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15 Health Tips Any Woman

Over 40 Needs to Know

by Cindy Dobroskay

15 Health Tips Any Woman

Over 40 Needs to Know

 

 We just get better as we age, right?

 Our wisdom and compassion may increase as we grow older, but, unfortunately, so do our health challenges. More than 90% of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and more than 75% have more than one.Plus, these figures are even higher for women than for men.

 Natural changes like menopause and family medical history play a part, but a healthy lifestyle can help you stay as strong and independent as possible in the years ahead.

 Here are some tips to help you maintain your health as you age.

 

Dealing with Menopause:

 

1.    Stay cool. Hot flashes can make you uncomfortable and disrupt your sleep. Reduce them by limiting triggers like alcohol and caffeine. Dress in layers and keep a fan next to your bed. Use a cool cloth when needed to cool skin.

2.    Manage stress. Stress can aggravate hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. De-stress daily with prayer, meditation, journaling, practicing gratitude, and positive thinking. Regular exercise also helps alleviate stress and boost our mood.

 

3.    Lose weight. Your muscles shrink and your metabolism slows down as you age. The distribution of your body fat changes too, so more of those pounds wind up around your waist, increasing your risk for heart conditions and diabetes. (Belly fat is the most dangerous for our body). Fight back with healthier eating habits and exercising more.

4.    Eat soy. Many women find relief from menopause symptoms with soy and supplements, even though studies give conflicting results.See if tofu and soymilk work for you.

5.    Talk with your doctor. If all else fails and you are suffering more than you can bear, your doctor can tell you whether you’re a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy or other treatments. Share your concerns and questions.

Staying Physically Fit:

 

1.    Keep your heart healthy. You’re about 5 times more likely to have heart disease after you turn 40. Your heart is a muscle, like all other muscles in the body. Aerobic exercise forces the heart to pump a little harder, and so strengthens the heart muscle. Aerobic exercise, along with a diet high in fiber and low in unhealthy fats, can help your heart start stay strong. It’s never too late to improve the health of your heart.

2.    Build your muscles. You can slow down muscle loss, and thicken your bones with strength training. Lift weights or try movements that use your own body weight for resistance, like planks and pushups. You don’t need to push too hard, just hard enough to feel a challenge. You don’t need to worry about ‘bulking up’.

3.    Increase your balance. Avoid falls by becoming steadier on your feet. Practice yoga or just stand on one foot while you're talking on the phone. Make sure you alternate legs so you’re a ‘well-balanced’ person. =)

4.    Ask a fitness professional for help. If you’ve already noticed you’re losing some strength and balance, or are feeling stiff and sore, especially in your back, targeted stretching and strength exercises can help. Would you like to move better and feel better, so you can have the strength and energy to enjoy the best years of your life? Contact me to find out how I can help you do just that!

 

Other Health Tips for Women Over 40:

 

1.    Sleep well. You may find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep these days. Stick to a consistent schedule and block out nighttime noises. Put away your device and spend time in a relaxing activity for at least 30 – 60 minutes before you go to bed.

2.    Watch your blood pressure. Your blood pressure and heart rate rise as plaque deposits stiffen your arteries over the years. A vegetarian or low fat diet has shown to reduce this risk. Losing weight, exercising, and limiting salt and high fat foods may help you to avoid needing medication.

3.    Screen for cancer. Age increases your risk for many forms of cancer. So do some foods, like red meat. Stay active, eat more vegetables, and reduce your red meat intake. Talk with your doctor about screening tests that spot cancers early when they're easier to treat and cure.

4.    Check your hearing. You may already be noticing signs of age-related hearing loss. Shield your ears from loud and persistent noises by lowering the volume on media devices and wearing earplugs when necessary. “What’s that you said?”

5.    Protect your vision. Ensure your eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions are up to date if you're having trouble reading the fine print. While no studies have shown a way to prevent cataracts, regular eye exams and managing conditions like diabetes can help.

6.    Remain engaged. Staying connected is essential for vibrant aging. Cultivate close relationships and learn something new each day. I’ve enjoyed learning a new language on Duolingo, learning Sudoku, and doing online puzzles (some of which are very challenging). What do you enjoy?

Staying informed and making healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent and manage many of the conditions that come with aging. If you're a woman over 40, start now to maximize your chances of staying mentally sharp and physically fit in your golden years.