Executive health: A decade by decade guide
Health concerns change as patients get older. Doctors at executive health programs in Florida recommend taking specific actions during your 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.
Executive Health programs throughout Florida encourage individuals to become proactive about their health and provide strategies for taking charge of wellness. Most programs tailor evaluations to an individual’s age, gender, family history, personal history and other risk factors. Following are some issues that are particularly important to monitor at specific times of life.
Physicians say the 40s are critical for laying the groundwork for your personal health later in life. This is the time when weight loss becomes more difficult and diet more essential. During health examinations, doctors will key in on lifestyle, eating habits, exercise and sleep routines.
“This is the age that people are climbing the corporate ladder and adopting lifestyles that stick with them as they get older,” says Dr. Mark Moon, medical director at Mayo Clinic’s Executive Health Program in Jacksonville. “We’re going to talk to them about the importance of exercise and adequate sleep and living a balanced life because the cumulative effects of neglect only get worse with time.”
The 40s are about prevention, says Dr. Henrique Kallas, medical director at UF Health’s Douglas Williams Executive Health Program in Gainesville. “We’re going to encourage you to eat more healthy sources of protein, avoid too many sweets, do some aerobic exercise three times a week and resistance exercise twice a week,” Kallas says. “We also recommend stretching regularly for flexibility and posture.”
Executives also should learn their full family medical histories to help doctors detect conditions that can be hereditary, like heart disease and cancer. Celebration Health Florida Hospital conducts genomic testing using a saliva collection kit; results can identify inherited conditions and help manage medication and reduce health risks, including some cancers and heart conditions, that result from hereditary factors. Kallas suggests having your metabolism checked: “Your metabolism does slow each decade so caloric intake will need to decrease gradually over time in combination with exercise.”
Executives already experiencing a high level of stress in their 40s will need to devise an exercise routine that fits their lifestyle, says Dr. James Rippe, founder and director of Rippe Lifestyle Institute and professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. “Exercise is one of the most potent anti-stress tools. I recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity on most days. It really doesn’t need to be anything more than brisk walking.”
Certain tests are recommended as the body changes. Physicians feel this is when men should have their testosterone level tested because it may start to dip. For women, it is the age when they should begin to have mammograms. Along with those tests, consider an eye exam. “Sometime in your mid-40s, your eye muscles that focus start to give in and get weaker. You may start to lose your ability to read up close,” says Dr. Richard Awdeh, a cornea and refractive surgeon at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami.