Yesterday I turned 44. A few friends asked if fitness or diet has changed for me in my 40's. I would say no, it hasn't. 40 is pretty darned fabulous. So long as you move your body and take care of it, it should be working pretty well for you.
Perhaps what has changed is my mindset. My nutrition and fitness goals used to be more ego based. Now they are health based. I exercise and eat well because I want to feel great. I want to have energy and feel strong. This new mindset brings me peace. It moves me away from deprivation or a number on the scale. It brings me towards an appreciation of my body and how it serves me.
Now don't get me wrong. Our 40's are a time to pay special attention to our health. This is a crucial time to prevent diseases later in life. We might have coasted by before but we can't now.
Stress - Women in their 40's report having higher stress than in their 30's. It might be due to stages of career, parenthood and marriage. It is more important than ever to find a stress prevention / reduction program that fits your life. Find breathing exercises, meditation or classes that help soothe your soul. And of course regular exercise is a keystone habit for stress reduction.
Muscle Loss & Metabolism - If we are not exercising, we will see a decrease in our metabolism and in our muscle density. Make sure to commit to an exercise routine that includes strength. It will boost your metabolism and increase your lean body mass. Women in their 40's are known to gain a pound a year, but truthfully it's probably due to decreased activity and not the hormones.
Dietary Changes -
- Eat 2 servings of fish per week or take a fish oil supplement to decrease chanced of heart disease.
- Our estrogen is starting to dip so extra calcium is recommended. Take a supplement if you don't get extra from food sources.
- The usual recommendations about less processed foods and more fruits and vegetables are even more important as we enter perimenopause.
I'm hoping that your 40's bring you wisdom; a deep knowledge that you need to take care of you. That this is the only body you got so you better treat it well. Move it. Fuel It. Rest It. Appreciate It. To my fellow mamas in their 40's...You are fabulous!