Take charge of your fabulous 40s by making the food and fitness choices that do right by your body. Learn how to be healthy and fit in your 40s.
This decade can be a challenging time of transition for many women. You may find yourself strapped because you’re caring for both aging parents and your own children. Or perhaps you’re starting to feel the symptoms of perimenopause. Whatever is going on in your life right now, you have the power to take charge of how you look and feel.
Combat weight gain, metabolism slow down, and bone loss by using these tips for living a healthy lifestyle in your 40s.
Eating Tips for Your 40s
Love your protein.
By now, you understand that you need fewer calories than when you were younger, but don’t cut back at the expense of protein. Foods rich in protein contain amino acids essential for building and maintaining calorie-burning muscle tissue. When you consistently eat too little protein, muscles begin to shrink.
Don’t skip meals.
It’s a combination made for weight loss disaster: a busy lifestyle plus a slowing metabolism. For many women that translates into skipping meals because you’re too busy to eat or because you think it will reduce overall calorie intake. But when you miss a meal, it triggers blood sugar dives that spark snack attacks, particularly for salty or sweet foods. As a result, you end up overeating.
Instead, plan menus and snacks in advance. This empowers you to better control your appetite—and your metabolism—with three small meals and two nutritious snacks every day. Get started with:
Swap out your danger foods.
Café drinks. Ranch dip. Potato chips. Chances are good you have one (or several) go-to not-so-healthy foods that do you in every time. As your metabolism changes in your 40s, those foods are likely to do more harm to your body than when you were younger. Look for healthier recipes that give you the same taste without weighing you down. Try these swaps made with healthier ingredients:
Exercise Tips for Your 40s
Refocus on cardio workouts.
Building up cardiovascular health with exercise is essential as we age in our 40s. Not only does it support heart and lung health, it also helps you lose weight or maintain a healthy one. Add one or two high intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions to your routine each week. These fat-burning workouts alternate bursts of energy with short rest periods, all designed to keep your heart rate up.
Add or maintain weight training.
Adding weights to your exercise routine puts stress on bones, and that supports the mineralization that keeps them strong and healthy. Weights also boost muscle mass, giving you an oh-so-important metabolism lift.
Give your body time to recover from injuries.
Muscle mass and flexibility decline with age, as does bone density, raising the risk for injury. If you injure yourself, take time to heal before jumping back into your regular workout routine. To lower injury risk, invest extra time in warming up, practicing proper form, and developing strength in your core.
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