Hitting the age of 40 can be scary. Not only you realize you are getting older, you may also be a concern for your health in a whole new stage. While 40 is certainly not old, there are some important health considerations to think off, after all as they say, prevention is worth a thousand cures.
There is an important medical test that should be starter at age 40 and continue into your older years. Medline Plus offers these guidelines.
- Blood pressure screening should be done once per year. Those who suffer from heart disease, kidney problems, or diabetes may need to check blood pressure more often, ask your doctor.
- Cholesterol screenings should begin between the ages of 40 to 45, and checked every 5 years. Those who suffer from heart disease, kidney problems, have a history of high cholesterol or other certain medical conditions may be advised by their doctor to be tested more often.
- Diabetes testing should begin at age 44 or older and be done every 3 years. Those who are overweight will likely require earlier testing.
- Colon cancer screening is advised for women under age 50 when they have a strong family history of either colon cancer or polyps. Other high-risk factors include a history of inflammatory bowel disease.
- Dental exams and regular cleanings should be done regularly, once or a twice a year. Gum disease and other dental problems can increase risks for heart disease.
- Pap smear + HPV DNA tests, which can show risk for cervical cancer
- Beyond age 40:
- Mammogram to check for breast cancer
- Fecal occult blood test age 50: stools tested for blood a possible sign of colorectal cancer.
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy age 50: examines lower portion of the large intestine.
- Bone mineral density test: indicates bone density and osteoporosis risk.
Vitamin D Level
Our skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from the sun decreases over time. So, after age 40 you should get your vitamin D levels checked. If they’re low, you can supplement your vitamin D intake many numbers of ways.
You can get vitamin D naturally through foods like egg yolks, cheese, and fatty fish. Supplements are also available in pill or powdered forms. Vitamin D is essential to our body’s ability to uptake calcium. To have strong bones as you age, you must have adequate levels to build the calcium needed by your bones. A lab test can show if you have a vitamin D deficiency, as your doctor.
Find the Right Diet
UandHealth.com recommends that you watch your weight after 40 more than ever, as metabolism slows naturally with age. Finding a diet that works for you and being mindful of caloric intake while exercising regularly can help. If you’re not sure where to start you can always consult a dietitian or your physician.
Stress is a killer. And with heart disease on the rise in women, it is no wonder that stress control is on this list. Stress management should be your top priority, and there are many ways to keep stress under control, including yoga, meditation, and relaxation and practicing sound self-care. If you know you’re at risk for high stress, then it’s important to take action before it’s too late.
In aging, there is one factor that can truly make a huge difference in quality and quantity of life. That is your social network. If you don’t currently have a group of friends, reaching out to your church or social organizations can help. Creating a social network and support system is vital as you age because it keeps you active, and also stimulates the growth of neural pathways in the brain, which it keeps vibrant and alive.
Things Women Can Do In Their 40s
When you hit 40, it's hard to tell what things to do to keep yourself healthy. With so many information on the Internet, you may want to back off from your attempt to get healthy. Don’t worry, you don’t have to run away just yet. Here are the things you should try to get a healthier life after the age of 40.
Get A Physical
As they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. No one likes going to the doctor. Let face it an unnecessary trip to the doctor can be a nuisance. Even though, this trip could be the best thing you do for your health.
When hitting 40 it is recommended that you should know your numbers. These numbers include blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and body weight. Getting these numbers checked at your annual physical can help you prevent many conditions and diseases.
There are two reasons you need to do weight lifting when you are at 40. First reason, is the condition known as Sarcopenia. The age-related muscle loss can be anywhere from 3 to 5% of your muscle each decade after 30. But it happens really fast around age 75. If you don’t do something to stop the decline of your muscle mass then you are bound to suffer from the symptoms of Sarcopenia such as:
- Reduction in Nerve Cells Signaling the Brain for Movement
- Lower Concentrations of Hormone Including Growth Hormone, Testosterone, and Insulin
- The decrease in the Ability to Turn Protein into Energy
The second reason, weight training can elevate your metabolism. This is because you’re putting on more muscle. Muscle helps you burn calories, and it also helps with things like balance, bone health, and injury prevention.
Don’t Supplement without Speaking to a Doctor
Today supplement industry is full with all kinds of health claims such as “increasing your ability to remember things, increases your stamina as you age, and so much more.” Unfortunately, the FDA does not regulate the supplement industry and these claims aren't highly inspected. If you feel like you need to supplement anything whether it’s vitamin E or D make sure you consult your physician.
Your physician will know whether or not these supplements can interfere with your current medications and whether or not you actually need them. Don’t trust the advice on the back of a supplement bottle over your physician.
Heart disease is on the rise in older people; so many women may want to increase their cold water fish servings to at least two servings a week. Cold water fish is very high in omega-3 fatty acids which play an important role in heart health.
Your risk of falling prices greatly as you age. Because of that, there are certain things you need to do in order to keep yourself safe. After age 40, they recommend that you ditch the treadmill and hit the yoga mat. Yoga teaches you to be mindful of your body as well as your thoughts. This can help you navigate emotional difficulties. Yoga also teaches you flexibility and stability movements to help you navigate the diminishing returns on your body’s ability to navigate.
Fitness Tips For Women In 40s
Fitness is important, especially as you age. As you age, however, your body goes through changes that may keep you from doing the same exercises that you did in your 20. Women in their 40s may exercise in different ways than women who are much younger.
Differences in range of motion, flexibility, biomechanical, and health factors all change how a woman in her 40s hits the gym. Here are some of the best fitness tips for women in their 40s.
Get Rid of Your Treadmill
One of the reasons that women in their 40s need to ditch the treadmill is because of the lack of efficacy that it has. There are other ways that you’re going to get more bang for your buck. It’s important that you do a high-intensity interval training instead of long and easy cardio sessions.
High-intensity interval training consists of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of recovery. This is a tub bodice style workout. You repeat the cycle for five minutes for a total of 10 sets. When you do this, you can incorporate different exercises like squat jumps, push-ups, burpees, and other bodyweight movements.
Keep a Food Journal
After age 40, many women notice that the weight starts to creep on. There are many reasons that this happens from diet changes to slower metabolism. No matter what the reason the only way you’re going to figure it out is if you keep a food journal.
The Huffington Post recommends that you either use a food journal or an app to track what you eat. This will help you see exactly what you’re putting into your body to eliminate the possible reasons for excess weight gain. If you know what you’re eating, you can help yourself improve your overall health by eliminating the not so good foods.
Do More Yoga
Yoga is probably one of the best exercises to incorporate as you age. When your body begins to stiffen, you run the risk of fall injuries. Not only does yoga increase flexibility and stability but it can also help you build strength. Women’s Health Magazine also likes to point out that in versions like the downward dog can be good for your complexion because they bring blood flow down to your face. All the different positions in yoga help keep your mind and body in shape
Use Resistance Bands
Resistance band exercises are great because they can be done almost anywhere. There are some excellent moves that can keep you strong and healthy that is easily done with resistance bands.
Prevention magazine has a whole workout designed for women over 40 that focuses on resistance band movements. They recommend that you perform slingshot squats, crunch and press, triangle press, half curl, bench press, seated rows, and lat pulldowns in your resistance band routine. Doing this to or three times a week will help build strength and keep your blood flowing to your muscles.
For some reason, people always neglect a good stretching routine. She knows.com recommends all women in their 40s focus on staying flexible. A nice stretching routine can help you stay active even through the face of injury.
Finding a good, stretching routine that helps keep you flexible will help prevent injuries during exercise and daily activity. When you’re stretching for the flexibility it is recommended that you hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds while breathing. Doing this every day can improve your overall quality of life.
These are some great ideas for how to stay in shape after age 40. No matter what you do, it’s important to keep your physical health and strength up. These two factors will help keep you mobile and active throughout your golden years. Starting at age 40 will give you a leg up in leading a good quality of life throughout the aging process.
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