So you're over 40.....Now What?
If you're over 40 your mind probably feels younger than your body, and
you feel like you're falling apart. Where did all the years go? Didn't you just turn 24 on your last
Like magic, as soon as the 39th year ends, our bodies seem to turn against
us like a toxic friend. Our metabolism goes to sleep, and weight gain is an unwelcomed certainty. You look in the
mirror and sometimes see a stranger looking back.
Have you ever gotten up from a sitting position only to have your joints play a symphony of
new sounds? What's worse is that our bodies play this symphony over and over again until we figure out
it's origin and reach for a method of relief.
If you are anything like me, you have started to wonder about your health a little more, if
you are eating right, or the fact that you should probably be exercising more. Should you
become a vegan or a vegetarian? What about dairy? With all of the new reseach
being done on the dairy industry and the adverse effects that it has on our bodies, you
may be wondering if you should give it up completely.
Our goal is to hopefully provide you with relevent and cutting edge information that will
enhance and enrich your life, so visit often.
Here are some of
the ways that our bodies change as we mature:
The biggest issue that we
face as we age is the dreaded weight gain. After ruling out all of the usual medical culprits such as chronic
stress and hypothyroidism (where your body is not producing enough thyroid hormone to help you to burn
stored fat), the true picture comes into focus.
It sometimes seems
inevitable that we begin to expand around the waistline after the age of 40. We need to work out much
harder than we used to just to see the numbers on the scale continue to increase. We can no longer eat whatever
we want to without consequence.
The good news is that with a little
practice and a few lifestyle changes we can turn things around! Keep in mind that excess calories of any
kind can increase your waistline and contribute to belly fat. Although there is no single cause of belly
fat, genetics, diet, age, and lifestyle can all play a role.
Changing your dietary habits can help you
fight the battle of the bulge. Start by reading labels, reduce saturated fats, increase the amount of fruits and
veggies you eat, reduce your portions, and eat more fiber!
Skin often changes in cosmetic ways, such as
becoming drier and losing it's elasticity, which causes the onset of wrinkles. Some skin disorders become more
common as we age, such as whiteheads, blackheads, and skin cancer.
Some of the things you can do to keep the skin
looking younger include: avoiding excessive exposure to the sun (this means that you should avoid outdoor
activities in the middle of the day), eating a nutritious diet, and maintaining circulation through regular
exercise. Believe it or not, exercising is good for the skin too!
The Skeletal System
The skeletal system often responds to aging
through the loss of bone mass, which is called osteoporosis. According to
the Mayo Clinic staff, in order to keep your bones healthy you should do the
Take 1,200 milligrams of Calcium daily
Take Vitamin D (2000 I.U. daily)
Exercise- This is the most helpful thing that you can do -exercise stimulates the cells that
As you age, you can lose approximately 8% of
your muscle every ten years. As muscle is lost, people can become weaker and slower, and circulation can
decrease. The best way to maintain muscle is to maintain an exercise program that keeps the muscles so that
muscle is not lost through inactivity.
On a personal note, my father recently had surgery for colon cancer, and he falls quite
frequently-which sometimes requires a trip to the emergency room. He has had a significant amount of belly
fat (the most dangerous type of fat) for most of his adult life and yet for some reason he still will
not exercise. His daily activities include eating and watching television.
As a result of his sedentary lifestyle his muscles have atrophied, and he is unable to pick
himself up when he falls. He is currently 79.
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The Nervous System
The nervous system can slow down as we age,
which can result in a loss of the sense of smell, taste, hearing, touch, and sight. These areas are being
studied, but it is suggested that keeping your mind very active as you age is one of the best ways to maintain
Keep in mind that our brains are muscles too and therefore need to be exercised!
One of the most common causes of limited
activity and even death in people over 65 is heart disease. Along with this, hypertension can increase as we
age, and the respiratory system loses some elasticity. The chest wall stiffens and the respiratory muscles
weaken. All of these things result in a measurable decrease in airflow.
For many people, keeping the heart and lungs
strong through regular exercise, eliminating smoking and maintaining a nutritious diet is all that is required
to reduce the effects of age on the cardiopulmonary system.
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Are you ready for a new You? Let's Get Fit At 40 and beyond!
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