Health Mistakes No Women Over 40 Should Make
Your 40s should be filled with years of good health, celebrating accomplishments and taking time to enjoy the life you've built. But it's also a time when you have to worry about breast cancer screenings, perimenopause and hormonal changes. To ensure you're living your best decade ever ditching bad health habits is a must and experts we spoke with recommend stop doing the following ASSP. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Not Practicing Self-Care
Anne Poirier, a Body Image Expert, Non-diet Coach and author of The Body Joyful says, "Not listening to yourself, both in body and mind, can make a big impact on your stress level. Chronic stress has become a status symbol these days. Reducing stress can increase your mood, sleep,immunity and quality of life, while decreasing aches and pains, lowering blood pressure and decreasing the likelihood of disease. Self -care can include meditation,yoga, mindfulness, connecting with friends, learning how to express yourself and listening to what your body is telling you (are you hungry, tired, bored, lonely etc…)"
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Poirier explains, "As we get older, sleep can be harder to get. There is a tendency to sleep less. The Sleep foundation recommends 7-8 hours per night. Getting enough sleep actually can reflect on the scale, with weight gain (due to increased cortisol levels) It can leave you at risk for heart disease and some cancers as well. Our sleep time allows the body to both physically and emotionally rest and rejuvenate. I equate it to trying to pour from an empty cup."
Not Paying Attention to Your Weight
Dr. Hector Perez, Chief Surgeon with Bariatric Journal reminds us, "As you age, your metabolism slows down, and it becomes easier to gain weight. Excess weight can put you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues."
Not Getting Enough Calcium
Lindsay Tullis, CHC, Health Coach at Mighty Health shares, "Women over 40 need 1200mg of calcium per day; however, only about 30% of Americans are getting enough. Not getting enough calcium can lead to faster rise of osteoporosis, diminished bone health, increased risk of muscle cramps and spasms, and risk of blood clotting. Calcium is essential for women over 40."
Not Taking Care of Your Mental Health
Tullis says, "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 adults over 55 experience some sort of mental health issue. Risk factors for mental health issues rise as we age due to chronic pain, decreased mobility, loss of loved ones, loss of independence, and other major life events. Women over 40 have often spent so much of their lives taking care of others that they've forgotten to carve out time to take care of themselves. Taking care of our mental health as we age is just as important as physical health."
Not Eating the Right Diet When Hormonal Changes Happen
Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD shares, "As women enter the age of 40 and beyond they are getting closer to menopause. Not eating based on these hormonal changes in your body can be a mistake that leaves you with weight gain, mood disorders, weakened bones, and more. Diet can impact a woman's menopause symptoms in both a positive and negative way.
Foods to Eat
As estrogen levels drop during menopause women are at a higher risk for certain diseases and conditions. Hot flashes are a common symptom associated with menopause. Some studies have shown an increase in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce their occurrence as well as night sweats. Foods rich in this essential fatty acid include fatty fish and chia seeds.
Bone health is another concern for women in menopause due to a decline in estrogen. Taking in nutrients that improve bone health is important during this time.. These nutrients include vitamin D and K, most commonly found in dairy products.
Foods to Avoid
Processed foods and refined carbohydrates are linked to an increase in insulin resistance and hot flashes. This category of foods are not ideal for one's health, but especially women in menopause."
Not Eating Fruit and Vegetables
Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of the Candida Diet says, "Diet has an impact on areas of our health that we often overlook or take for granted, aging and skin health included. Damage from toxins can result in aging of the skin and overall health. The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C makes it an efficient and effective nutrient to protect the skin from damage. A diet void of fruit and vegetables that provide plant compounds can not only lead to poor health overall, but may speed up the aging process. This is because these compounds work as antioxidants in the body and antioxidants work to reduce the presence and damage of free radicals. Free radicals are similar to toxins and cause cellular damage both inside the body and out. This can lead to increased aging in many areas of health."