Women over 40 need to be especially careful about their health habits, as they are more likely than men in the same age group to experience health problems. Women are more likely than men to have high blood pressure and osteoporosis, as well as heart disease and strokes. They also have a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer.
Your wellness is your most important asset. What you do today, will determine how you feel tomorrow. By taking care of yourself, you will have a much more fulfilling and productive life. Common sense health rules that once were passed around before are now being scientifically proven. That is how this article got written based on facts and research made in order to give women over 40 some great tips of how to maintain excellent fitness.
Eating too much sugar (it can cause inflammation and other problems)
Eating too much sugar (it can cause inflammation and other problems). This includes refined sugars such as high fructose corn syrup, as well as some fruits, like bananas, pineapples and mangos. Instead of eating these foods daily, enjoy them as an occasional treat.
Sugar is a major culprit when it comes to weight gain, but it’s not just calories that are the problem. Sugar causes insulin levels to spike, which in turn can lead to inflammation and make you more prone to disease.
Sugar also has no nutritional value. “When you eat something sweet, your body expects calories,” says Dr. Aldoori. “If you don’t get them, then your body will produce more insulin and store fat.”
In addition to sugar, refined grains like white bread, pasta and white rice are also problematic because they break down into sugar quickly. These foods are often labeled “whole grains” on their packaging even though they’re hardly any better for you than their refined counterparts—and sometimes even worse!
Eating too much meat.
There is a lot of pressure on women to stay thin and beautiful. This can be especially true for women in their 40s and beyond.
While meat is an important source of protein and other nutrients, it’s still high in saturated fat and cholesterol — two things that aren’t good for your heart health. Eating too much red meat can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Instead of eating large amounts of red meat, choose leaner cuts such as flank steak or sirloin tip roast instead. You can also try substituting ground turkey breast into your favorite recipes instead of beef or pork chops.
Not eating enough protein (protein deficiency may cause fatigue, hair loss, sagging skin and more)
Protein deficiency may cause fatigue, hair loss, sagging skin and more. Protein is important for your skin, muscles and bones because it helps with growth and repair of tissue. It also helps build enzymes that are essential for all of your body’s chemical reactions. Protein can be found in meats, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products and some vegetables and grains.
Not eating enough fat (heart disease is the leading cause of death among women, but healthy fats like avocados, olive oil and fatty fish could help lower your risk)
Women over 40 are often told to avoid fats, but this is actually the opposite of what they need. The body needs fat to produce hormones and absorb vitamins. Low-fat diets may even increase your risk of heart disease and cancer.
While it’s true that dietary fat contains more calories than carbohydrates or proteins, it’s also an important source of energy for your body as well as essential fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s that promote heart health and brain function. In fact, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, middle-aged women who consumed a diet rich in monounsaturated fats — those found in olive oil, nuts and avocados — were significantly less likely than their peers whose diets were low in monounsaturated fats to develop depression during middle age or after menopause.
Not getting enough sleep
Sleep is the body’s main time for repairing itself. Without sleep, you become more susceptible to illness, depression and other health problems.
Not getting enough sleep can also make you more likely to overeat, since it reduces your ability to make good food choices. And sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain in several ways:
Your body increases its production of cortisol, a stress hormone that increases appetite and food cravings.
Sleep deprivation alters insulin sensitivity and increases your risk of developing diabetes.
Sleep deprivation causes increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and decreased levels of leptin (the satiety hormone).
Drinking too much alcohol (the CDC recommends no more than 1 drink per day for women)
Drinking too much alcohol is a big health risk for women over 40. It can lead to liver disease, high blood pressure, stroke and heart failure. Alcohol is a depressant and puts your body into a sedated state. This can lead to lowered inhibitions, which may result in poor choices and unwise decisions.
Alcohol is one of the main causes of liver damage. It also damages your heart, brain, kidneys, pancreas and intestines. If you’re a woman over 40 and drink more than two drinks a day, you may be at risk for breast cancer. Alcohol can be a depressant and may interfere with your sleep. Just as important, it can make you more likely to gain weight.
The risks of drinking heavily increase with age and are greater for women than men because they are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol on the liver and heart muscle. Heavy drinking is defined as four or more drinks in one sitting for women and five or more drinks for men.
Not getting enough vitamin D
Vitamin D is often called the sunshine vitamin because we get it from sun exposure. It helps our bodies absorb calcium, which is an essential mineral for building strong bones and muscles. Vitamin D also helps regulate blood pressure and immune function. But getting enough vitamin D isn’t always easy for women over 40, who tend to spend less time in the sun than younger adults, according to the National Institutes of Health. Women who don’t get enough vitamin D may be more likely to develop osteoporosis (weak bones) later in life, according to the NIH. To boost your levels of this important nutrient, take a daily supplement containing 400 IU of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Women need 600 IU of vitamin D daily to maintain bone health; those who take calcium supplements should get at least 1,200 IU per day.
As you age, your body changes. You might start to experience a decline in health and energy levels, but it’s never too late to make some simple changes that can have a big impact on your quality of life.
With a few minor changes to your daily lifestyle, you can live a healthier and happier life as you age. By making adjustments to your diet and exercise, taking better care of your mind, and trying some new ways to improve social connections, you can live longer and feel better than ever before. So what are you waiting for? Start today!