MOT at 40+

motat401MOT at 40+ means exactly that. Almost as soon as you hit 40 you tend to notice things going downhill. This is not because you’ve hit 40 but because since 30, you probably haven’t really taken it into consideration, and the all the clichés that hit you after that milestone celebration tend to imply that you’ve peaked and you are now on your way down a slippery slope.

STOP!

This is so wrong. NEWSFLASH!! You’ve been getting older since the day you were born.

The mind and body do many different things at many different times and these are generally determined by genes rather than numbers on a birth certificate.

As far as numbers go, 40 is as good a time as any to take stock of how you are doing, evaluate your wellbeing, and make any changes that you, yourself feel are necessary, or that have been recommended to you by friends, family, or anyone else in your circle of acquaintances…

Nobody is telling you that EVERYTHING needs to change, just maybe start taking small steps to prepare for, hopefully, the next 40 years…

Where to start…?

For your MOT at 40+ I guess it’s time to make a list of things that you have noticed about yourself.

motat402Firstly, do you know of any illnesses in your family tree which may be of concern to you in the future? Sometimes genetics can be your worst enemy. Your risks could include anything from the little “c” which is cholesterol, to the big ”C” which could be one of many cancers. If you don’t know your family medical history and are in a position to do so, make it a part of this project, to find out. Some things you will know already, some things may take a bit of investigation.

As this is a proactive project, don’t be afraid to ask someone close for their opinion. They will know and see you from a different perspective and will also relish having permission to criticise you to your face (no malice intended, of course). They may well have seen changes in you which, at first thought, may not have be apparent to them, but upon reflection could be very important especially when it comes down to when the changes may have started.

Go and see your Doctor…

motat403Book yourself in for an MOT at 40+ health check with your doctor, even if you feel as fit as a fiddle.

This will involve a blood pressure check, and taking bloods to check that everything is in order

Your sight is generally the first to wain and the first you will notice especially if you’re lucky enough to have survived WITHOUT some sort of optical correction up until this point.

motat404No time for vanity now, if you need them, GET them. You may also want to consider sunglasses for general daylight use. What you’ll be looking for is prevention against cataracts due to exposure to the sun. For this you will want glasses with UV-A and UV-B protection.

Still on the subject of eyes, a diet high in fruit and vegetables may also slow vision loss due to the fact that they are chock-full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

So now we’re on the subject of diet…

motat405Sooo important. Metabolism is set to become a distant memory if you don’t stay on top of your diet. Well, for most of us anyway. Lowering calories will only be beneficial to your health. You can no longer just eat whatever you want and not expect to put on weight.

Try to knock the processed foods and sugars on the head. Wherever possible, you want to go for fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. All high in nutrients and low in calories. I’ve said this before… and I’ll say it again, you can bet on that.

Now on to weight and exercise…

motat406motat408Although having a well-balanced diet means 70-80% of the job is done, exercise has its own importance.

We lose muscle mass as we get older, at a rate of around 1% per year.

Not much? Approximately 39% of the average body (roughly 36% for women, 42% for men) is muscle mass.

 

motat407motat409Two types of exercise need to be considered here. Cardiovascular, which will include things like walking, running, cycling, swimming etc. and weight bearing or resistance exercises such as push-ups, squats, pull-ups etc. You may also want to consider yoga and/or Pilates in your routine as well, ideally, all in a regular weekly routine.

 

The aim of an MOT at 40+ is to move towards maintaining a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs, and maintain muscle mass as well as well as joint flexibility.

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Can you suggest ways to “stay young” in mind, body and soul?

Do you have any suggestions on how to make good food both “interesting and appetising”?

Have your say.