Avoid the Mid-life Meltdown

First step: take care of your health

By Jason Santerre

Victor Hugo, poet and author of Les Misérables, said, “40 is the old age of youth and 50 the youth of old age.” Maybe years 40 to 49 are life’s sweet spot. After all, by the time you reach 40, you’ve cultivated plenty of life experience.

With that experience comes wisdom to identify and sort out all of your priorities. Health probably tops the list for anyone reaching the summit of mid life. Now the challenge is to make it down the other side in the same shape you were in going up. Age is just a number.

The big four
Know where you stand in the numbers game. Ask your doctor for a full physical with an emphasis on the numbers for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and body weight. This helps your doctor get a real sense of where you’re at health-wise.

Thyroid time
Feel worn out? Gaining weight regardless of sensible eating? Hair and skin lost their luster? You’re not past your prime. It might be as simple as a thyroid issue. The gland is responsible for regulating energy levels and hormones.

Better be 12
B12 helps with the stuff that’s the first to fall apart after 40: skin, hair, and blood. Its absorption reduces as we age, so talk to your doctor about whether you should take a supplement or add more foods rich in B12 to your diet.

Keep the car in park
Drive less. Walk more. The heel-toe express improves heart health, reduces risk of osteoporosis, and burns more calories than you think. Hit the benchmark of 7 km/hr and you’re well on your way.

Fight body rust
Antioxidants battle free radicals. If it sounds like your body’s waging war, it is. These toxic by-products of oxygen metabolism wreak havoc on your body’s living cells. Antioxidants are just that: anti-oxidizers. Add as much green, leafy veggies and herbs to your daily diet as you can handle.

Up the calcium intake
Bone density decreases as we age. Getting 1,000 mg to 1,200 mg of calcium every day keeps bones strong. Lactose intolerant? No worries. Add kale, broccoli, sardines, and bok choy to the menu.

Muscle mass
By the time we hit 40, we’re already losing muscle mass. Strength training can help prevent muscle loss. Even 10 to 15 minutes a day can help, and you don’t have to bench like Schwarzenegger to reap the rewards.

Fibre for fuel
According to Health Canada, women over 40 should consume 25 grams of fibre a day, while men should get 38 grams. Why? Better bowel movements, lower cholesterol, and balanced blood-sugar levels. Easy.

Go Japanese
The Japanese are famous for their longevity. They abhor gluttony and respect restraint, eating just the right amount of calories to power the body through another day. So make every calorie count, and make every calorie delicious. Think fresh fish, rice noodles, seasonal vegetables, quality rice, and just a palm-full of protein.

Laugh every day
Why so serious? Stress is a killer. Remember that there’s a lighter side to every dark cloud. Love to laugh. Laugh to live.


Spring 2018, Vol 10 N°2

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