US Family Health Plan – a TRICARE Prime health program – provides premier health coverage for military retirees and their families, as well as for the families of deployed active duty military service members. Since many of our retired members are in their 40’s, we want to talk to you about how to stay your healthiest during this important period of life.
When it comes to health, turning 40 is one of the biggest milestones you can ever experience in life. At this stage, US Family Health Plan can be an excellent “partner in health” because we offer you the ability to address important health issues with access to comprehensive and affordable health benefits.
40 is a time in life when the risk of many health conditions is on the increase. It is important to have a team behind you who can help you navigate your best pathway to good health. Whether you are changing careers, have aging parents, growing children or all of the above, it is easy to put your health on the back burner of life. But US Family Health Plan connects you to the right team of medical professionals who can provide you with a plan that will work for you in the long run, even while addressing the medical steps you need to be taking today.
Here are 5 important things you need to know in your 40’s about how to maximize your life-long health.
- Get your vision checked. You may not like to hear this, but after 40, your vision may start to deteriorate. It is important to have your vision checked at this stage of life, not only for reading purposes, but to catch any early stages of eye disease that may be starting to develop. Wearing sunglasses in the bright sun is a great way to prevent eye damage, including the formation of cataracts. US Family Health Plan offers great eye coverage, so this is the right time to take advantage of this benefit. Adding more fruits and vegetables that are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to your diet, can also help slow vision loss. 40 is a time to take care of your eyes. If you don’t, your eyes will let you know.
- Know your numbers. In your 40’s it is important to check your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar and body weight to take preventative steps against any conditions that could have a negative effect on your health later on. Many diseases, if caught early, can be managed or even prevented before more serious damage occurs. Simple blood and blood pressure tests will help you and your doctor uncover any hidden disease risk factors that may not be apparent. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Explore your family history. Your 40’s is a great time to check out your family tree while your parents are able to give you important health facts about themselves and your grandparents as well. By the time you reach your 60’s, it may be too late to gather up all of this critical information. We have learned that genetics plays a major role in determining risk factors for many health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension. Get your family medical history and share any important facts with your physician. Together you can map out the right tests and medical pathways to ensure you take the best preventative steps possible.
- Work those muscles. After 40, we tend to lose about 1% of muscle mass each year. This is the time to develop, along with your physician, a workout regimen to help stave off this loss. Muscles are connected to other organs and bones that will be affected their loss of mass, so maintaining strong muscles is an important health factor. Lifting weights can be a particularly effective way to exercise take good care of your muscles with minimal time and expense. You don’t even need to go to the gym. Male or female, strong muscles help improve flexibility, core strength, stamina, healthy weight and range of motion. Exercising your muscles can make a world of difference in the quality of your life and how you look, as you start to get older.
- Incorporate fiber and the right foods into your diet. Unfortunately, after 40, we are most apt to start gaining unwanted body weight, not to mention lose our shape. As your metabolism starts to slow down, eating fewer calories can boost health. Lots of fiber and fluids should be a major part of your diet. Increasing your consumption of lean protein, fruits, vegetable and whole grains, and reducing sweets and fatty foods are a good idea. Poor eating habits have a much worse effect after 40. Eating healthy is important at every stage of life, but after 40, the days of gorging without weight gain are generally over. Adapt accordingly.
40 is also a time to take inventory of any bad habits you have that might be taking a toll on health like smoking, excessive drinking, or over-eating. Address them through the appropriate steps before you get any older.
Adopting great health habits, getting the right check-ups and making small changes or corrections in your 40’s can have a huge impact on your health for the balance of your life. This is a critical time in your health history, and US Family Health Plan can be a terrific resource to help you take all the important health steps necessary. Small changes can yield big results – if done at the right time. Your 40’s are an important time in your health history.