Here Is Why Your Health Is So Important

Your Health Is The Most Important Part Of Your Life At Any Age

Your health matters most, especially after 40. The better you feel the more enjoyable your life is. Good health makes every age worth living.

Let’s face it. Entering 40 and beyond is when we start to reap the consequences of lifestyle choices, long-term environmental factors, and, to some degree, genetics. 

The cumulative effects of dietary habits over the years, exercise routines (or lack thereof), stress levels, sleep patterns, and other personal behaviors become glaringly apparent. 

For instance, poor dietary choices, characterized by high consumption of processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats, can lead to increased risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. 

Sedentary lifestyles, all those times we were overly lazy, contribute not only to weight gain but also to the weakening of muscle and bone health. 

Furthermore, chronic stress and poor sleep are linked to many issues, including hypertension, impaired immune function, and mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Compounding these concerns is the natural aging process itself, which tends to accelerate around the age of 40. 

Metabolic rates slow down, making it harder to maintain or lose weight. Hormonal changes, such as decreased testosterone levels in men and menopause approaching in women, can also play a part in health. This can affect everything from energy levels to bone density.

This Is Your Life Over 40

This Is Your Life Over 40

Think about this for a moment.

Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are significant health issues for adults over 40. 

Marriage

Further data shows that the marriage rates among those of us over 40 have seen slight changes over recent years, reflecting broader social trends with a stable yet slightly declining marriage rate. The concept of “gray divorce” is becoming more common as divorce rates increase among older adults.

“Gray Divorce” means a marriage relationship ending later in life.

New Relationships

The advent of online dating platforms has facilitated new relationships among adults over 40, with a significant portion of single adults in this age group using these services. This reveals a broader acceptance and integration of digital platforms in our lives as we age.

Happiness

Studies suggest that happiness levels can fluctuate with age, peaking during early adulthood, dipping in middle age, and rising again as we reach our 60s.

In other words, many people after 40 seem to be unhappy.

Income

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that income peaks for individuals in their late 40s to early 60s, with median earnings for workers aged 45-54 at about $50,000 annually. 

Outlook on the Future

Optimism about the future tends to vary based on several factors including economic security and health status. Those with stable finances and good health generally have a more positive outlook.

Arguably, this is the life of the AVERAGE person after 40. 

Now, let’s check out a few more facts. Stay with me here, there is a point.

Consider What It Takes To Make A Change 

There Are Aspects To Making A Good Change

Naturally, if you don’t like what you’re watching, you would stop, so long as it’s in your control, and find something else to enjoy. Just like a television, projector, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, or whatever, you change the inputs and tune into another piece of entertainment.

The prognosis for over 40 isn’t exactly glowing with better days. If anything, it’s more like trying to hold onto ones that are slipping away. 

Keeping that “cheery” future in mind, is there a way to stop or at least slow it down?

Yes, there very much is. 

However, it’s not quite as easy as just exiting a bad movie or episodic show, and then picking one you do like. Let’s look at what is mostly involved with making meaningful change.

1. The Health Belief Model is from a study that demonstrated people of all ages make significant changes based on beliefs. Here is the study for reference.

The general understanding for us over 40 is that it’s a downhill ride from here. 

In a previously posted article, I go into detail concerning the 3 main diseases and illnesses that affect our age group. It’s heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Those are serious conditions if left untreated, which frequently lead to early death.

The point is, that for many, it takes a life-threatening event to act as a catalyst for change.

2. Modeling Health Behavior Change is a study that concluded altering health behaviors involves not just starting new ones, but also maintaining them over time.  You can read that research here.

In other words, to make a lasting change in our lives, we have to be consistent with those changes, ignoring or not responding to previous attitudes, feelings, and impulses.

3. Modeling Habit Formation is another study that discovered new habit formation takes an average of 66 days to be established, thus turning into a subconscious asset and an automatic daily behavior.

However, the research further found that this duration can vary significantly—from 18 to 254 days. The variance in time is influenced by the nature of the behavior, individual differences, and contextual circumstances surrounding the behavior adoption. 

Simply, for any change to take root and become the new normal, it takes generally 60 days, give or take.

4. The Success of Success, a research paper that highlights the tendency of individuals to rely on certain heuristics or simplified rules of thumb that reduce the complexity of decision-making processes.

One of the central themes is the examination of the “success” strategy, where decision-makers prioritize options that have previously led to positive outcomes, effectively using past success as a predictive tool for future decision-making.

To effectively summarize, we tend to use our previous times of being successful as how to become successful again. 

Here is what I’m getting at.

If we want to change the current movie or episodic show that is our life, especially after 40, it takes the following to make it happen.

  1. A real, deep-felt reason to make a change
  2. A willingness to not do what we’ve been doing before
  3. A drive to be consistent for long enough to form a new habit
  4. And motivated by the fact we’ve all been successful at change before

Next, let’s go over possibilities.

This Could Be Your Life After 40

This Could Be Your Life After 40.

In a previous article, I wrote how your life after 40 can be the best time to be alive. 

It comes down to one primary reason.

Wisdom. 

You and I have lived this life long enough to have seen many events and circumstances. It’s enough to recognize patterns and rhymes of the past occurring today.  

The context may change, but the underlying behavior for those who are aware of it remains constant.

According to the Harvard Business Review and Knowledge At Wharton, entrepreneurs over 40 have a higher chance of succeeding than those younger. Why?

It’s due to more experience. 

Those younger have stamina and a less refined mind which arguably allows for new thinking, and most importantly time. 

Ironically, all 3 can be easily wasted. According to the American Time Use Survey, most people below 40 spend their time watching TV and playing video games. 

I’m totally guilty.

When I was their age, I did the same thing. Not attacking, I’m just stating some facts. A lot of those “time waster” activities do tend to evolve on their own when we all get older.  

While being over 40 doesn’t guarantee success, the accumulation of wisdom from decades of experience can speak volumes.

Mind you, I’m not suggesting you have to be an entrepreneur. That’s not the message. 

What I am suggesting is that if entrepreneurship, a demanding and challenging journey, is not only possible, but has a greater likelihood of success for those over 40, then most anything is doable. 

Write a book. Visit museums. Travel to faraway places. Hang out with your friends every week. Learn a language. Have fun doing whatever you like. Yes, even watch movies, TV and play video games, but do it as close to the way imagine it.

You can do nearly whatever you can set your mind to, and you’ll have a greater chance of success than when you were 25.

There is, however, a caveat.

How you feel determines a lot of what you do.

Here Is Why You Should Be Healthy Above All Else

Choose Health

If you don’t feel great, or good, then everything you do, or want to do, will be affected.

I’ve written about this before, and if you’re over 40 reading this, you already know. Physical changes abound.

Many (including myself), battle constant fatigue, some manage chronic conditions, or cope with new aches and pains. Simple tasks become arduous, and the activities you once loved seem a little out of reach. 

Then there is the mind.

The interconnection between the mind and body becomes more obvious. 

As the body may begin to show signs of wear and tear, this can significantly impact mental health. The result is often depression, anxiety, and decreased cognitive function.

There is no doubt that keeping the body as healthy as possible should be your priority.

 This alone can radically shift the way we live our lives after 40.

I’ve Been There, Changed That

I too went down the path of getting healthy

That’s right. 

At one time I was quite overweight. It started in my early 30s and increased as I got older. 

My metabolism was decent, but got overwhelmed as I gorged on whatever fast food would give me the next dopamine rush. I thought it was awesome, and of course, I wasn’t alone. My friends were just as remiss as I was.

Bad habits love company.

Life for a while was to work 8 hours, come home, change, go back out, and meet at the local bar. Have 3 to 4 drinks, get back home (we rotated the sober driver), have a few more drinks, and then order takeout and fast food. 

Not to mention I picked up a smoking habit for around 14 months.

A few years of this turned into 30 pounds of fat, ankle and knee problems, high sodium, high blood pressure, constant exhaustion, and terrible sleep. It got so bad I had to have the TV on all night just to get any rest, the noise blotted out a lot of pain, on several levels.

To say the least, I didn’t feel great.

Like with anything, the “good times”, especially of this quality, run out and a cost comes due.

I also came face to face with a myriad of personal challenges that could no longer be ignored, mostly financial. A long-term romantic relationship (if you could believe it), ended as well. A large majority of friends also stopped returning my calls.

It was time to do something before my life got worse.

Fortunately, I did.

I altered the food I ate (slowly at first), began a fitness routine (also slowly in the beginning), and made adjustments to my home (it turned orderly and helpful, instead of chaotic and dirty). 

Within the first month, I noticed improvements and felt good for the first time.

6 months later, I felt better than I have in years.

About 1 year after, I was a new person. 

The healthier I became, the more I was doing and the happier I was. 

My sleep turned deep and restful, without the TV or any electronics in the bedroom. My confidence soared and has helped to produce financial increases. It also influenced my relationships to where I’m engaged to a wonderful and brilliant woman. My social life is also balanced and just as I would like it to be.

I also have more energy to try and learn new things.

To this day, my fiancée and I remain focused on living a healthy-centric lifestyle, minus the occasional splurge here and there. We do this because the results have been so outstanding.

Start With Finding A Reason

Discover your reason for change.

Are you willing to make your life better?

If it’s no, that’s ok, believe it or not. 

Just don’t complain about it. That’s the price you pay for not changing.

Change is tough. In fact, it sucks.

When I did what I felt had to be done to turn my life around, it was incredibly uncomfortable. It hurt. I drowned in a sea of emotions, so much so I thought I wasn’t going to make it. But, I did.

It was because I had found a reason to change. 

I reached a personal rock bottom, and I hated it. My health wasn’t good, but I didn’t have any life-threatening conditions. I was fortunate, however, that’s not to say diseases wouldn’t develop later. I was warned they could.

Where I was and how bad I felt was enough for me to want it to stop.

What’s your reason? 

I focused on the health-related ones in this article because that can have frightening consequences. It’s enough to persuade many into doing something about it. 

A lot of people are used to minor pain.

For some, it’s so common that it’s become a twisted friend. Stomach issues, frequent colds, restless nights, acid reflux, etc. This was my normal, and I bet it is for many others.

It doesn’t have to be. 

You’d be shocked at what it’s like to not have those conditions, let alone the serious ones like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. 

Positive change doesn’t have to feel far away.

You may want to take a look at your life and ask yourself why you are doing whatever it is you are.

Why do you watch the shows you do? Why do you work that job? Why are you in the relationship, be it friendship or intimate? Why are you putting up with bad health or illness?

If you figure out those questions, you’ll be well on your way to finding a reason to change your life.

Once you have, check out this related article, How To Be Healthy After 40

I think you’ll like it.

Until then, cheers.

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