Growing up

Your Guide to Lifetime Personal Health!

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    The Roaring 20s

    They were very good years... your body might seem like it can bounce back from anything, whether it's a brief cold, all-ramen diet, or a night out partying! But remember that your choices during this decade can have far-reaching consequences on your long term health. This decade's focus will be on making sure you get the right nutrients, exercise, and care to keep you going for decades.
  • Gynecologist Visit

    Gynecologist Visit
    This one's for the ladies. Girls should start visiting the gynecologist when they become sexually active or are having issues with their reproductive parts. Most girls also get their first pap smear and pelvic exam at the age of 21. These measures will help you keep track of your STI status and may detect cells that could later turn into cervical cancer. These visits should typically take place every 2-3 years.
  • Moderation, Moderation, Moderation

    Moderation, Moderation, Moderation
    They may seem fun, but stay away from smoking and drugs! Not only could they get you in trouble with the law, but they're also bad for your health, long and short term. And while alcohol might seem cool too, if you're going to drink, limit it to 1-2 drinks a day. Know your limits and don't test them.
  • Keep Ya Head Up

    Your twenties are a period of lots of change, and it can be really stressful and overwhelming. Make sure that you're taking the time to maintain your emotional and mental health. Spend time with friends, get exercise, and talk to a therapist if you need to.
  • Get those Nutrients!

    Get those Nutrients!
    In addition to limiting fast foods and trying to get lots of fruit, vegetables, and lean meats, there are some key nutrients you should be checking your diet for in your 20s. Make sure you get lots of calcium, protein, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, and folic acid (for women). You may need to take supplements.
  • Check it Up!

    Check it Up!
    You should be visiting the doctor at least every two years for a general check up on your BMI, blood pressure, and various other health markers. Get your teeth cleaned and checked out by a dentist 1-2 times a year. Your twenties are a great time to find primary care providers that you can continue using for decades.
  • Exercise!

    You're probably in peak physical health in your 20s, so maintain it by getting regular exercise. We're going to aim for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. You can jog, go to the gym, go swimming... there's a ton of possibilities! Plus, it will give your emotional health a boost.
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    The Thirties

    Ah, you've probably settled down a little in the last decade. Maybe you're starting a family. Keep building on the foundation you set in your twenties, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen as well as making room for new health concerns.
  • Taste the Rainbow

    Taste the Rainbow
    You're not as young as you once were, and you can no longer get away with eating whatever you want. In your 30s, it's important to monitor sodium intake, as well as getting lots of fiber, B vitamins, vitamin D, and iron. So stock up on those leafy greens and other veggies to ensure you're getting the nutrients you need.
  • Walk it Off

    Walk it Off
    You might find it harder to find time for exercise as you grow older, so make it a particular goal to continue getting at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. You can try and go to a park and play tennis or swim on weekends, and go for brisk walks or jogs in your neighborhood during the week. Exercise with friends or family to make it a bonding activity as well,
  • Oh, Baby

    Oh, Baby
    If you want kids sometime, it's a good idea to check in with your doctor and OB/GYN about fertility and steps you can take to have a healthy pregnancy. Oftentimes, women's fertility begins to decline at age 35.
  • Start your Screenings!

    As you move into your late 30s and 40s you should begin to get screened for certain cancers and health problems. Check with your doctor about cholesterol screenings, skin cancer screenings, and other tests that you may want to have run.
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    The Forties!

    Maybe it seems like life and aging are catching up with you. This is the decade when you may have a lot more questions and concerns for your doctor. Just be a little more cautious with your health.
  • Testing, Testing...

    You're going to need a lot more screenings now. In addition to regular checkups, dental visits, and vision/hearing checks, you should have blood pressure screening every 2 years, cholesterol screening every 5 years, and screenings for skin cancer and colorectal cancer. Women should be having annual pelvic exams, breast exams, and mammograms; men should get annual testicular exams.
  • Steaking out Your Health

    Steaking out Your Health
    Your metabolism is probably slowing, and you might notice your BMI creeping up. You'll really have to start watching what you eat at this decade- try and eschew red meat in favor of fish and lean meats. Continue to get lots of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your diet.
  • Is it Hot in Here?

    Is it Hot in Here?
    Your reproductive systems might be going a little haywire. Women, check up on symptoms of perimenopause like hot flashes and irritability. Men, you might be experiencing some issues with your prostate or with erectile dysfunction. These things and more can be discussed with your doctor.
  • Taking it Easier

    You still need a lot of exercise, but issues like osteoporosis and chronic pain might make things a little trickier. Continue getting exercise most days of the week, but try things like brisk walks, low-key weight training, and group classes at the gym.
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    High-Flying Fifties!

    Welcome to real aging. A lot of people get stressed out about this process- called a midlife crisis- but it's important to keep a positive attitude.
  • Get Screened for Prostate Cancer

    Prostate cancer is fairly common among men, and it's a lot more treatable if it's found early. Start getting checked in your 50s, or even earlier depending on family history.
  • Don't Get Salty

    Don't Get Salty
    It's going to be really important to cut down on your intake of sodium and unhealthy fats. Your cholesterol levels are likely higher than they once were and it's crucial to keep your heart healthy during this next stage of life.
  • Oh-Man-opause

    Most women go through menopause in their 50s. Talk to your doctor or gynecologist about what this means for you, particularly if your symptoms are really painful and irritating.
  • Get Exercise

    Get Exercise
    Aerobic and weight-bearing exercises are really good for your heart and your bones. Don't overexert yourself, and try and find a few programs or activities that you really enjoy. Some ideas are hiking, dancing, and weight lifting.
  • Continue with Screenings and Look Out!

    Screenings become even more important as you age, since the health issues are more likely to show up when you're older. People in their 50s should be more aware of issues like osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and arthritis. Be sure and check in with your doctor about health issues you may be at risk for.
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    The Slammin' Sixties

  • Heart Healthy

    Heart Healthy
    Most women have heart attacks in the 10 years after menopause. Talk to the doctor about your heart health, be aware of the different symptoms of heart attacks (it's not the same for men and women), and continue exercising.
  • Slowing Down but Not Stopping

    Slowing Down but Not Stopping
    Keep exercising regularly, but try less strenuous activities. Older people often enjoy walking, bowling, and water aerobics to keep in shape.
  • Vaccine Time!

    It is recommended that you get a pneumonia vaccine at age 65. Additional immunizations to get include an annual flu shot and the shingles vaccine.
  • Do it or Diet

    Do it or Diet
    Each day, aim for 4-5 servings of fruits and veggies, 3 servings of whole grains, 2-3 servings of dairy, and 46-56 grams of lean, mean proteins.