Thursday, May 8, 2014

8 Things Every Woman In Her 40's Should Do

If you are a woman who has hit 40 or will know without a doubt that things are changing.  The way we think, how we view the things of life, our families and our bodies!  The foods we love to eat sometimes seem to affect us differently - inside and out!!  Weight loss isn't as easy as it used to be.  Our concept of diet has changed, we understand that 'diets' are a temporary fix and only a change in our health habits offer lasting changes. We also know that to regain our vitality and energy, we must be purposeful in devloping a healthy lifestyle. 

I remember reading Prevention magazine as a child!  My dad used to love it and preach healthy advice to the family from it. I listened - some, rolled my teenage eyes some, but now, years later, I still remember those tidbits of advice!  Now I subscribe to the Prevention email, it allows me to customize the articles I'm interested in.  Here is some advice in one of those articles which every woman in her 40s should do.  

Eat breakfast every day
Nutritionists agree that eating breakfast is essential to keeping weight down and calorie-burning metabolism up. A solid meal at the start of the day works in concert with metabolism, which is highest in the morning, fueling activity and preventing cravings that arise when blood sugar drops.

Jump-start your metabolism
Strength-training for 6 months can increase your resting metabolism o you’ll burn more calories even when you’re sitting on the sofa.  Strength-training also helps you shore up bone, maintain balance, and avoid injury—important for protecting your skeleton both now and when you’re older. Aim to exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week.

Boost calcium and vitamin D
Both are essential for strong bones, but many experts feel current benchmarks are too low. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that women in their 40s get 1,000 mg of calcium and 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D every day from foods like fortified milk or salmon, along with supplements if needed. Some nutrition experts suggest getting up to 1,000 IU a day for optimal health.

Practice stress control
A healthy, calm heart beats faster when you breathe in, slower when you breathe out. But stress inhibits this natural "heart rate variability," triggering unhealthy changes bodywide, including increased blood pressure, less energy to the brain, lower libido, and faster cell death. "In effect, stress makes you age faster.  To get your heart into a healthier rhythm, breathe in through your nose for 4 beats and out for 8 at least twice a day or anytime you feel pressure. "That activates the vagus nerve that runs from the brain to the pelvis, relaxing the heart, muscles, airways, gastrointestinal tract, and blood vessels.

Pump up protein
Getting foods with all the amino acids needed to form complete proteins at least twice a day boosts levels of mood-lifting neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help relieve symptoms of depression, like slow thinking and poor memory .  Aim for 4 ounces of protein at each meal. Good sources include fish, eggs, and quinoa. But don’t totally skip carbs: They boost mood by increasing production of serotonin in the brain.

Be adventurous 
Try something new.  When you fall in love, dopamine centers in the brain fire like crazy, and the same thing happens when you do something different and adventurous, 

Go out with your girlfriends
Relaxing with friends reduces stress, boosts self-esteem, and even makes you more loving toward your partner when you get home. Women are terrific at connecting socially but often let it fall by the wayside in their 40s because of career and family demands.   Women with extensive social networks through family, work, volunteer organizations, religious groups, or hobbies have lower blood pressure, less diabetes, reduced risk of heart disease, and half as many strokes as women who are less well connected.

Get essential check-ups
In addition to making health-boosting, stress-busting habits a part of your lifestyle, don’t neglect these routine tests: 

  • Eye exam: Every 2 to 4 years
  • Blood pressure: Every 2 years
  • Pap test and pelvic exam: Every 1 to 3 years
  • Thyroid: Every 5 years
  • Mole check: Every year
  • Mammogram: Every 1 to 2 years
  • Blood glucose: Every 3 years starting at age 45
These changes, made gradually can make the 40's become the most healthy and vibrant time of your life!!

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