4 Things Women in their 40s Dread, But Need to Do
As a woman in her 40s, the wellness situation starts to look a whole lot different. Your sexual health needs kicking into shape, you’ve got no energy for your hectic lifestyle and you have aches and pains you never knew a person could have. Turning 40 makes you feel, well, old, but that doesn’t mean you’re past it. You still need to look after your wellbeing – now more than ever before – to ensure you live to see and enjoy the next 40 years.
1. Do Your Diet Differently: In order to live long and prosper for the next 40 years, you need a few diet basics under your belt. This means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables – at least five-a-day – and healthy proteins. If you focus on these food groups, you can reduce your risks of cancer and heart disease. Don’t just do your healthy diet solo; get your partner and kids involved and plan your grocery shopping in advance so you won’t be tempted by junk on shop shelves. The key to healthy eating is to have good options on hand at work and at home.
2. Work on Your Workout Routine: In your 40s, many of your hormones – including growth hormone – tend to decline. This ageing process can really do a number on your wellness and, if you don’t exercise, you’ll only hurry that decline along. Exercise stimulates growth hormone, helping you to maintain a lean body mass. However, without enough physical activity, your metabolism will slow down, your bone density will decline, and you’ll be more stressed and depressed than you should be. If you find it hard to motivate yourself, why not go to a class or work with a personal trainer? If you’ve got it written on your calendar and all paid for, you’ll have the incentive to workout until the health benefits become their own motivation.
3. Figure out your Family History: If someone in your family has suffered from a certain illness or condition, it’s not a sure thing that you will likewise be affected, but history certainly has a way of predicting the future. Look into your family’s history of health problems, paying close attention to anything that occurred to someone when in their 40s. While having a grandparent who had a heart attack at 75 is something to take note of, being related to someone who suffered at age 45 holds is even more significant to your prevention strategy. You should primarily focus on your parents, siblings and grandparents, but it’s worth asking about other relatives as well. Take inventory so you can tailor your wellness programme to your needs, and consider talking to your GP if a particular health concern does arise when you’re digging.
4. Take a Few Tests: For women in their 40s, the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) provides the following recommendations:
- Cervical cancer. A pap smear should be performed every one to three years. You should go for this screening every two years if your physician uses a liquid-based test, or every three if you have had three normal paps consecutively. You only need a test for human papillomavirus (HPV) if you have had an abnormal pap test.
- Breast cancer. Mammograms are recommended every one to two years, starting at 40.
- Colonoscopy for colon cancer screening. While this is usually recommended at age 50, you will need a colonoscopy if you have a family member with colon cancer. This should either be done at age 40 or 10 years prior to the age that family member was diagnosed.