exploring health as a form of wealth
The other day I saw a post from a financial advisor talking about the different life stages that should trigger a review of your financial portfolio. It reminded me how the same thing is true for wellness (wellth) planning.
Here's an example. A 43 year old woman asked me this question the other day, "I eat the same foods and haven't changed anything in my exercise, but I keep gaining weight...why?"
The short answer is 'life stage.'
The long answer is that your body changes as your life stage changes. What life stage you are in will influence how your body's physiology works.
When you're young, your life stage is working in your favor. Your body metabolizes food easily and recovers easily. You don't need to prompt or motivate yourself to exercise because you already have lots of energy and interest in moving. Also, when you are young, most people aren't as pressed for time and don't have the burden of a stressful career.
However, as time progresses, there are 4 life stages that you should keep an eye out for if you want to stay on top of your wellness.
1. Turning 40
Turning 40 is a big deal for the human body. Some people notice changes in their bodies as they approach 40. Others who have already passed 40 can look back and see the changes that happened almost unnoticed.
This pivotal time in physiology has to do with a decline in muscle mass, an increase in general aches and pains, and joints that have limited range of motion.
These things make it less enticing to be physically active. So the amount of energy (calories) you burn decreases. Most people continue eating the same amount of food which means they start to see their weight creep up.
2. Career Advancement
Getting promoted or taking a new job with more responsibility is great for many reasons - except one...your health. Career advancement typically adds more stress and sedentariness to your life.
Stress and sedentariness are silent killers. Your health will take a hit with either one individually, but together they are a toxic cocktail for weight gain, chronic disease risk, low energy, and lost productivity.
3. Hormone Change
Hormones are always changing with age, stress, pregnancy, eating habits, sleeping patterns, etc. And hormones can help or hinder your ability to stay healthy.
For example, cortisol is a stress hormone that will thicken your middle and add pounds to your scale even if nothing else in your habits change.
Estrogen and testosterone are the sex hormones that decrease as you age, changing the way your body uses or stores energy, as well as the density of bones.
A drastic hormone change is what happened to me overnight when I had an emergency hysterectomy. Over the next year, I gained weight - especially in my waist - at a rate that I had never experienced before. My old eating and exercise patterns didn't work anymore, so I had to find a new way to maintain my health.
If retirement is on your horizon, be aware that many people see a significant decline in health and brain function when they retire. In fact, retirement is ranked 10th out of 43 on life's most stressful events.
Some people transition into retirement with ease, while others do not. The US Health & Retirement Study found that the health decline in retirees "was more pronounced during the first year after retirement, and leveled off after that."
Retirement is linked to a change in daily habits, less physical movement, a potential feeling of lack of purpose, and a decrease in mental challenges. The exact reason for health deterioration is unknown, but I think it is enough to be on the lookout for ways to mitigate the risks.
Keep Growing Wellthy
Get ready for these 4 life stages by taking a strategic approach to wellness. Keep reassessing and reformulating your wellness plan so you can stay on track through retirement and beyond.
“When you can’t change the direction of the wind – adjust your sails” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
If you would like some help tweaking your wellness plan for your life stage, book a free call with me by clicking the button below. In case it isn't showing up for some reason, just click here: www.growwellthy.com/talk