Women in Your 40s: 6 Steps to Help You Stay Healthy

Raise your hand if you have no interest in your health or fitness. If you raised your hand, you’re excused. Go flop in the recliner.

If you’re still here, good for you! We have some tips from Prevention magazine that will help you stay on track for better health and more energy.

Follow These Six Good Health Steps:

  1. Start your day with breakfast. Your metabolism is higher in the morning. People who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day. In a study, women who ate a healthy breakfast lost 21 percent of their body weight after 8 months, compared to 4.5 percent of women on a low-carb diet who made breakfast their smallest meal. The healthy breakfast eaters continued losing later even though they ate more total calories.
  2. Boost your metabolism. Consistent strength training can increase your resting metabolism. You can burn more calories even when you’re reading a helpful health blog! Strength training is good for your bones, too. Plan for about 30 minutes most days of the week.
  3. Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D. They help strengthen bones. The National Institutes of Health recommend adults 19 to 50 years get 1,000 mg each day. Women 51 to 71 should get 1,200. For vitamin D, adults 19 to 70 should get 600 IU (international units) per day.
  4. Manage your stress. Learn your signs of stress and what your stressors are. Then you can use some of the many healthy ways to manage stress. An easy thing to do is relaxation breathing. Breathe in for the count of four, then count to eight as you exhale. You can do this whenever you feel like relaxing. Hanging out with good friends is a great stress reliever. And it’s just fun! Maybe try something new with your partner. How about a weekend getaway to spice up your life?
  5. Get your protein. It’s in every cell of your body, and your body can’t store it like it does fats or carbohydrates. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues and make enzymes, hormones and other important body chemicals, including mood-lifting neurotransmitters in the brain. These can reduce depression symptoms and help brain processes. Get 50 to 65 grams of protein every day. That’s the amount in four ounces of meat and a cup of cottage cheese.
  6. Get your checkups. Once you’ve taken the five steps above, regular visits to your health care provider can help you track your progress. The Office of Women’s Health recommends these screening tests for most women in their 40s (ask your health care provider what schedule you should follow).
    • Blood pressure test. Every two years. If your blood pressure is high, visit with your health care provider about it.
    • Mammogram. Discuss with your health care provider.
    • Pap test (cervical cancer screening). Every five years if you have a cervix. Get an HPV test at the same time.
    • Cholesterol test. Ask your health care provider how often you should check your cholesterol.
    • Eye exam. Every two years.
    • Dental exam. Every year — get a cleaning, too.

These tips are great steps toward enjoying good health for the next 40 years!

Meet the Author

Ashley Marie Warmoth, DO is a family medicine physician at Aurora Health Center in Lake Geneva, WI.

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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