Aging is inevitable, but how we age can be contributed to how we take care of ourselves, too! We are not destined to poor health and a life of inactivity just because we’re getting older.
It’s up to us to take control of our own health and our own bodies to do our part in preventing disease.
Having colon cancer in my 20’s was definitely a wake up call for me, but I floundered throughout my 30s without a clear direction on what to do or how to take care of myself. It was only until after turning 40, that I really started exercising regularly, honed in on my nutrition and gained control of my health.
Today, I’m sharing the top three things I’ve learned about losing weight and getting healthy after turning 40.
1. Exercise, specifically strength training. While cardio is also necessary for heart health and building endurance, it simply isn’t enough. As we age, our estrogen level decreases causing our bones to become more brittle. Workouts that focus on strength and resistance builds and strengthens your bones and lessens your risk of breaks.
Not only does that low estrogen increase our risk of bone breaks, but it also causes that excess fat storage around our middle and muscle loss! I know right! Weight training builds muscle which fuels our metabolism which results in fat burn! So weight training also helps to burn off that extra belly fat, too. Hola!
Some great exercise that focus on resistance are simple bodyweight only moves such as push ups, plank, squats and lunges for a start. You can find demos of these exercises on my youtube channel.
2. Sleep. Ahhh..yes, sleep is one hot commodity isn’t it? While it’d be great if I could be like my college kids and come in or work till midnight and then be up and out of the house again by daybreak, but our (my) body just won’t allow it. We just can’t make it on the few hours of sleep anymore like our young predecessors are able to get by with.
Sleep is so much more vital as we age to restore, heal and lessen stress. Lack of sleep causes mental fog, increases stress, increases cortisol levels (that causes our blood pressure and blood sugar to raise and our metabolism to lower) and can even contribute to weight gain.
So make it a priority to focus on your nighttime ritual to help you prepare for at least seven, uninterrupted hours of sleep. I like to soak in a hot bath, read, unplug from social media and my favorite, natural nighttime sleep aide is Isotonix magnesium.
3. Clean up your diet. Ladies, now more than ever is it important to focus on nutrition after turning 40. Our stress levels are up, our weight is up and our inactivity levels are falling….amongst other things. And while exercise and sleep are also critically important, cleaning up our diet is essential. Remember the familiar saying, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet? And just like we may have used to be able to eat an entire box of pizza without blinking an eye, that’s definitely no longer the case after turning 40. Can you say muffin top!?
Studies are also showing more and more that sugar is becoming the new fat and is the pitfall of too many diseases…and don’t forget about those hidden sugars found in sodas, breads and starches, too. Cleaning up our diet of junk, preservatives, fake foods and sugar is vital to keeping us healthy and active. Wanna learn more? Jump in on my next 1:1 health and weight loss coaching group.
Don’t be overwhelmed thinking about it all at once. It’s about making better choices and small daily changes that amount to great reward.
To your health, ladies!
PS: What have you learned about staying healthy over 40?