5 Health Tips for Woman Over 40
Are you a woman over 40 and starting to feel some changes? Well, being a woman over 40 myself, I definitely know how you feel. It starts off kind of slowly and gradually, and then one day you wake up and you feel like you're falling apart.
You might start noticing that your body looks a little bit different or that your mental function isn't quite what it used to be.
So you're feeling like maybe you've lost some lean muscle mass or you've gained some extra weight even though nothing in your diet has changed, or you feel like your metabolism has slowed down or you feel like you can't focus or think or remember stuff.
Those things definitely happen as we age, and a lot of it is due to just the hormone imbalance that happens, and it begins in our early forties and beyond. Now of course, there is a silver lining.
As we age, we gain wisdom, but we always need to be reminded and always learn extra new things. So today I wanna share with you five tips on ways to keep you healthy over the age of 40.
So just like anything, knowing what kind of symptoms or conditions to watch out for are is going to give you the step up in keeping your health the very best as you age.
So as we walk through this video, I'm gonna give you some tidbits on extra wisdom on ways to keep yourself healthy as you age and for years to come.
My name is Marcie Vaske and I am a functional medicine licensed nutritionist with Oswald Digestive Clinic. And so I see a lot of clients day in and day out who struggle with gut issues, things like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and excessive gas, but I also see a lot of people who struggle with hormone issues.
So that means a lot of women over the age of 40. I also work with people who struggle with different eating disorders or disorder eating.
And you know, the thing about it is that once we learn about ourselves and we learn about our patterns, and we use our patterns to change, as well as understanding your body better, you can be successful in reaching your goals.
So if this sounds like you or maybe someone you love, you can easily make an initial appointment, but sometimes it's fun to do things on your own or just to gain some extra knowledge.
You can download our free guide, which is Five Ways to Improve Your Gut Health. It's a great guide to kind of give you the basics on how to improve your gut and get you started in the right direction. So let's dig into our topic.
What you must look out for if you are a Woman over 40?
As I said, I'm gonna share with five tips how to keep you healthy over the age of 40. But first I wanna start with what should you be even looking out for?
And number one is going to be obesity or just overweight. And typically that happens because our hormones start to change and therefore our body composition starts to change. When we go into these years, we decrease testosterone.
That means we oftentimes lose lean muscle mass, and in its place, we store more fat. So at the Center of Disease Control, they've actually shown us that American adults, 74% of Americans are actually overweight, which can lead to a lot of chronic illness.
So I don't need to tell you to watch out for being overweight, you know how that feels. And you know when your body is changing. So the tips I'll give you today will help you make those changes.
Now, another condition that's really prominent in women over the age of 40 is osteoporosis or even osteopenia. And typically that begins or it heightens after we turn 40 because we start to decrease estrogen.
Just like with a lot of conditions that I'll talk about today, it has a lot to do with those changing hormones.
The decrease in estrogen can decrease our bone mass. And so definitely wanna make sure you're going in and getting your DEXA scan done and doing things to promote better bone health, which I'll chat about later.
Now, another symptom can be heavy menstrual bleeding, which leads to iron efficiency. And a lot of times during these fluctuating years, sometimes our periods get really heavy, there's a long space in between, and then it's really light and then it's heavy and it can fluctuate all over.
And that just is again, due to the different movements in our hormones. And oftentimes if we have these really heavy menstrual cycles, we are gonna lose more iron and iron we need to help give us more energy.
And so if you're starting to feel more fatigued and you notice you're having heavier periods, that is something to look into. Now, of course, as we move into the later years of our forties, we might start to experience more of those menopausal symptoms that we've heard about for years.
So things like vaginal dryness, night sweats, hot flashes, maybe your hair's starting to fall out, maybe you're feeling more irritable and edgy and there's a myriad of different kinds of symptoms. But you know, those are kind of the main ones.
You might be gaining weight thick around the middle. And this again, is just due to our fluctuating hormones. So as we go through the rest of the video today, it will help you shine some light on things that you can do to improve that.
Now another one that we wanna have our eye out for will be type two diabetes and blood sugar dysregulation even, or what we would say insulin resistance. So they're kind of all little steps of leading up to type two diabetes.
When our hormones begin to change and estrogen starts falling, we can become more resistant to insulin, meaning that the carbs that we used to eat our body metabolize them just fine. We're just not using up the sugars the way we used to.
So we have to be really mindful of the amount of carbohydrates we consume. Not that you can't eat them, but you wanna pay attention to how you're putting that together within your day and how they might be increasing your blood sugar and your body can't quite utilize it as it used to.
5 Health Tips for Woman Over 40
All right, so we've went through some things that you should be on the lookout for. And so now we wanna talk about what are some tips in how to make these symptoms a bit better for you.
Well, number one is you guessed it, have a balanced diet, right? You wanna make sure that you're getting enough healthy proteins, eggs, fish, chicken, beef, whatever you like, but make sure you're getting enough protein because protein increases our metabolism.
And adding enough of that fiber in the way of non-starchy green leafy vegetables. So things like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green beans, make sure that's full on your plate, you know, uh, so you wanna have it at least half your plate full of some vegetables.
You wanna have another portion of that plate be protein, and then make sure you're adding in that healthy fat. Healthy fats are amazing for keeping up bone health in addition to other things like weight-bearing exercise.
But in the diet itself, you have your protein, you have a lot of the fresh vegetable, which is gonna have a lot of fiber in there and can keep down that insulin that I just talked about earlier on, how we become a little bit more resistant to that because of the lack of estrogen in our body.
Now you can definitely still have starchy carbohydrates, but when you have that all in a nice balance, the smallest thing on your plate, besides maybe the fat, because fat is more dense, it will be those starchy carbohydrates that way.
One, if you eat that all in a nice balance like that, you will retain a very nice blood sugar balance throughout the day, which gives you better energy and lets your body do the work efficiently as it's made to do.
Getting more sleep
Now the next one we wanna talk about is getting more sleep. It, you know, on a lot of the videos that I go, that I speak on, I a lot of times will always bring in the nutrition because, well, it seems like it would fit right. I am a nutritionist.
And secondly, I really like to drive home how much sleep is important to your overall health. If we don't get enough sleep, what you already know, you don't function well the next day. But what is you don't really realize is how internally stressful that is for the body.
When we lack sleep, it increases our poor moods. So it increases anxiety, it can increase depression, it can increase that irritability you might be experiencing as your hormones start to fluctuate.
And when we are feeling like that, we tend to lean toward more carbohydrates because if we're tired, our body is like, I need more sugar. So you end up having carbs that you really don't wanna have or that aren't serving you in a nutritious way and tends to spike your insulin.
You fall down into low blood sugar, you get some more carbs, you go back up, which just creates this cycle of a like almost fake energy in a way because you're body is just consuming all the carb.
And then you fall back down into that low blood sugar, which just tires you out. So not only are you not sleeping well, you're tired throughout the day, not because of that and because of the way that you're consuming foods.
Now, as we, our hormones change and fluctuate, we tend to start decreasing not only in estrogen, but our progesterone. And progesterone is like our calming hormone, which helps us sleep at night.
So making sure that you're getting enough sleep to keep a nice balance of foods throughout the day and your energy stable, that alone can help you sleep better. But if you are feeling like your progesterone might be low, we can always test that.
We can look into that and there are a lot of ways we can help to increase that if that is the case in a natural, safe way.
Taking care of your Mental Health
Now, the next one I wanna talk about is really taking care of your mental health. Maybe I should say that even just having a lot of time or as much time as you can for just self-care, as you start to go through all of these hormone changes, it can feel frustrating.
We not only feel that way, but we do internally have more irritability, or you could have more anxiety or more depression just because of the fluctuation.
So it's important to take time, and I know we all have busy lives, but whatever, 15- minute, 30 minutes you could find throughout your day just to have some time for you where you do whatever you like that relaxes you.
Of course, people talk about doing meditation or maybe it's just reading a book or it's doing a little yoga, or maybe it's just simply going for a walk outside when the weather is beautiful and you're just getting away, whatever makes you feel good will make your brain feel good, and that will give you also extra energy because you feel refreshed.
So I always want you to take extra time for yourself and give yourself some grace during this time because it's not easy. And sometimes, as I said initially, it feels frustrating because things are not the same and we are trying to navigate through it.
So that extra time for yourself can be just a little bit of grace where you take a break, basically, just take a break.
Do more Resistance Weight Training
Now, the next one I wanna talk about is also really important, and it's making sure that you are starting to do more resistance weight training. When we start going over the age of 40, we are losing lean muscle mass.
And many times this might be because you're not doing any weight training for sure, it's because we begin to decrease our testosterone. As I said earlier, testosterone becomes less and we don't build muscle like we were before.
So even if you're doing weight training, you're not able to kind of grow the muscle that you want because you're lower testosterone. So a great way to keep it at a healthier place for you is to have a weight training routine going on, whether you're seeing a personal trainer or you have your own routine.
Lots of different things on YouTube, of course, that you can just search up. But make sure that you're building muscle throughout this time. One of the big things is that, well, several, but a couple that I think of is, number one, it is going to help keep better bone mass on.
And as I said earlier, we decrease bone mass or have the propensity to because of our hormones changing. And so weight training can help to keep bone mass more stable and healthy. And also having more muscle is going to help our metabolism.
And metabolism, as I shared earlier, starts to kind of slow down with all those different hormones changing. So more muscle, higher metabolism, better bones. So I definitely want you to get back in the gym, or maybe you have a home gym.
It doesn't have to be anything crazy, it just makes sure you're building muscle.
Now the last tip I wanna talk about is supplementation. I'm pretty conservative when it comes to supplements in general, but I do think that they can be very important, especially as we age over the age of 40 and we're changing and all those hormones and things like that.
As I mentioned earlier, sometimes we have a propensity to have more iron deficiency because of those fluctuations in our menstrual cycles. Being heavier means you can easily take an iron supplement. You know, there's many good ones out there. I will link some below my favorites.
Also you would be, it'd be important to start taking maybe an omega-3 fish oil. Omega three s are gonna be for inflammation. They're great for heart health, and they are going to help keep more of that oil. So if we're feeling dry, that's gonna be helpful in that way.
And as I mentioned, it decreases inflammation. So omega three s is also another great one to take. At the stem of all of this is obviously our hormones creating a lot of this havoc, but sometimes when our hormones become crazy, so does our gut.
And that might be something that you notice sooner than later. And so you can take a probiotic if that feels like you kind of have, you know, just a few changes going on. Nothing serious. Probiotics are, there's definitely a place for them. I'll link one below that I like.
But definitely, you know, thinking about keeping good gut health, because if we have better gut health, then that metabolizes all those minerals and vitamins, which leads to having to take less supplementation.
So I hope some of these tips that I gave you today give you some insight on what you can do to help yourself as you age, and that way you can age more gracefully.
If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.
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