Life starts at 40. Hitting 40 is a major milestone. It is the age at which you are at the top of your career and have probably settled well into family life. It is also the change at which your body starts changing.
The body can no longer handle the reckless abandon of the 20s and 30s and therefore you need to start taking better care of your body. Women start experiencing hormonal changes at that age when their bodies start changing for menopause. This period is called perimenopause.
It is the preceding years to the actual menopause which often occur between the ages of 45 and 55 although some women can have early menopause.
Your metabolism slows down and there may be muscular degeneration. This makes you gain weight as the years go by.
You can get away with missed gym sessions and eating junk food in your younger years because your metabolism if fast and it’s hard for your body to accumulate fat. You don’t have the kind of latitude in your 40s. You miss gym for a couple of days and your body reminds you about in the form of body pains and aches.
Regular exercise after 40 is crucial in keeping you healthy. You need to exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body weight when your hormones are pulling in a different direction and arrest the muscular degeneration.
You don’t have to join a gym though if you lack the time and the money. You can squeeze in physical activities like walking and stretching in your daily activities. Anything as long as you get 30 minutes of exercise daily. Include strength training in your exercise regimen to help build your bone density and ward off osteoporosis.
Add phytoestrogens to your diet
Also known as dietary estrogens, phytoestrogens can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with menopause like hot flashes and mood swings that are often brought about by the body stopping the production of the hormone, estrogen.
Foods rich in phytoestrogens include legumes, green vegetables and soybeans.
You should however consume them moderately since overloading your body with dietary estrogens can create a hormonal imbalance and heighten your risk of developing several cancers including breast cancer.
Cut down your alcohol consumption
As you age, you liver takes longer to denature alcohol so it may be time to go easy on the bottle if you want to Live Long Stay Young. Furthermore, alcohol affects your body’s natural sleep pattern and overindulging will leave you hung-over, tired and groggy the following day.
Worse, excessive alcohol consumption depletes your calcium from your bones – a situation worsened by low estrogen production – leaving them brittle and at risk of fracturing.
Watch your diet
Due to your slowing metabolism, you should eat small meals several times a day as opposed to one large meal. Lower your consumption of foods high in saturated fats and sugars. More importantly, take foods rich in fibers like fruits and vegetables to help your digestion and supply your body with important nutrients.