Every human being is unique and different. We make our own choices in life. While getting older is inevitable, we can choose to remain fit and healthy. The whole aging process can be seen in a new light. Being young and dynamic is always desirable by society, and we try to hide being old, both physically and mentally. For half of your life, you wished you were half your age. More often than not, it is difficult to handle the whole process of becoming older. Yet, you can choose to age gracefully and stay healthy as you grow old.
As you reach 40’s, you start noticing significant changes in your body. It is up to you, how to make the most of this transition and embrace a new life after 40. Fortunately, in this modern world, we have both knowledge and technology to help us deal with this phase. It is our responsibility to make the best use of knowledge and live a healthy life after forty. Here, we discuss 20 changes you can bring to make 40 the best decade of your life.
20 Ways to Reinvent Yourself at 40
1. Maintain a good sleep routine
Sound sleep plays a very important role in both, mental and physical health. It not only improves productivity and performance, but also the quality of life. As per the study, an adult requires 7-8 hours of good and sound sleep each night. As you reach 40, along with the duration of the sleep, you also need to make sure to follow this regime consistently. If you get enough sleep, you will feel rested the next morning. On the contrary, you might feel cranky and tired due to lack of proper sleep. The body tends to restore itself during sleep. As much as your body needs air and food, it also requires good sleep to maintain good health.
As you grow old, you might experience certain changes in your sleeping patterns too. Some of the reasons why you should give this equal importance are:
- Individuals who are sound sleepers, tend to consume fewer calories. Proper sleep reduces the risk of obesity.
- Sleep directly affects your brain function. A good night’s sleep increases the concentration and performance of an individual.
- Inconsistent sleep increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart-related disease, and stroke.
- The sleeping disorder affects your mental health and often leads to depression.
- Getting a minimum of 8 hours of sleep also improves your body’s immunity.
2. Schedule regular visits to your doctor
If you are young and energetic, visiting a doctor might not be on your to-do list, unless there is a specific need. However, regular tests and check-ups are important for early detection and treatment of illness at every age. These regular visits also help you build a comfort level with your doctor.
Your 40’s is the best time to evaluate your current health situation. Both for men and women, it is very important to visit your doctor regularly as you are more prone to illness after this age. Your blood pressure, cholesterol, eye test, and sugar level must be closely monitored. Especially for women in their 40’s, the risk of breast cancer also increases. You need to ensure to get it checked for early detection and avoid any complications at a later stage.
3. Quit smoking
Smoking has an adverse effect on almost every organ of the body. It also affects the overall health of a person. Smoking is one of the main causes of preventable deaths across the world. It increases the risk of death in both men and women.
Quitting smoking by age forty reduces the excess mortality risks. Irrespective of how long you’ve been smoking, quitting helps you breathe easily, feel energetic, and add more years to your life. It lowers your blood pressure and you are at a lesser risk of heart failure. Other benefits include a strong immune system, improved blood circulation, reduced risk of oral infections, lower risk of lung cancer, and many more. As life changes at 40, you should also be prepared to change your habits.
Life after 40 for a woman is no different from men. But when it comes to smoking, it can have adverse effects. Women, who smoke, are at a higher risk of fertility-related issues. If you are a woman and planning to conceive, do consult your gynecologist.
4. Decrease alcohol consumption
It’s never too late to reduce your alcohol intake or completely stop drinking. Often, we don’t consider drinking as problematic unless it starts creating health problems, mood swings, or any other consequences. And that’s when we consider stopping drinking altogether.
- As you get older, the hangovers from alcohol consumption only get worse.
- By the age of 40, your liver becomes less efficient, and can’t heal itself as it used to when you were in the ‘20s or ‘30s.
- You might go into a deep sleep after drinking, but that is not considered a healthy sleep. As you reach 40, sound sleep is very important.
- Alcohol adds a lot of sugar and calories, and slows metabolism too, resulting in weight gain.
- If you are on medication, there are chances that alcohol reacts with your medicines. Even simple pain relievers do not go well with alcohol and can cause stomach bleeding.
5. Keep gadgets away from the bedroom
Electronic devices often create distractions and disruptions in your sleep routine. You may want to remove music players, TV, alarm clock, mobile phone, and anything else that may cause a disturbance. This, in itself, will help you have a quiet and sound sleep. These devices, when allowed in our sleep space, also lead to sleep deprivation.
There are ample benefits to the technology-free bedroom. First, by not having your mobile next to you, you reduce the harmful radiation exposure. Second, you can spend more quality time with your family to maintain a healthy relationship. Third, it lets you reflect upon your day and evaluate it. Fourth, lack of gadgets removes the accessibility to social media, and in turn reduces the chance to experience frustration, anger, loneliness, etc.
6. Stand up at regular intervals while working
Long hours of sitting can have both short and long term effects on your body and overall health. You use less energy while you are sitting, as compared to when you stand or move. Weight gain, bad back, heart disease, obesity, stiff neck, and shoulders are some of the health problems of prolonged sitting. Sitting for more than 6-8 hours a day also increases the risk of death.
Try to move every 20 minutes. Simply standing also helps. Any physical activity uses the muscles and helps in toning them. As you age, you need to focus on body movement as much as possible. Standing or moving around at regular intervals boosts productivity, reduces fatigue, improves mood, and relieves you of back pain. If you experience severe back pain or unusual pain in other parts of the body, visit a reputed chiropractic clinic.
7. Consume more protein
Protein is a vital component in the body. Protein is used by the body to repair and build tissues. It is also called a building block of muscles, bones, blood, and skin. As you grow old, you need to consume protein-rich diet to maintain muscular strength. When you are over 40, you tend to lose muscle mass, your appetite may decrease, and your body needs more protein than usual to increase strength. Some other benefits of high protein consumption are:
- It diminishes the craving for late-night snacking.
- Boosts your metabolism.
- Increases calorie burning.
- Helps in weight loss.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease.
8. Have a strict fitness routine
Life starts changing when you get old. The older you get, the harder it becomes to stay fit and healthy. You are not getting any younger at 40, and recovery becomes harder. But this doesn’t mean that you give up your fitness regime. You need to have an active lifestyle to slow down the risk of health issues. As you age, the body stores fat more easily, you tend to lose muscle, and bone density reduces. These changes can be offset by regular exercise.
Regular exercise strengthens your body, along with strengthening heart muscles, which in turn improves circulation. Working out relieves you of stress and anxiety. Physical activity is one of the most important behaviors to be adopted when you are 40. By following a consistent routine, you not only remain fit and healthy but also feel much younger.
9. Breathe deeply
Breathing deeply acts as a powerful tool to reduce stress, tension, and lowers anxiety. When you are stressed, you notice fast breathing, high blood pressure, and increased heart rate. Deep breathing coordinates with your brain and body and helps reduce these factors.
As you grow old, your respiratory system ages too. You become more prone to respiratory infections, like flu and pneumonia. Breathing exercise improves the function of the lungs and lowers the risk of breathing problems. It also improves digestion, decreases stress, detoxifies the body, increases energy levels, and lowers your blood pressure. Deep breathing is not natural, you need to practice it daily, especially when you reach 40.
10. Make time to travel
Exploring different places enhances your creativity and improves overall health. You need to take time out from your hectic schedule and daily routine to travel at least once a year. Traveling helps you to temporarily detach yourself from everyday chores and gives you peace of mind. It makes you creative and improves your communication and social skills. This impacts your mental well-being and is a cure for anxiety and depression.
Life in your forties can be a different experience altogether. Travel exposes you to various environments, which results in creating stronger antibodies, and significantly boosts your immune system. As you meet new people, you adapt to changes and tend to become emotionally strong. It is a good opportunity for physical activities, forcing your muscles to work hard. Traveling gives you an opportunity to reinvent yourself at 40.
11. Practice meditation
Meditation is an approach to train your mind. It involves focusing and has to be practiced consistently. Aging has its own share of gains and losses. You can choose to age gracefully by practicing meditation. It has numerous mental, physical, and emotional health benefits.
- It slows down the progression of dementia.
- Helps in developing a sharp and focused mind.
- Improves digestion.
- Helps in relaxation and reduces anxiety.
12. Spend enough time outdoors
Nature is essential for human health. It has tremendous healing properties. Being in sunlight increases vitamin D in your body. Studies have found that vitamin D helps fight many health conditions like depression, cancer, and osteoporosis. As you cross 40, it is highly important to keep a check on your vitamin D level. Exposing yourself to natural light also helps to heal faster. Being outdoors increases your concentration, makes you active, improves eye vision, eases pain, and also helps you get a sound sleep.
Spending time outside enhances your mental health and makes you feel happier. The mere presence of nature helps you get rid of exhaustion, making you feel more active.
13. Spend some time with yourself
There is no denying that we all need a support system around us, but it is equally important to spend some time alone too. We are living in a fast-paced world, where everything is just a click away. As per mental experts, being alone for at least 20 minutes daily is good and healthy. It allows you to have a better understanding of yourself.
As you get old, it becomes difficult to be in the company of others all the time. Spending time alone provides you the freedom and satisfaction. It gives you time to reflect upon yourself, making you feel happier and calmer. Being alone allows you to think about how to change your life at 40. Solitude is also a good way to relax and rejuvenate yourself.
14. Don’t miss breakfast
Breakfast is the first and most important meal of the day. Consuming a healthy breakfast, including fresh fruits, protein, and low-fat food, improves productivity and concentration. People in their 40’s, who eat regular breakfast, tend to have a sharp memory. Skipping breakfast might lead to hypertension, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and other heart-related risks.
In the morning, your blood sugar level is down. To kick start your day, you need to eat a healthy breakfast to provide you energy and improve metabolism. It restores the glucose levels and also lowers the stress. You are less likely to overeat throughout the day, which is essential to maintain weight.
15. Drink more water
One of the serious health issues, especially for people above 40, is dehydration. During aging, the body’s ability to retain water decreases, and it tends to lose more water. If you are on medication, frequent urination also adds up to the loss of water content. Even mild dehydration in adults may lead to severe problems, affecting both physically and mentally.
Drinking enough water throughout the day is very important to keep your body hydrated and sustain good health. It detoxifies the body, regulates body temperature, pumps blood to muscles, and helps various organs to absorb nutrients. If your body is properly hydrated, it also reduces the formation of kidney stones. As you age, the joints tend to become weak. Consuming enough water lubricates the joints, enhancing their shock-absorbing ability.
16. Do yoga
Studies have shown that practicing yoga for at least 15 minutes daily, proves to be more beneficial than one can imagine. Yoga improves your overall health and teaches you how to restart your life at 40. Some health benefits of practicing yoga regularly are:
- Improves immunity.
- Makes you stronger and physically fit.
- Reduces anxiety.
- Improves your posture.
- Makes you more flexible.
- Helps in weight loss.
- Reduces insomnia.
17. Maintain a healthy gut
After 40, you are at a higher risk of gastrointestinal problems. Constipation, indigestion, weight change, and constant fatigue are some of the health issues you may encounter due to an unhealthy gut. A healthy gut helps you in better digestion and ward off infections.
It is in your hands how to change your life at 40. Adequate sleep, healthy food intake, probiotic food consumption, and regular exercise are some of the ways to maintain a healthy gut.
18. Focus on skincare
As you get older, your skin also changes. Your skin loses fat, becomes thinner, and does not appear to be as smooth as it did at a young age. You may notice dryness, wrinkles, and age spots. Bones and veins become more visible. Skin tends to become more sensitive, and even a small cut or scratch takes longer to heal.
For both men and women, maintaining healthy skin is very important. Healthy skin slows down the aging process. Dealing with a scar or wrinkle becomes easier with healthy and resilient skin. A daily skincare routine can prove to be immensely beneficial. It mitigates the risk of skin cancer and boosts the confidence level too.
With age, it becomes critically important to stay connected with friends and family. People who socialize regularly are healthier than those who don’t. Socializing has to be made a priority, especially when you reach 40. It keeps your mind sharp and prevents dementia. Adults, who are socially active, experience greater self-esteem, and handle stress better. An increased level of socialization helps you live happier and longer.
20. Stay positive
Life at 40 can be challenging, both mentally and physically. As you reach 40, you experience both stress and joy. It becomes very important for you to cope up with these changes. Learn to appreciate and enjoy what you have. Positive thinking increases your lifespan. When you are optimistic, it becomes easier to deal with stress and adversity. You cannot stop aging, but you can embrace the aging process with positive thinking.
As you age, you become wiser and learn to adapt to various changes. Learn to make the best of your incredible life by aging gracefully. Take proper care and maintain a healthy lifestyle to live happier and longer. With small changes in daily routine, you can turn your life around at 40.