers are preventable provided we take early action, and genetic testing can help us see into the future in ways we never could before.
Know Your Numbers
Most of us can easily recite our phone number, computer passwords, bank accounts, birthdates and other important information. Ironically, we are much less aware of the numbers that REALLY matter when it comes to our overall health and wellness, like blood pressure, total cholesterol, blood sugar, weight and body mass index. These numbers have a massive impact on the state of our health and staying mindful of these numbers is a positive reinforcement to good lifestyle habits.
Tune Up Your Lifestyle
It’s easy to let go of the wheel and coast into mid-life, but don’t. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the single most effective (and cost effective) thing we can do to avoid episodic illnesses and longer term chronic disease.
In middle age, blood vessels stiffen and blood pressure often creeps up too. The viscosity of blood itself changes, becoming thicker and stickier and harder to pump through the body. Right around this time, we begin to put on weight and our bad cholesterol (LDL) rises and our good cholesterol (HDL) declines. Blood sugar levels also start to rise and diabetes starts to come into play, as does loss of lean muscle mass and bone density.
So you see, aging can be a very slippery slope if we let go of good habits, and while we cannot stop the natural progression of age related disease, we can certainly slow it down. As Dr. William Buchan, the 18th-century Scottish physician who wrote, “Of all the causes which conspire to render the life of a man short and miserable, none have greater influence than the want of proper exercise.”
Get Regular Check Ups
With aging comes the realization that ‘we aren’t young anymore’ and need to be more proactive with disease prevention. Forty represents a period of high productivity in our lives with career, family and savings, and getting derailed by illness can be a significant setback not only to our lives but livelihoods
One of the easiest ways stay stay on top is to get a health and wellness check up annually. These annual pilgrimages to the doctors should not be trivialized because they are a good time to re-connect with our health, our bodies and our lifestyles. For many, the annual check up is a ‘teaching moment’ that helps us reset our priorities and lifestyle.
Dr. Nacha sums it up perfectly when she says, “At 40, we tend to want to change our body when we really need to change our mindset. Aging is part of life. Embrace it.”
The Vitallife Wellness Center at Bumrungrad International Hospital offers a complete range of services for people in their forties from wellness audits to genetic testing to personalized lifestyle prescriptions to promote good health and vitality.
The VitalLife Scientific Wellness Center located on the campus of Bumrungrad International Hospital is a global leader in the provision of scientifically-based integrated medicine. Its programs are managed and run by US Board Certified doctors specializing in the center’s Future Health concept, covering predictive, preventive, regenerative, and revitalizing health care.
It is the first medical wellness center in Asia to be accredited by the World Council on Clinical Accreditation (awarded in November 2007). It is also the first compounding pharmacy in Southeast Asia.
Vitallife is the first wellness center in the world to be accredited to DNV.GL’s International Accreditation Standard for Outpatient Specialist Centers. DNV.GL is a globally respected quality accreditation organization renowned for integrity in certification, standards development and risk management in many sectors including healthcare. DNV.GL International Healthcare Accreditation is based on standards approved by the U.S. Government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
Vitallife is a 100% owned subsidiary of the publicly traded Bumrungrad International Hospital since 2001.
For more information please contact:
VitalLife Scientific Wellness Center
68 Bumrungrad International Tower Building 10th Floor,
Soi Sukhumvit 1, Klongtoey Nua, Wattana,
Tel : +66 2066 8899
Monday to Friday : 08.00 – 19.00 hrs.
Saturday to Sunday: 08.00 – 16.00 hrs.
Nearest BTS: Phloen Chit