• Shermain Jeremy

5 Healthy Habits for Women in their 40's

The thought of entering your 40's can seem daunting for many, but gone are the days when age mattered more than a number. In fact many say 40 is the new 30, so let's not dwell on the number but instead look at the facts and ensure that no matter your age that you're healthy and well and living your best life. Now this doesn't happen naturally (at least not for most of us) so you'd want to take the time to know and understand your body and what it needs for each stage of your life. To help, I've put together 6 healthy habits for women in their 40's.

1. Increase intake of vitamin D and Calcium to protect your bones. As you get older bone density and muscle mass decreases. Vitamin D helps with absorption of Calcium so it's a good idea to take both. About 1000mg of calcium per day usually does the trick. If you want to retain muscle mass and keep the belly fat at bay not only do you want to have a healthy diet but also regular exercise. I recommend trying yoga for keeping your bones and muscles healthy and nimble and strong. Yoga is also great for relaxing the mind and can alleviate insomnia, back, neck and muscle pain and leaves you feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

2. Practice self care to include regular, yearly breast exams as recommended by the American Cancer Society. Routine wellness visits with your doctor each year or when you have troubling symptoms is crucial to your health and well being. My doctor sent me for my first mammogram about 2 months before my 40th birthday.

3. Revisit your birth control especially if you have been on it for some time. Now is a good time to look at more low dose options. According to WebMD, the risk for blood clots and heart disease increase for women on birth control in their 40's and older keeping in mind that you can still get pregnant at any time before menopause, so be sure to discuss best options with your doctor so there are no surprises.

4. Take care of your eyes. Be sure to have regular eye exams to avoid any issues such glaucoma in the future. Also look out for "dry eyes" which tend to occur in women in their 40's most likely due to hormone changes. Staring at a computer for long hours can also bring this on so protect your eyes as best as you can with protective eyewear and giving your eyes regular breaks.

5. Look out for signs of menopause. Though the average age for menopause is 51, in about 5 percent of women it can happen in your early 40s. If you've missed a few periods (and you're not pregnant), experienced changes in your menstrual cycle, weight gain, hot flashes, fatigue, vaginal dryness and trouble sleeping, then you may be experiencing signs of menopause. Educate yourself and look out for the signs and see a doctor if necessary. Here's to your health and absolute happiness!

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