Prioritizing your Health Today is setting yourself up for a Active Tomorrow
Midlife is a great time to do a little health self inventory. Focusing on improving your daily habits, your daily routines and investing in living a healthy lifestyle are going to allow your body to be active and pain free later in life. If we take ownership of our aging now, we don’t have to accept that getting older means being tired, sick, or dependent on others.
Health is like money - we never have a true idea of its VALUE until we lose it.
Here’s the good news: We know that genetics play a part in aging but science has proven that basic lifestyle choices also contribute to how we age, for the positive or the negative.
If we choose to smoke, eat poorly, be sedentary, we are setting ourselves up for a less than high quality senior lifestyle. On the other hand, by simply implementing a few healthy lifestyle changes we can increase the possibility of living a long, active life well into our senior years.
If we don’t take care of our body properly we can be accelerating the aging process, which can also increase our chances of chronic disease and inflammation.
BUT, if we invest in living a healthy lifestyle, choosing to move our bodies, opting for quality nutrition, and living an active, fulfilling life we will not only get to live longer lives, we also get to live high quality lives!!
You hear me talk about the 4 Pillars of Health every woman over 40 needs to be focusing on - Nutrition, Movement, Mindset, and Knowledge!!
So let’s talk about THREE Simple things you can do TODAY to help you have a healthy, happy, active Tomorrow using the 4 Pillars of Health:
Pillar 1: Proper Nutrition
Nothing new here - you already know that a healthy diet is key to managing your weight. It’s also important that we cut out foods that cause our body to be inflamed and speed up the aging process. It’s common for perimenopausal women to experience new food intolerances. Make sure you are tracking how the foods you are consuming make you feel.
A diet high in sugar, alcohol, and processed foods puts us at risk for heart disease, diabetes, cognitive decline, and other chronic issues.
The best place to start when it comes to nutrition after 40 is with a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and lean animal proteins or plant based proteins, that give you adequate nutrients to protect and repair your body, decrease bloating and inflammation, as well as decrease the intensity of some common perimenopause symptoms.
Pillar 2: Move Your Body
In the same way your metabolism changes and becomes less effective, your muscle mass decreases as you age, so regular exercise is a major factor in the your quality of life. I say it all the time . . . sitting is the new smoking! It’s never too late to take control over how your body will age.
In a study involving participants 68 years old, overweight and sedentary, found that even the smallest amounts of changes in time standing or moving throughout the day improved their overall health. >> See! It’s never too late to make healthy changes!!
At age 40 our bodies begin to lose muscle mass at a higher rate. So it’s imperative that we incorporate strength training into our fitness programming.
Remember, there is no one-size-fits all approach to exercising. When it comes to being active, finding something you enjoy will keep you coming back for more. Consistently is key with regard to living a healthy lifestyle!
If you aren’t moving very much now, start small. If you are walking already, increase the insanity by adding hills, speed, or distance. Cardio is a great way to improve your heart health and fire up your metabolism.
Balance is another key component to movement after 40. Balance training helps prevent falling and broken bones. As we get older, recovery time takes longer so avoiding injury is important.
Yoga is great for improving joint health, restoring body balance and improving strength and flexibility. Honestly, something as simple as balancing on one foot while brushing your teeth is a great starting point!
Pillar 3: Mindset >> This includes living a life that you are passionate about and that you love!!
While exercise and diet are key in healthy aging and living better, living longer is also linked to your purpose, passion, and finding what brings you joy!
If you participated in my 3 Keys to Thriving in Midlife Workshop, we dove deep in this topic because it's such an important, driving focus tied to most people's WHY.
Having a meaningful life or living a life of purpose is now being associated with a lower rate of cardiovascular disease, decreased stress, chronic fatigue, and positive gut health.
As we age there is less focus on those life’s demands we experienced in our 20s and 30s like starting a career, raising family, and society's expectations - providing us more free time!! More time to dive into hobbies we love, spending time with people that inspire us, and doing things that "fill our cup."
Having a purpose driven life allows us to fully ENJOY life.
Now we feel free to live unapologetically as our truest self. We have more free time now that our kiddos are old, more independent or even out on their own to focus on our own needs. To dream big, to be who were made to be.
This is your time to pour into YOU. To find what brings YOU joy. To put your mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health at the top of the priority list!
Getting older doesn’t mean it's time to slow down ~> quite the opposite! It means we are growing into our best selves, but to do that we need to make sure we prioritize our health today, setting ourselves up for our best tomorrows!!