It’s often been said that 40 is the new 30. But is this really true when it comes to our bodies? It might seem like there are more opportunities than ever for women to enjoy their forties. And this might be why perceptions of age have changed. But a combination of lifestyle factors means that women in their forties aren’t all that much healthier than they were in decades past.
Here’s what they’re getting wrong and how they’re putting themselves at risk.
Ignoring Hormonal Health
Some women experience the menopause during their forties. And for many, not having periods anymore is a welcome relief. But all too often hormones can go wrong in older women. Hormonal changes can affect things like sexuality and mental health. And if they go ignored, can have undesirable knock-on effects.
Too Little Sleep
Research has shown time and time again that women in their forties get less sleep than they did in their twenties. The reasons for this might just be the result of getting older. But some have suggested that it’s primarily driven by stress. Women in their forties spend more time worrying about kids, their finances, and work. And all that stress and jaw grinding means that many are going to a TMJ specialist to try to resolve their issues.
Not Making Fitness A Priority
As we age, we tend to lose both muscle and bone mass. And over time, this loss accumulates, ultimately resulting in frailty. Women in their forties are obviously not frail. But they’re also not thinking about their long-term health and wellbeing.
Maintaining your muscle and your bone mass should be a priority throughout your forties. Doing any kind of resistance training will help maintain muscle and bone mass, and even build new strength you didn’t have before.
Ignoring Their Weight
The average adult, living in the West, gains about a pound a year during middle age. That doesn’t sound like much, but added up, it comes out to over 30 pounds.
Being overweight is a problem, if only because it’s associated with many other diseases. If you’re overweight, you’re more likely to be diabetic. You’re also more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases in the future. Plus being overweight makes you less willing to engage in exercise and lead an active life.
Failing To Eat A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet isn’t just about reducing calories. Sugary snacks and animal products are bad for you, independent of calories. The key word there being “independent.” In other words, even if you only eat 1000 calories a day, eating sugary food or animal foods still does damage to your body.
The solution is not to go around starving yourself, but to eat a varied plant based diet. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will naturally regulate your body weight. And if you stick to eating them, your weight will start coming down to your ideal weight.
So what’s the bottom line? It’s to start working hard now to stave off problems in the future. Your forties are the time when you should be investing in your health, not ignoring it.