Women tend to have a pretty good handle on planning – whether it’s for your career, family or friends, you’ve got it down. But are you setting aside the time to plan for your own future health and well-being?
Kanchan Pillai, MD, FACP, FOMA, a specialist in internal and obesity medicine with ProMedica Physicians, explains the importance of planning for future health, and how you can make sure that you are on the right track to healthy aging.
“The rate at which aging happens is different for everyone,” Dr. Pillai explains. “Even within an individual body, the rate at which different organs age is different.” This rate is influenced by genetics, lifestyle and environmental exposure. While we can’t change our genetics, we can modify our environment and change our lifestyle to positively impact aging.
Dr. Pillai offers six actions that you can take today to plan for a healthier future:
- Eat a well-balanced diet. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables and balanced with lean protein and whole grains is integral to maintaining health.
- Exercise regularly. Get moving for at least 150 minutes per week to maintain general health and well-being. If you’re looking to lose weight, you will need to exercise more frequently.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking is a major contributor to disease and an early decline in health. Stop smoking to improve your health now and in the future.
- Get the recommended health screenings. Visit your doctor at least once a year for a well-being check and follow through with the recommended screenings for your age and medical history.
- Manage stress. Chronic stress is one of the main causes of physical decline earlier than expected. Manage your stress by practicing mindfulness and doing the things that you love.
- Get the right amount of sleep. Sleeping too little (less than five hours) or too much (more than 10 hours) each night is associated with weight gain. Aim for 7-9 hours per night to give your body the rest that it needs.
Learn more about women planning for a healthy future in the most recent episode of Happily Ever After 40, a podcast brought to you by ProMedica. Episodes feature discussions on health, self-care, caregiving, parenting, relationships, and more. Join us as we share stories and practical ways to improve health and well-being. Listen, subscribe and share at promedica.org/after40 podcast or wherever you get your podcasts!