Age is not just a number. As you grow older, your chances of developing a serious adverse health condition also come up considerably.
In fact, age is the main risk factor for many illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, and cancer.
When you get to a certain stage of your life, you have to start making major lifestyle changes that will prevent you from getting sick. If you want to live a long, happy, and healthy life, here are the top three things you have to stop doing by the time you reach your 40s.
Stop Binge Drinking
Anything in excess is bad for your health. However, alcohol, in particular, can lead to problems in the future.
Long-term heavy drinking can take a toll on your liver. Alcohol is a toxin and it is your liver’s job to flush it out. Consuming too much of it may lead to scarring of your liver called cirrhosis — a condition that, if not caught early, can no longer be treated.
Drinking will also increase your risk of cancer, particularly of the breast, intestines, and liver.
If you find it difficult to stop drinking, alcohol detoxification might help you get rid of the habit or craving. Those who have mild symptoms of withdrawal can undergo detoxification at home without the need to take medications or see a medical professional. Those who experience headaches, nausea and vomiting, shaking hands, sweating, and insomnia should see a doctor.
Stop Sleeping Late at Night
When you were young, it was possible to stay up all night and then go straight to school or work without a problem. In your 40s, not only will sleep deprivation impair your ability to perform your daily tasks, but it might also wreck your health later on.
When you do not get enough sleep every night, you will become more prone to infections. Your immune system needs about eight hours of shut-eye to be able to more effectively protect your body against bacteria and viruses.
The lack of sleep has also been linked to an increased risk of becoming overweight and obese as well as developing diabetes mellitus.
Stop Eating (Most) Processed Foods
Processing food is not inherently bad. There certain foods that needed to be processed so that the consumer can eat or drink it safely. Milk, for example, should be pasteurised to kill harmful pathogens. On the other hand, oils are made by processing seeds.
In this case, the term processed food refers to food that contains high levels of salt, sugar, fat, and other ingredients that enhance flavours and extend shelf life. These types of processed food push you to consume more than the recommended amounts of salt, sugar, and fat. They also do not offer nutrients that your body needs.
In addition, there are also the so-called ultra-processed foods that you should avoid. A study linked the consumption of ultra-processed foods with increased risk of certain cancers, including colorectal.
Turning 40 is a milestone that should be celebrated, but it should also be treated as a reminder that you need to start taking better care of your body. Your health should be your priority.
These restrictions do not mean you no longer are allowed to have fun. You are still free to go out and have a glass of wine or treat yourself to a hotdog sandwich. However, you should only do it occasionally, not every day.