According to Age

Health tips for all groups

Health is important at every age, but experts recommend that we focus on certain aspects of our health at given ages. We asked area health providers for their top tips for men and women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Here’s what they suggest:

20s

451844985Men in their 20s should ask their doctor if they should be screened for hemochromatosis, a condition of iron over-absorption that causes excess free iron in tissues. This is a strong risk factor for hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, heart attack, stroke, some cancers, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Type 2 diabetes, liver disease and more. Hemochromatosis can be identified by blood testing.
Dr. John Hibbs, ND, Bastyr Center for Natural Health

Women between the ages of 20 and 39 should have a clinical breast exam done by a healthcare professional every three years.
Overlake Medical Center Breast Health Services

Women 21 and over should have a pelvic exam and pap smear every one to three years, depending on their risk factors.
Dr. Shawn Chen, family medicine and obstetrics, Valley Medical Center, Fairwood primary care center

Women in their 20s should talk to their doctors about contraceptives and which options are most effective and appropriate for their lifestyle.
Dr. Emily Lesnak, ND, Bastyr Center for Natural Health

Adults in their 20s should check with their doctors regarding their diet to ensure they are eating enough protein and healthy fats to prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Andrew Simon, ND, Bastyr Center for Natural Health

30s

Men 35 and older should have their cholesterol checked every five years.
Dr. Long Nguyen, Valley Medical Center, family medicine at the Cascade primary care clinic

60493506For Women in their 30s who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, start taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid, which plays a role in preventing birth defects. Quit smoking and cut down on caffeine and alcohol.
Colleen McMeen, RD, Clinical Dietitian/School Nutrition Program Coordinator, MultiCare Health Systems, Covington

Men and women in their 30s and 40s should spend some time addressing stress management. Work with your doctor to prevent, reduce or treat conditions like anxiety, depression, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain and overall immune function.
Dr. Andrew Simon, ND, Bastyr Center for Natural Health

Men and Women should develop (or continue) a healthy lifestyle to prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Appropriate diet, exercise for your body type, adequate sleep and hydration and stress reduction all play an important role in prevention.
Dr. Emily Lesnak, ND, Bastyr Center for Natural Health

Men and Women should get some baseline numbers and keep track of them with your healthcare provider:

  1. Blood glucose (fasting: 100 mg/dL or less is normal);
  2. Cholesterol (HDL (good) cholesterol: 50 mg/dL or greater; LDL (bad) cholesterol: 100 mg/dL or less; total cholesterol: 200 mg/dL or less)
  3. Blood pressure (120/80 or lower)

Colleen McMeen, RD, Clinical Dietitian/School Nutrition Program Coordinator, MultiCare Health Systems, Covington

40s

The best way to prevent menopausal symptoms in a Woman’s 40s is to have a solid foundation of health including proper hydration, nutrition, stress relief, sleep, exercise and a healthy thyroid.
Dr. Emily Lesnak, ND, Bastyr Center for Natural Health

Women in their 40s should have a mammogram and clinical breast exam every year.
Overlake Medical Center Breast Health Services

Metabolism slows down as we age in men and women. Eat five daily servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables. A serving size is about the size of your fist. Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables.
Colleen McMeen, RD, Clinical Dietitian/School Nutrition Program Coordinator, MultiCare Health Systems, Covington

A diet rich in the following foods can help prevent heart disease for men and women: beans, oats, flaxseed, nuts and spinach for soluble fiber; salmon, albacore, tuna and trout for omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation; and oatmeal to lower blood cholesterol.
Colleen McMeen, RD, Clinical Dietitian/School Nutrition Program Coordinator, MultiCare Health Systems, Covingtonbiking-sunset

Working at a desk all day or having poor posture can lead to back pain, shoulder and neck tension and overuse injuries. Adults in their 40s should have their physician evaluate their walking gait, posture and ergonomics. By assessing body posture at this age, your doctor can help you prevent degenerative changes in the spine, disc herniations and sciatica, potentially preventing costly treatment later.
Dr. Andrew Simon, ND, Bastyr Center for Natural Health

50s

Women in their 50s should stay up to date on pap smears and screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes and sexually transmitted diseases.
Dr. Emily Lesnak, ND, Bastyr Center for Natural Health

Women can control hot flashes with lifestyle changes: wear light, layered clothing; lower your thermostat; avoid spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol; and engage in relaxation exercises.
Colleen McMeen, RD, Clinical Dietitian/School Nutrition Program Coordinator, MultiCare Health Systems, Covington

Men and women over 50 should get 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily from food or supplements to protect against osteoporosis.

Men and women should schedule regular colonoscopies. Following a healthy initial screening, colonoscopies are recommended every 10 years.

Men and women: Sitting for long periods of time can lead to chronic health problems. Try the 50/10 rule — for every 50 minutes of sitting, stand for 10 minutes, move around and stretch to increase blood flow to the spine.
Dr. Kristin Knox, primary care physician, EvergreenHealth Signature Care, Woodinville

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60s

Adults in their 60s should continue aerobic and strength-training exercises, but also work on flexibility, balance and group exercise.
Colleen McMeen, RD, Clinical Dietitian/School Nutrition Program Coordinator, MultiCare Health Systems, Covington

Due to decreasing levels of estrogen in Women, oil glands and hair follicles lose stimulation, drying them out. Take Omega 3s or find them in salmon, flaxseed, walnuts and other foods to help prevent wrinkles, improve overall complexion, normalize cholesterol and reduce joint pain.
Dr. Kristin Knox, primary care physician, EvergreenHealth Signature Care, Woodinville

To age gracefully, Women in their 60s should focus on proper nutrition and exercise. Talk to your physician about appropriate supplements like B12.
Dr. Emily Lesnak, ND, Bastyr Center for Natural Health

The risk for developing Type 2 diabetes increases with age. Manage your risk by making healthy choices.
Overlake Medical Center

Osteoporosis screenings should begin at age 65.
Elizabeth Golden, ARNP, family medicine, Valley Medical Center, Covington Clinic South

Health Tips for all adults

  • Tetanus, diphtheria (Tdap shots)
  • every 10 years.
  • Flu vaccination annually.
  • Screen time equals low muscle activity time. Spend no more than two hours per day of recreational screen time and choose “sitting activities” thoughtfully.
  • Stay active. Meet friends for a walking date instead of coffee or lunch dates.
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