EAT HEALTHIER: FIT IN YOUR FORTIES
It's inevitable, gentlemen – once you cross the middle-aged threshold, you have to change your diet.
Gone are the carefree days of your 20s, and your 30s are rolling by. Before you know it, you’ll be celebrating the big four-oh.
Once you could eat and drink whatever you liked, and still have the stamina to run around on the footy field or soccer pitch on the weekend. But the forties marks the onset of mid-life, when your body can start to show the signs of wear and tear from bad health choices and the stress of juggling work and family.
In the next few years, your metabolism starts to slow down, which means you can lose lean muscle and develop a ‘middle-aged spread’ of belly fat. Fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and insulin resistance can all pose problems, making it harder to lose weight.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for signs of a mid-life crisis. The stress and responsibilities of modern life can take their toll, and men are more likely to internalise their emotions than women.
The man cave (or sports bar) might offer a place for you to relax, but if your retreat is regularly turning into a place to binge on alcohol and high-fat foods, it could signal the blues. Nearly one in two Aussie men will experience a mental health problem during their lives, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel you aren’t coping. Visit ruok.org.au to learn more.
So while you might be dreading your next birthday, there’s also a saying that life begins at 40. In fact, with the right food, fitness and attitude, you could be edging towards the best years of your life! Here are some tips to staying fit at age 40:
• See your GP. Just as you get your car regularly services, take the time to see your doctor for a check-up.
• Bump up the fibre. Eat more whole grains, fruit and vegetables.
• Find balance; take time out to meditate, or go for a mind-clearing walk or run outdoors.
• Measure your waist. For men, a 94cm-plus waist increases risk of chronic disease, and 102cm greatly increases risk.
• Beware of self-medication. Alcohol and prolonged sleep make depression worse.