Beth Battaglino Cahill: Hi! I am Beth Battaglino Cahill, Executive Director of HealthyWomen. Now that you are in your forties, perhaps you finally found some time to focus on yourself. You might be wondering what you should be doing to keep your mind and body strong and healthy as you age. You are also likely to have new concerns and questions about your health now, particularly, about the perimenopause transition.
You should feel comfortable discussing your concerns with your healthcare professional. No question is too small or insignificant. Keep your questions in a small notebook that fits easily into your purse and take it to your medical appointments. In the meantime, here are HealthyWomen's five tips for staying healthy and looking and feeling your best in your forties.
Put a halt on your weight gain. As you get older, not only does your body's metabolism slow down but you might start experiencing hormonal changes related to perimenopause. The first thing you have to do is get up and move more for crying out loud, that's why you rave up that metabolism and optimize it, so you could burn those calories.
For instance, there was a recent study that showed woman who did 40 minutes of aerobic exercise at an 80% of maximum heart rate, well they increased their body's energy expenditure rate for over 19 hours, and if there is a residual here, you just keep stoking that fire and burning those calories. It's so important to pay attention to this after the age of 40.
Strengthen your core. In your forties, it's your 40s it's more important than ever to strengthen that muscles that surrounds your spine, including the deep core muscles that keep your spine straight and the muscles that let it move forward and backward and twist. By focusing on this area, you increase the mobility, balance, flexibility, and overall strength.
This can be done through yoga, pilates, or specific strength training exercises. These exercises are essential to improving and maintaining muscle tone and to burn calories. Give your brain a boost. Eat right to help delay cognitive decline later. Foods aren't just fuel for body. True, they provide the energy you need. But some also have benefits that go well beyond the simple nourishment. Studies show that foods like red grapes and walnuts can improve memory. Clarify thinking, delay cognitive decline and perhaps even health guard against Alzheimer's disease.
Be more optimistic for long-lasting health benefits. Studies show that optimists are less likely to be hospitalized after coronary bypass surgery, and more likely to recover normal life functions quickly. Live longer after being diagnosed with various cancers and have better outcomes after undergoing angioplasty. If you are normally more of a glass half empty kind of gal, trying paying more attention to the positive aspects of a situation.
Prepare for menopause. Though menopause technically is just one day in your life when you not have a menstrual period for 12 months, the years leading up to it can be bewildering at best. Your body is experiencing changes and emotionally things can get a bit dicey. But there are things you can do to prepare.
For instance, start thinking about your bone health. Half of women over 50 in the United States will experience an osteoporosis related fracture in her lifetime. So it's important to start taking precautionary steps early.
So follow these tips to ensure you stay happy and healthy throughout your forties.