This post provided by Dr. Christine Skorberg of A Woman’s Healing Center.
As we age, it’s easy to let health become less of a priority as we try to balance work with other activities and spending time with friends and family. But wellness doesn’t have to fall by the wayside just because of busy schedules! There are plenty of small steps you can take to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle. Here are our top tips for healthy living in your 40’s.
1. Strive to Maintain a Balanced Diet
Most of us have probably gone our whole lives knowing the importance of a “balanced diet”, but what does that really mean? Well, it’s not as complicated as it might seem. Instead of focusing on the calorie count or detailed vitamin information, just eat a wide array of foods!
Eating a diet that’s rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is a great way to make healthy choices and avoid eating the same foods all the time. One example is the Mediterranean Diet, which is shown to have lots of health benefits like keeping your heart healthy and protecting against disease. You can even enjoy a glass of red wine with this diet!
2. Get Exercise, No Matter How Minimal
Another seemingly obvious tip, but we wanted to touch on exercise anyway. Staying active helps you sleep better, maintain a healthy weight, keeps your bones strong, and can protect against certain chronic conditions.
We know that exercise is often associated with going to the gym, lifting weights, or trying extreme workout programs. But the reality is that even small amounts of exercise can help you stay healthy. If you can’t go for a run, try taking a short walk around your neighborhood. Instead of taking the elevator at work or your apartment complex, take the stairs instead. If you don’t have a gym membership, try following a yoga tutorial on YouTube. You can also find a friend to go on walks or a cycling class with, that way you’ll have another person to support you and motivate you.
3. Get Enough Sleep
We know this can be a tough one. We’ve all had days where we stay up way too late watching our favorite show on Netflix or having dinner with friends despite having to be up early the next morning.
While those occasional late nights happen, it’s important to try your best to get a full 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day. Your body needs the rest to fight off sickness and get you through the busy day ahead.
4. Make Time for Friends and Family
Whether you’re having a girls’ night or seeing a movie with your partner, being around other people is good for you. Having quality time with loved ones can help reduce stress, boost your mood, and even lower your blood pressure and risk of heart disease!
Make sure you get to be around friends and family, especially if you need a quick pick-me-up on a not so great day. When you’re out with friends or family, commit to having fun, not talking about work or other stressful aspects of your life.
5. Make Time for Yourself
Making time for friends and family is important, but doing it for yourself is too!
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or feel stressed out, especially if you have a job, a social life, and family activities going on. Make sure you take a step back when you start to feel that way and do something for yourself. Whether you just get up from your desk and go for a walk, get a massage, or sit and read a book, cutting out stress will keep you healthy and happy.
6. Have Regular Checkups with Your Doctors
Of course, women who are younger or older than 40 need to have regular checkups, but there are some new changes that women in their 40’s experience.
Women in their 40’s often begin to experience perimenopause, which is the period leading up to menopause. Perimenopause can cause changes in your period, difficulty sleeping, bone loss, and changes in your appearance, all caused by fluctuating estrogen levels. Because of this, it’s important to have regular appointments with your doctor to talk about perimenopause, menopause, weight management, and any other health concerns you might have as you age.
Regular checkups are also key to keeping up with regular exams, like a Pap Smear or a Well Woman Exam.
Want More Information?
If you want more information on staying healthy in your 40’s or just information on women’s health in general, take a look at these resources: