“Life begins at 40” is a very common saying that bears a painful and yet truthful meaning. Midlife serves as one of life’s milestones where you get to experience all its boons and banes. If you were excited to grow up before, midlife would definitely start changing that perspective since it is when you will have to face the responsibilities of raising your own family, taking care of aging parents, balancing your work and social life, and achieving your personal goals in life.
With all these responsibilities piling up, it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves. However, the sad truth is that our bodies no longer have all its youthful vitality, but is gradually degrading with time. Health risks and diseases increase with age as our immune system gets weaker. Now more than ever, we need to reassess the value and effort that we put in taking care of our bodies.
It is true that it is tough to change our way of life. We might even believe that our current lifestyle is fine because it appears to be working just good enough for us. The question that one should answer is “Is it a healthy lifestyle that we are following?”. Even though breaking through a cocoon is painful for a caterpillar, it is a necessary change for it to enjoy life to the fullest. With that in mind, here are some midlife tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle after your 40s.
11 Ways of maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
- Put more time in exercise. This may be a cliché from all the health advises that you’ve read, but nevertheless, it will never stop to be true and important. Our immune system is responsible for fighting against diseases and viruses, with exercise the immune system can be boosted. Whether it’s a full-blown workout at the gym or a few minutes of yoga or Pilates at home will definitely help improve your overall health.
A simple weight and strength training will not only help shave off that belly fat but also helps in making your bones stronger and improve your metabolism which slows down with age. Do some early morning jogging to improve your heart and breathing and a few stretching exercises for better muscle and bone flexibility.
Motivate yourself to spend less time lying down your bed or sitting down as you have already done that for several hours in the office. Exercise will not only help you shaped up but also allows you to do the things that you love to do more!
- Eat Healthy Food. Timeless and One of the most important health tips is to eat a healthy diet as much as possible. Together with exercise, a healthy dietary routine is probably one of the most neglected practices done by everyone. Now that you’re at your 40s, it is best to consider making a habit of eating healthy food not only as your energy source but also to maintain that youthful look.
No matter how busy you get, always try to eat your breakfast. Not only is it the most important meal of the day, but breakfasts also helps speed up your metabolism. If you want to lose weight, skipping a meal is a mistaken notion. Doing this will not help you slim down but could lead to other health problems and diseases. After all, a healthy lifestyle does not just mean fitness regime and lots of exercises but also eating your meals on time, so avoid skipping meals. Consume more protein to complement your muscle-building exercise. During the 40s, fibre is your new best friend so during your snacks, choose some dried fruits, almonds, and nuts to replace your usual chips and soda to lessen your preservative intake. It would also be best to be familiar with your local farmer’s market to know when and where to best to buy your needs.
- Drink more fluids. Ageing comes with losing a sense of thirst. It might be free and easy, but it is frequently overlooked. However during midlife, in order to nourish every cell in our bodies, drinking water is essential. One of the most common and effective approaches is to drink lots of water, especially during midlife.
Not only is it an answer to dehydration but it also boosts your immune system, increases your brain’s functionality, improves your skin health and complexion, flushes out body wastes and prevents cramps, sprains, and even headaches. Drinking is also an excellent way to help weight loss and promote a healthy weight management regimen.
- Start prioritizing sleep. With multiple works and home responsibilities, we tend to wake up early and stay late just to catch up with our hectic schedule. As we get busier, we deprive ourselves more from sleep and reap its bitter consequences. However, sleep is an indispensable and vital factor for health and should be taken more seriously. Remember, a healthy lifestyle also means getting enough sleep to rejuvenate your mind and body in your 40s.
Not only does it prevent the dreaded under-eye circles, but a study shows that sleep enhances our immune system, keeps our mind and memory sharper, helps maintain a healthy heart, aids in weight loss, reduces stress and depression and prevents diseases such as inflammation and even cancer. Turning the lights out allows your body to recuperate from exercises and from all its hard work.
It is time to ditch that blaring screech of your alarm clock and give your body the rest it deserves. Practice waking up naturally rather than forcing yourself to work. Adopt the attitude of “getting to bed early and waking up early” and see how it improves your physical and mental well-being.
- Schedule Vital Check Ups. With all the changes happening in your body during midlife, it is highly recommended to have a regular check-up. You can start by knowing your numbers such as your cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and body weight to make sure everything is normal and if not, help you identify potential health risks. It would also be beneficial to explore your family tree and traced back if there are any history of certain hereditary diseases that you should be wary about.
A midlife tip – If you notice anything different in your body, always report it to your doctor and never hide anything. Most of the time, we become embarrassed to admit that there is something wrong with us but at 40, health trumps pride. Pay close attention as our body might be giving some warning signs that need our immediate attention. May it be a wincing pain or a peculiar discharge, tell it to your physician. As they said, prevention is better than cure.
- Commit to a Self-Care Regimen. Do not just start your healthy lifestyle but dedicate yourself to it. In addition to a regular exercise, healthy diet, and good sleep, you can also adhere to some preventive measures. A few examples would be wearing sunglasses and applying sunscreen to help block the adverse effects of prolonged heat exposure. Moreover, it is also beneficial to wear a face mask to avoid catching communicable diseases when in public places.
Also, committing to proper hygiene dramatically reduces health risks. Make a regular habit of brushing your teeth and washing your hands to avoid infections and intestinal diseases. Furthermore, a health tip – you can add hot baths to your daily health regimen as it helps relieve muscle pain, improve your skin condition, and give you a better mood to jumpstart your day.
- Diminish or eliminate your Vices. If you are a smoker, it may be time to consider stopping now that you’re in your 40s before you become a victim of chronic and irreversible diseases such as chronic bronchitis or lung cancer.
Drinkers should also be wary of the negative effects of alcohol on the body and think about minimizing this habit. Not only can it cause temporary problems such as loss of memory or coordination, but it can also lead to more permanent damages to your brain, heart, liver, kidney, pancreas and other parts of your body, resulting to various illnesses.
Stopping is undeniably difficult, but with a healthy lifestyle, dedication, and support from others, it is never impossible.
- Be more active in the bedroom. Has your romantic life dwindled lately? Then reignite your sex life with your partner by being more adventurous and playful. A study shows that your physical intimacy with your partner not only strengthens your relationship as spouses but also offers health benefits.
Your quality time with your partner goes beyond orgasm, but it also can help against stress, depression, immunity to some infections, lowers the risk of heart attacks, lowers blood pressure and even helps burn calories! Make your romantic sessions a nightly habit, explore new positions and spend it in new and exciting places. Be a lover as you get older!
- Nurture important relationships. As we age, it is important to keep a good company around. Spending more time with your family and hanging out with your friends has an indirect, yet the meaningful impact on your overall health and mental fortitude. Having someone you can talk to and share with helps build intimacy and trust which in turn helps relieves stress, avoid depression and boost your happiness.
Enrich your life by being with those who are important to you but also be careful of socializing with a lousy company. Being around a negative influence will make it harder for you to quit your vices and may even worsen your relationship with your family and significantly affect your career. Pick your friends who can be there for you in happiness and as well as in need.
- Keep your Mind Sharp. While you put effort into taking care of your body, work on taking care of your mental health as well. Reading a book is a great habit in order to keep your mind sharp. Not only does this exercise your brain, but it is also a good source for gaining new knowledge and starting conversations with others. Revisit your old skills and update them. If you have been fond of the piano before, then maybe you can start learning new techniques and pieces again. You can also discover new skills that would be of interest. There is never an end to learning.
Midlife is also an excellent checkpoint to think and reassess your life goals. Evaluate how you want to live the rest of your life, where you are right now, where you want to go and how to get there. Plan ahead and think about your post work life and what to do with your free time. Look at your finances in black and white and check whether you need to start saving and an emergency account. Secure your financial future while you still can and cut back some unnecessary expenses. Start looking at the big picture by doing small things.
- Develop a positive mentality. A positive outlook in life can go a long way in maintaining healthy physical well-being since emotions have a significant link to the improvement or deterioration of your health. People who are emotionally stable and positive are more in control of their thoughts and behaviours making them more capable of handling stress and other unwanted scenarios in life. On the other hand, emotionally unstable individuals are more prone to intense feelings of depression and anxiety, drained mental energy, and low levels of motivation and happiness. Our bodies react in a certain way when it senses that something is wrong which leads to a number of health problems.
Develop a more positive mentality by being more grateful, laughing and smiling more often, and by complimenting others. This will not only improve your health but will also improve how people look at you. Schedule some fun activities such as concerts and parties and travel to new places and enjoy new cultures and views. Studies also show that enjoying nature helps in reducing stress and improves life satisfaction. Be active and be positive!
Being at our 40s is definitely difficult, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed. With a dedication to a healthy lifestyle, together with peer and family support, you can have a blast with your midlife.