Women, as they grow older, tend to develop various health problems, especially age-related health issues. As time passes, they need to pay more attention to their wellbeing because several changes are taking place in their bodies about which they need to be aware of. Here are some important guidelines that women over 40 should follow to keep themselves fit and healthy:
Breast cancer screening: While breast self exams are recommended for women of all ages, if you are nearing or are over 40, yearly mammograms should be conducted as preventive measures or to avoid further complications. Apart from regular check-ups, knowing your risk factor and adopting a healthy lifestyle can help you cut the chances of getting this potentially fatal disease.
Heart disease screening: Studies have shown that more women, including young ones, are falling prey to heart diseases in India, whereas in the US, it is the leading cause of death among the fairer sex.
Health experts suggest that women should check their cholesterol and blood pressure annually, particularly if there is a history of heart disease in their families.
Bone density test: Women with a family history of osteoporosis should consult their doctor for a bone density test or DEXA scan. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, women are four times more likely than men to get osteoporosis, and it can happen at any age. Bone disease has become a health concern for women of all age. Women who have irregular menstrual periods or are entering early menopause should also take more care to prevent getting this devastating bone disease.
Regular exercise: Exercise is important in every stage of life, but as you turn 40, you need to do even more to stay healthy as your body experiences several changes like muscle mass declines and the bones start to become weaker. Make sure that you give yourself 45 minutes 3-4 times per week to work out no matter how hectic your schedule may be. If you are not so friendly with the gym stuff, then you can also go for a fast walk. Yoga and Pilates are ideal at this age since they are not exhausting, plus they give great results without taking much of your time.
Healthy diet: Maintaining a healthy diet is a must for a woman who is approaching or is over 40. During this period, her estrogen levels start to decrease with approaching menopause, causing her metabolism to slow down and her appetite to increase. Hence, they should try to consume more vegetables, fruits, whole grain products, lean meats, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products, whereas sugar, saturated fats, salt and alcohol should be avoided.
Drink lots of water: Water is a vital ingredient for survival of all living beings. Women who are nearing or are over 40 should drink loads of water. After the age of 40, most women face water retention issues due to the hormonal imbalance and fluctuations that arrive with menopause.
Drinking plenty of water will help avoid retention problem besides giving many health benefits and flushing out the toxins from the bodies.
Compiled by: Salome Phelamei