Everybody should ask how to health check themselves, but also what to look for at every age.
If you play sport regularly then you will have a good fitness regime going, but to stay healthy do you know what to check for?
As we all get older, and we all live for longer, we need to find out what the best way to perform a health check, and what to do in order to remain on course for a long and healthy life.
Women are proven to to be better at responding to preventative medicine, so please forgive the focus to be on the ignorant male – but needs must!
A book by Dr David Agus MD, called A Short Guide To A Long Life details excellent guide rules for every male to check certain aspects of their health which is relevant to their age – from the 20’s to their 80’s.
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I wanted to include all of these age checks as they will be relevant to everybody reading this article, as you will either be the relevant ages mentioned, or know someone that is….and help or advice to other people, family and friends may be crucial.
OK…so let’s start the journey….
In Your 20’s – Set The Stage!
This is the earliest age group, and this is whee the backbone of setting your healthy future really starts.
Formulate a plan!
Not just a plan to go to the gym, play sport regularly in the next year or to have crash diets to try and look better for the girls!
NO….A one, five, ten and twenty year planned strategy is needed. Not only to keep focus, but to lay good, solid, healthy foundations for a longer life…..sounds good right!
Here is what you should, without fail, check in this age group:
- Blood pressure to be checked once a year
- Cholesterol levels to be tested every five years
- Dentists to be visited once a year
- Eyes tested every two years
- STI – Yes….certain viruses are transmitted through sexual activity, but can have lifelong effects. Everyone knows their sexual history, so you know when you are at risk…So do not be ashamed, and get STI possibilities checked out
- Flu vaccine every year
- Skin checks with your doctor every year – The sun also has a lasting and devastating effect!
- Testicle checks every month – Any lumps and bumps found, get them checked out with your doctor!
- Daily exercise – form a personal daily activity target, as exercise is proven to to be a major key to a long life free of diseases
- Avoid risky behaviours – Everyone is different, so ask yourself what you can do without harming or injuring yourself
- Hearing – Not a popular one this! Wear ear plugs when you can in loud surroundings. Late in life you may look back and think about it when your hearing is at 30% capacity!
- Avoid junk food…which is not easy…or cheap! This food can harm the colon, which allows bacteria to get in, and cause bowel diseases. Eat fresh food – simple, eh!?
- Sunburn – avoid…period! Melonoma affects a large proportion of people who were exposed to the sun from early ages.
- Do Not Smoke – needs no elaboration.
Above should be your initial tick boxes to get the foundations laid. So, let’s move on…..
In Your 30’s – Don’t Take Shortcuts!
By now you will have been at work for a good period of time, and has the stress levels increase as extra responsibilities taken on in a short space of time.
Temptation is always on hand to takpills and certain shakes…Don’t! As in your 20’s stick to fresh food and find a way to put exercise back into your life if work and other things are getting in the way.
The 30’s group is very similar to the 20’s, with the addition of the following:
- Live with someone – This gives you a sense of pride and you will pay more attention to your health an hygiene levelslevels, so not to disappoint your partner. You may also be less likely to participate in risky behaviours.
- Have children – We see every day that when people have children, this keeps you active and mentally challenged. With children there is never a dull moment…!!
- Teeth and feet – Yes, you read right!! These two areas can give us the biggest hit on quality of life. Poor teeth shows lack of hygiene, and some self respect. Feet can be painful if you have been wearing incorrectly fitting shoes, football or rugby bootsboots. This can cause deformity and pain in the long term.
As you will be a third of the way through your life, if you play it well with good diet and exercise, these extra tips will help.
So, lets look at the next stage….
In Your 40’s – Be In Charge!
When you reach the 40’s, things really start to happen. Your body will start to change and your blood vessels will get harder, which will affect your blood pressure much more than in younger years.
You may be more likely to get heart disease, and the risk of cancer will rise.
So, you need be the boss and follow your weight and health more closely.
Again, like your 20’s, the core tests remain the same, but with some adjustments.
- Blood pressure – check out note regularly and start recording findings
- Cholesterol tests now 3 to 5 years
- Skin changes – Visit doctors if ANY changes recognised
- Blood sugar – Check once a year for diabetes. Your haemoglobin Alc test must be done before you are 45. This will test your average blood sugar level over three months.
- Aspirin and Statin? – Check with your doctor about if you need to take either.
- Grow your own food? – New one here…… Fresh, home grown food is packed with so much more nutrition which will keep you more healthy.
- Posture – Standing up straight can have a profound impact later in life, and keeping your back in good shape will save a whole lot of pain and hassle.
So, things are getting more serious aren’t they!……Let’s see what the 50’s bring…….!
In Your 50’s – Pay More Attention!
You need to be much more conscientious about being screened for disease. The risk of heart disease goes up dramatically, and what you eat and how you exercise become key in determining a healthy life.
As with the 40’s, but the additional things to check are:
- Get a faecel blood test – Screening for bowel cancer is highly recommended… Every year.
- Colonoscopy – Considering this is not top of the fun list! However, colon cancer is the 3rd biggest killer, and finding it early can significantly prevent progression…..Like Nike says…Just Do It!!
- Prostate – Check once a year through doctor examination.
- Diet – A Mediterranean diet can improve control of weight, and in turn have a positive effect.
More things are being added to the lists, but all with good reason….take note!
Let’s move on to the next chapter…..
In Your 60’s – Get More Aggressive!
By getting aggressive I mean with your blood values, and not frequent skirmishes down the local!
Screening for cholesterol, diabetes, colon and prostate cancer are key at this stage of your life.
As with the 50’s listing, but with the inclusion of the following:
- Rectal exam – including colonoscopy every 10 years, faecel blood test every 3 years, sigmoidoscopy (large intestine) examination every 5 years.
- Shingles/herpes vaccine – Once at age of 60, and pneunomoccal vaccine at 65
- Hearing check – Oops…remember those ear plugs!
Getting more serious as time progresses…but all crucial.
Getting older, but let’s get wiser….what does the 70’s hold…?
In Your 70’s – Challenge yourself… Get out of the comfort zone!
When you reach your 70’s you need to challenge your brain.
An unknown fact is that every year you delay your retirement, you reduce the chances of getting dementia by 3.2%.
Even if you are retired there is the temptation to sit around and do nothing.
It is proven that those who engage in doing puzzles, crosswords, driving different routes, or anything out of your comfort zone keeps your brain stimulated, and will dramatically reduce brain decline in later life.
Taking all of the points in previous years groups…now add the following as well:
- Sleeping in a separate room – Not good for the marriage…but will help your sleep! If you or your partner snores, moves around in their sleep, gets up regularly, etc…then this reduces the quality sleep needed at this age. Some say they need this now…!
- Wear watch on different wrist – Sounds quirky eh! There has been data proving that even wearing the watch on the opposite wrist stimulates different areas of the brain. Something so simple, yet can really help brain activity.
Just by doing something out of the ordinary for you can help brain responses and activate parts of the brain which you may not have been using much….simple ideas, great advice.
In Your 80’s – Get Out More!
As in your 70’s, the rise of temptation to sit and do nothing can be overwhelming.
To stay indoors, stay inactive if you are able to do so is highly not recommended.
Get out and continue to do what you can to raise movement levels.
This can help you in the next 2 decades.
As per previous age groups, but now add the following:
- Create a 20 year health plan. Yes – expect to live to the ripe old age of 100!
- Keep up to date on ALL screenings, examinations and tests
- Get up and go walking – Mornings will be better
- Tough conversations – The one conversation you must have is to talk about life ending decisions. What medical decisions, or treatments do you want to be allowed?….What do you want for your funeral?….What do you want after your death? These are very tough questions but your loved ones need to know.
Don’t feel this is morbid, but there is a large proportion who end their life without their wants being discussed.
I hope reading this has helped, and please pass the info to people you know.
Obviously the older you get, the more care is needed to keep active, healthy and your brain stimulated.
Please share this on social media, your blog, etc…as I feel there is some great advice in here
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Thanks for reading
All the best