Yesterday was my birthday! Yay, I’m getting older! I suppose getting older beats the less-desirable alternative of dying young.
As I’m getting older, I’m learning to appreciate my body and all the wonderful things it does for me; I’m also paying better attention to how I care for my body.
I want you to do the same thing. Whether you’re 17, 21, 35, 44, or 62, I want you to take care of yourself.
But since I am over 40, I want to talk directly to the other folks in the 40 and over club.
Here are some health recommendations to help the 40 and over set take control of their health and well-being.
Check-ups and exam
Schedule a check-up with your doctor every two years until the age of 65, then schedule a check-up annually. When visiting the doctor for a check-up or general wellness exam, have the doctor check your height, weight, BMI, and blood pressure. Be honest with your doctor about your diet, exercise, and whether or not your smoke or use drugs.
Colon Cancer Screening
Ask the doctor about early screening if you have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, or if you have a history of inflammatory bowel disease. Your doctor may order a colonoscopy to check your colon health. If you don’t have a sketchy family history, your doctor may start to discuss these screenings around age 50.
Breast Cancer Screening
Regular at-home exams should be happening at least once per month. If you are 40 or over, be sure to schedule an annual mammogram. If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, be sure to let your doctor know so they can determine if more frequent screenings are needed.
While breast cancer is more often found in women, men can also develop breast cancer. Men, if cancer runs in your family, or, if you have experienced any tenderness or soreness or changes in your chest area, be sure to let your doctor know.
Cervical Cancer Screening (Pap test)
After the age of 40, women should have a pap test every three years. If you have certain risk factors, you may need more frequent pap tests. It’s important to tell your doctor about your family history so they can determine the correct frequency of testing for you.
Please note that the three year frequency is only for pap testing; women should continue to be vigilant about scheduling and keeping their annual gynecology appointments!
Prostate Cancer Screening in Men
You may want to discuss screening between the ages of 40 – 45 if you have a family history of prostate cancer, or, if you are an African American male, as prostate cancer is more common in African Americans. If you do not have a family history, the prostate screening discussion usually happens around the time you turn 50.
Whenever you are going for a check-up, you can make the most of your visit with the doctor by discussing the following topics:
• Discuss any known family history, such as cancer risk, diabetes, etc., that may affect your health
• Review any medications you are taking, and don’t forget to include the use of vitamins and herbal supplements
• Discuss with your doctor any changes in mood or behavior, such as depression, anxiety, or lack of interest or energy
• If you are having trouble sleeping, or experiencing stress, talk to your doctor about your symptoms
• Be honest with your doctor about any unhealthy habits such as smoking, excessive drinking, or drug use. Your health care provider can provide you the best care only if they know the truth about your health and habits
I hope this serves as a good guideline for helping you take control of your health, while also helping you make the most of your visits to the doctor.
If you haven’t been to the doctor in quite some time, consider scheduling a wellness visit TODAY. Struggling with your health? Contact me for your FREE health consultation, 267-258-7338, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
While your health consultation does not take the place of a visit with your doctor, it can help you uncover valuable information and get you on a path to greater health and wellness.
Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!
Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”
Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.
Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.
Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.
Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.