Make your 40s healthy and vital

Heres expert holistic anti-aging advice to keep your ticker ticking, avoid the afternoon energy slump, shrink your waistband, restore good digestion, and soothe your stressed-out soul.

| July/August 2000

  • If you can grab fat anywhere on your body, you’re grabbing triglycerides.
  • Plant-based enzymes can help the body absorb nutrients.
  • Trouble greeting the morning sun? Drink tea instead of coffee.
  • Can you ask your doctor questions and get in-depth answers?

Who’s afraid of the big Four-Oh? Not me. Men common­ly mistake me for some­one ten years younger (the single ones who are too desperate to notice the crows’ feet). I can easily keep up with my supercharged sled dog and pentathlon-running pals (just ask my chiropractor). My energy is abun . . . abun . . . (yawn) abundant. Honest.

It’s silly, really, how much weight those two little digits carry. Madonna is forty-one, for crying out loud. Barbie is forty. And nobody’s calling them invisible or over the hill—especially not Madonna.

On the other hand, I know that it’s not the years that matter, it’s the mileage, not to mention whether you’ve had regular maintenance and were built solid to begin with (the Volvo also turns forty this year).

Whatever road you’ve traveled, forty is probably a good age for a total health overhaul. It’s a time for taking stock of what you eat, how you live, how often you sweat, and how happy you are. It’s a time for determining what kind of future you want your body and soul to have. Age forty may be just the right age to make changes that will decide how healthy you’ll be at fifty—and ninety.

First of all, take stock
(and I don’t mean mutual funds)

If you haven’t had a complete physical in the past five years, buckle down and make the appointment. A lot of changes happen between ages thirty-five and forty. Possibly even the beginning of The Change, although if you’re at the tail end of the baby boom like me, you got tired of hearing about menopause before Jane Fonda stopped going for the burn and started going for Ted Turner.

Face up to your dread of the doctor, because doing so could save you money. For example, before you go out and buy a lot of supplements to ward off risks that you only think you may have, or charge into a new exercise plan, it’s an excellent idea to have baseline measurements taken. Such numbers can help you measure your progress; they may even prove that you’re healthier than you think. Heck, it could be that the only thing wrong with you is that you’re overdue for a tetanus booster.

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