After 40 you cannot deny that you have reached middle age, and your body is responding in some new and unpredictable ways. So it is time to start taking better care of yourself to ensure you get through another 40-plus years. Focus on these steps to get the best health results for your efforts.
Once you hit the 40s, you may be starting to feel some mid-life changes in your health. Perhaps you’re having trouble sleeping or maybe you find yourself bumping up the font size while you type emails because you are straining to see the text. Don’t get depressed or frustrated. Instead, embrace this life change and start making some changes—like the ones that follow—which will help keep you healthy for the rest of your life.
Now more than ever, getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night is important. Plentiful sleep is not only connected to productivity, it helps tame poor eating habits. Sleep deprivation disrupts your hunger hormones making us feel hungrier when you have not got enough rest. To get the sleep you need, develop a I routine that prepares your body for bed. Finish your workout at least a couple of hours before bed, turn off all screens at least one hour before bed, and avoid anything that causes you stress. In addition to washing up, bedtime routines might include a warm bath or warm cup of herbal tea, meditation, reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle.
As you age, the health benefits of drinking water become even more important for your energy, kidney function and so much more because your metabolism starts to slow down significantly in the 40s. Water is needed for every function in the body, so getting enough is important for keeping metabolism efficient. The general advice is to get eight glasses of water per day, but you may need more or less depending on physical activity, body composition and climate. Water-rich fruits like citrus, berries, tomatoes and watermelon, and vegetables, including cucumbers, peppers, greens and summer squash, help you stay hydrated.
Lifting weights at least two days a week is key to maintaining bone and muscle mass because muscle mass steadily declines at age 35 which leads to reduced metabolism and decreased bone density. The goal is to reduce the rate of bone loss and strengthen the muscles around the joints. If you have never used weights before, follow the beginner workout instructions of the instructor.
Since you start losing lean muscle mass as early as your 30s and that continues into your 40s, you need to eat high-quality protein such as ground sirloin, eggs, chicken, and even vegetable protein like edamame to help preserve lean muscle mass. This enables better calorie burning.
Breast cancer hits one in eight women, which is why early detection is key. For most women, mammogram testing should begin at age 40 and continue every one to two years depending on your history and risk factors. Speak to your doctor to devise the best screening plan for you.
Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in women as one in three women die from this common disease, you will want to talk to your doctor and see if you need additional testing such as an EKG or stress echocardiogram to prevent a heart attack. Another important test includes a cholesterol screening/lipid profile which should be done yearly. Checking blood pressure, fasting glucose levels, and body weight is also vital to avoid being at risk for hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
With all of the information out there about what a significant health risk smoking is, too many people still smoke. It is not too late to stop. The benefits of quitting are almost immediate. Keep in mind that smoking isn’t just detrimental to your lungs, your kidneys and bladder, your body’s filtration system, must process the toxins from cigarette