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10 Ways Women in their 40’s Can Stay Healthy

Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: May 23, 2019 | Last Updated: Aug 5, 2019

Risk of many health conditions increases at the age of 40. Here are 10 ways to stay healthier when women are nearing or turning 40.
Stay Healthy After 40
10 ways to manage your health at the age of 40. Shutterstock Images

Growing old is inevitable, but the way you age can be managed with your daily routine. Saying goodbye to your amazing thirties may mean that your schedule is full of your children’s activities and your body starts tiring more easily. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore taking care of your body. To help you out, we’ll discuss ten ways you can stay healthy in your 40s.

Eat Your Breakfast

A person’s metabolism slows down 2 percent every ten years. When you’re in your 40s, it’s more important to eat at the start of the today so that the activities you carry out during the day can help with your metabolism. When you skip breakfast, your body tends to overcompensate[1], making you crave fatty and sugary foods. We then tend to load up at dinner and late-night snacks.

But our bodies at night slow down and so does our metabolism, which means our bodies turn those calories into fat. So do as you tell your kids. Eat breakfast. You’ll be less likely to put on weight and you’ll have more energy throughout the day, without the need of caffeine or energy drinks.

Take Vitamin D and Calcium

It’s essential for you to maintain strong bones in your 40s as menopause can be hard on your body. Give your bones a boost with Vitamin D and calcium. Eat salmon, milk, meat and other foods that are rich in Vitamin D and calcium. Cut back on soda and other things that leach calcium from your body.

Remember that the sun is a natural source of vitamin D[2], though you want to avoid excessive exposure since this can age your skin. A side benefit of increasing your calcium and vitamin D intake is that you’ll fight osteoporosis and the bone breaks that can be debilitating for older women.

Exercise

Exercise

Running and walking is one of the efficient ways to maintain health as you age. Shutterstock Images

You don’t necessarily have to join a gym to exercise when you’re in your 40s. Stomach crunches, simple squats, walking, and running are enough. Try doing exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Remember that any physically demanding activity counts, and the 30-minute goal is a total.

This means that taking the dog for a brisk walk, walking laps around the soccer field while the kids play or carrying your groceries up the stairs all count toward that total. Ten minutes here, ten minutes there, and you’ll get thirty minutes of exercise in before you know it.

Furthermore, try to avoid long periods of inactivity. Sitting eight or ten hours a day is almost as bad for you as smoking[3]. This means that getting up and stretching or going for a short walk on your break will help your body in the long run. Try going for a ten-minute lap around the building before you have lunch, too, so that you’re truly hungry.

Manage Stress

If you’re managing a demanding job while trying to look after your spouse and kids, you may notice your stress levels increasing. Stress can trigger unhealthy changes in your body like lower libido and increased blood pressure[4]. All of this may contribute to faster aging. So try to manage stress by talking to people who make you forget about your problems or by doing things that make you happy.

And remember that it’s OK to say no to unreasonable and excessive demands. You’re not a bad person when you decline to go out with a friend after work because you need to take care of a personal matter. You’re not hurting the company if you refuse to work late. Remember that exploitation can be soft. “You just have to work another two hours of unpaid overtime, I really need you, you’re so important”.

Then we fall for the emotional blackmail and work late or on the weekend, feeling guilty if we don’t. The lack of time for personal obligations or other commitments creates stress. So learn to say no to requests for overtime or taking on others’ errands.

Eat Protein

If you’re prone to low moods, increase your protein intake. Eat foods with amino acids, as they contain the essential proteins that can increase the level of mood-lifting neurotransmitter found in the brain. Eggs, quinoa, and fish are good sources of protein.

Try eating more nuts like walnuts, a vegetarian source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are another good source of both lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

The best thing you can do is eat protein at every meal and especially at breakfast. This will prevent the mid-morning fatigue that drives many to load up on donuts and other high-calorie foods. Try stocking up on nuts at work so you have them on hand when you need an energy boost. If you are in a peanut free environment, macadamia nuts and others are generally safe.

Try New Things with Your Partner

Try New Things With Partner

Explore new areas of interest with your partner to boost your mood. Shutterstock Images

Try doing something new with your partner. Plan a trip to a unique location or take classes together. Recreate those special days with your partner to boost your mood. For some, this is as simple as accompanying your partner to activities related to their hobbies and passions.

Catch up with Old Friends

Meet your old friends in person, not on Facebook. Regular catch ups with friends can help boost your self-esteem and reduce stress. It’s life-long friendships that provide an invaluable source of social support as we age. Having friends to lean on and act as a sounding board can also reduce stress on your romantic relationship, giving you someone else to talk to with a different perspective.

Schedule Health Checks

Tick off all the essential checks like an eye test, blood pressure, thyroid, cervical smear, mammogram, and cholesterol check to ensure that you are in good shape. Remember that early detection and treatment is always cheaper and better than waiting until it’s too late.

Read Next: How Much Deep Sleep Do You Need?

Get Your Zzzz

It’s important to focus on getting quality sleep every night as this has a major impact on your mental and physical health over the long term[5]. You need at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Eight hours is better. You can’t compensate for a lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep with a high dose of caffeine in the morning, and it’s unhealthy to try to make up for sleep by sleeping in on the weekend.

Get Private Health Insurance

If you don’t have private health coverage yet, then get it. As you age, you’re more likely to experience health issues more frequently. Those hospital visits can put a dent in your wallet if you don’t have insurance. Private health insurance will cover the costs of hospital visits and other unexpected medical expenses. Visit iSelect to do a private health comparison and find the policy that’s best for you.

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