5 Things Women in their 40s Should Do for Better Hormonal Health
Your 40s are sure to be yet another amazing chapter of life. That is until you start dealing with potential hormonal issues and imbalances—ugh! These things can make your overall life and well-being quite challenging, to say the very least. For instance, according to Women for Women OB/GYN LLC, a hormonal imbalance can cause fatigue, weight gain, weight loss, muscle weakness, sweating, frequent urination, dry skin, increased thirst and hunger, and depression. Staying on top of your hormonal health is not a question—it's a necessity. That's why we spoke with Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, a registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics who sits on our Medical Expert Board, to hear about five things women should do for their hormonal health in their 40s.
Your body changes over time, and so do your hormone levels. It's also possible that your endocrine glands aren't operating as they should. It's important to stay in tune with your body. Goodson points out, "Regular visits to your healthcare provider are essential to monitor your hormonal health. Discuss any concerns or symptoms you may be experiencing, such as changes in menstrual cycle, mood swings, or sleep disturbances. Your healthcare provider can perform appropriate tests, provide guidance, and recommend treatments or lifestyle modifications if necessary."
Keep reading to learn about Goodson's five top-recommended things women should do for their hormonal health in their 40s. And when you're finished, be sure to check out the 4 Best Vitamins for Women To Start Taking Before Turning 40.
Get adequate solid sleep.
Getting enough solid sleep impacts your quality of life, and it's extremely important for your hormonal health as well. You should try to get seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each and every night. Some ways to help the process include making an environment that promotes good, comfortable sleep, maintaining a consistent bedtime schedule, and following smart sleep hygiene habits. You can boost your sleep hygiene by ditching the use of any electronic devices before heading to sleep, snoozing in a cold, dark room, and making sure your mattress is the right one for you.
Not only can chronic stress wreak havoc on your daily life, it can also negatively impact your hormonal health and throw the balance out of whack. Stress management methods such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, sound bathing, and favorite hobbies are positive ways to keep your stress level down. Goodson recommends, "Prioritize self-care activities and create a positive and supportive environment to help manage stress levels effectively."
Eat a balanced diet.
Next up, be sure you're eating a well-balanced diet that's rich in nutrients to support healthy hormone levels. "Include whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Consider incorporating foods rich in phytoestrogens, such as soy, flaxseeds, and legumes, which may help balance estrogen levels," Goodson says.
Get regular exercise.
We all know how great regular exercise is when it comes to your health, but did you know it can also impact your hormones? Working out regularly is an excellent way to promote a good hormonal balance. "Exercise can help regulate hormone production, improve insulin sensitivity, and promote overall well-being," Goodson explains. "Aim for a combination of cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises for a well-rounded fitness routine."
Maintain a healthy weight.
You need to maintain a healthy weight in order to lead a healthy life. It's particularly important to be mindful of your weight as you age. As women grow older, it's common to accumulate extra body fat around the abdominal area. This extra unwanted fat can cause higher estrogen levels, which can upset the balance of progesterone and estrogen, which can result in hormonal imbalances.