Hitting the age of 40 feels like a pretty big deal to most people! It is a time where the signs of aging become undeniable.
Fine lines and wrinkles have started to appear, the first grey hairs may have arrived, and most people feel a big shift in their metabolism so it becomes more difficult to lose weight and much easier to pack on the pounds. Vision also starts to go and reading glasses can become your newest accessory!
When it comes to aging, there are always a variety of ways that we can change our lifestyle to implement self-care practices in an effort to slow down the effects of aging and to help prevent more serious issues from happening.
Our bodies don't come with a handbook of what to expect as you age, so I thought I would help educate you! It is actually somewhat difficult to find any straightforward information on what to expect as we age. It feels like nobody wants to think about it.
Facing our own mortality can be difficult but our demise is coming whether we want to think about it or not. I would rather be mindful and take the simple steps required to age with ease than ignore reality and ultimately suffer because of it.
The 40's is an important decade for more mindful self-care to begin if it hasn't already. Our actions in this decade will affect our aging in many ways. Dementia and Alzheimers can actually begin in your 30's so thinking about your brain health is vital. If you are past your 40's don't fret, no matter what your age is, it is not too late to make positive changes and get results from them.
Do you want to age with ease? Change up your diet to add foods that support brain health or add supplements like lutein, D3, DHA, and EPA.
As we get older, we gradually lose flexibility as a result of the normal aging process. There is a loss of water in our tissues and intervertebral discs, increased stiffness in our joints, and a loss of elasticity in muscles and tendons.
Do you want to age with ease? This makes it important to develop a consistent stretching regimen to establish and maintain flexibility and range of motion.
In your 40s, your metabolism declines. The human body normally sends signals for growth and teardown in balance. As aging takes place, the body becomes resistant to growth signals, and it results in muscle loss. According to research, being less active is the biggest reason why metabolism slows down with age. Adults lose 5% to 10% of muscle mass each decade after 30 if they are not doing strength workouts consistently. Recent studies suggest that at 40, women lose twice as much muscle mass as men.
Do you want to age with ease? If you are not lifting weights, you should start! Even with weight training, we still experience some level of sarcopenia. You may also have to cut back on calories because you just aren't burning the same amount these days.
At the age of 40, some adults may experience leaky bladder. According to S. Adam Ramin, MD, urologist and medical director of Urology Cancer Specialist in Los Angeles, “As we age, the nerves that help the bladder might not work well,” and bladder muscles can thicken with age, reducing its capacity. This issue is more common to women, especially if they have gone through childbirth.
Do you want to age with ease? Using pilates, yoga, or physical therapy can help you strengthen your pelvic floor and deep core muscles that can help strengthen your bladder.
Your sight deteriorates as you age. According to a 2017 study, at the age of 40, the eye has growing trouble focusing at near and immediate distances. When your sight declines, you may experience blending of colors, glare and halos, intolerance to low lights, and floaters crossing your field of vision. Most people in their 40's use eyeglasses to help improve their eyesight.
Do you want to age with ease? Make sure to protect your eyes from straining. Wear sunglasses when you are out in the sun and use blue light glasses to protect your eyes when using electronics. You can also do eye exercises to help strengthen the eyes and their surrounding muscles. Make sure to buy reading glasses at the first sign of vision issues!
Women at the age of 40s, start to experience the roll-down of estrogen. It is also the time that many women move through perimenopause. When estrogen starts to fluctuate this triggers menstrual cycles. Irregular ovulation makes it much more difficult to become pregnant. Those who become pregnant after the age of 40 will face a higher risk of complications (e.g., high blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy), miscarriage, birth defects, and low birth weight.
Heart disease risk can also increase, due to a boost of bad cholesterol, diminished elasticity of arteries, and accumulation of belly fat. According to an article made by James Beckrman, MD, FACC, each year more than 400,000 U.S. women die of heart disease. This translates to approximately one death every minute.
Do you want to age with ease? You can look into hormone replacement but a more gentle alternative is to increase the isoflavones in your diet as they mimic estrogen. I have found an aromatherapy protocol for the hormones also works well for my clients experiencing issues.
Estrogen loss has also been linked to bone loss. Support your bones via strength training and adequate calcium intake (1000mg per day).
To prevent heart disease you want to eat healthy, stay active, be smoke-free and limit alcohol use. I think we all already know that we should do this for optimal health!
Osteoarthritis, a joint disorder that usually affects the hips, knees, and spine, tends to strike women in their 40s. Researchers suspect that osteoarthritis is caused by a combination of factors in the body and the environment. The chance of developing osteoarthritis increases with age. Osteoarthritis is characterized by an imbalance between catabolic and anabolic activity in the joint and aging contributes to this imbalance.
Do you want to age with ease? The best way to prevent arthritis is to maintain a healthy weight and to stay active. Every pound of excess weight is extra pressure on your bones and joints. If looking better isn't motivating you to eat right and exercise, maybe preventing or reducing your pain levels will! Eating fish or taking Omega 3 can also be helpful. I find most of my clients find arthritis improves from cutting out dairy and taking a natural anti-inflammatory supplement.
Men in their 40s have a greater chance of having high blood pressure than women. Since high blood pressure is symptomless it can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. According to Dr. Hatch in a Banner Health article, blood pressure always fluctuates, and it can increase with stress or during exercise. It is really important to get checked regularly.
Do you want to age with ease? High blood pressure is generally caused by a poor diet or high stress levels. This means being active, eating healthy foods, managing stress levels, and getting enough rest can all be helpful in preventing high blood pressure.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory diseases is also one of the common illnesses for people in their 40s. Over time, a chronic cough can lead to life-threatening conditions such as lung cancer, emphysema, or COPD. All these conditions interfere with your ability to breathe. According to an article written by Dr. Daniel Murell, COPD is the third most common cause of death in the United States. I think with the pandemic this year it dropped to fourth place but COVID-19 is also a respiratory disease that can be prevented and is impacted by obesity, smoking, and pre-existing conditions.
Do you want to age with ease? Give up smoking! COPD is most common in current and former smokers. Smoking accounts for up to 8 out of 10 COPD -related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prompt screening and diagnosis can slow the progression of the disease and help prevent complications. If you were a smoker I strongly recommend adding a breathing practice to your wellness routine. There are many yogic breathing techniques that help detoxify the lungs and increase your lung capacity.
If you are in your 40s, you may be at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes don’t respond to insulin as well as they should and later in the disease often don’t make enough insulin. In a study that was conducted in 2015, adults aged 45 to 64 were the most diagnosed age group for diabetes with a number of 809,000. Type 2 diabetes may result from the culmination of health issues and an unhealthy lifestyle. Being inactive and carrying excess weight are considered several lifestyle factors why people become insulin resistant. Also, having a first-degree family member with diabetes is a fixed risk factor.
Do you want to age with ease? Clean up your diet by adding more fruits and vegetables and try to eliminate processed foods and artificial sweeteners. Get active even if that means short walks around the block morning and night to get started. Type 2 diabetes is completely preventable and reversible.
If you have not gotten serious about your nutrition by the time you are 40, it is time to start! Eating healthy is a must. Vegetarian dietary patterns reduce cardiovascular mortality and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by 40%. Additionally, evidence suggests the benefits of vegetarian dietary patterns in both the prevention and the treatment of heart failure and cerebrovascular disease.
Plant-based diets are associated with lower blood pressure, lower blood lipids, and reduced platelet aggregation than non-vegetarian diets and are beneficial in weight management, reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. They have also been shown as an effective treatment method in diabetes management.
All of these illnesses may be prevented by having a healthy, active lifestyle and incorporating different supplements and foods into your diet.
As you can see, it is only in your best interest to eat healthy foods, exercise, stretch, and manage your stress! When we don't take care of our bodies, it can't take good care of us either.
I hope this encourages you to be more mindful of your daily decisions. Think twice about the next thing you put in your mouth. Make the effort to go for a daily walk and stretch for 10-minutes a day. Take some time to breathe and relax. Make a good night's sleep a priority! These are the little daily decisions that set us up for success or failure.
I want to prevent people from suffering as they age. I think it is highly unnecessary and I know it is possible to age better if you are willing to create new healthy habits in your daily routine. It doesn't take a massive lifestyle transformation. You can build a healthy lifestyle one small habit upgrade at a time. That is how I work with my clients because I know that is the strategy that works best and gets results!
If you would like to schedule a call to talk about how you can age with ease, feel free to book your appointment online!
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