6 Ways Our Health Changes after the Age of 40

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Michedolene Hogan
Michedolene Hogan, publisher of TheAllergySpot.com, lives in a quiet rural neighborhood of NC. She and her four children enjoy the quiet atmosphere after years of living in Southern CA cities. On two acres of land she has found the perfect atmosphere for working as a freelance writer covering a wide range of topics. She prefers writing about alternative allergy solutions but enjoys dabbling in other topics as well. In her spare time she and her family enjoy working with rescued dogs from high kill shelters around NC that need a little special TLC to re-learn how to be part of a family.
Michedolene Hogan
Michedolene Hogan
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Like or not, once we pass the age of 40, we round the corner into areas of our health we may never have considered before. We might not notice it the day after our birthday, but it will sneak up on us if we don’t pay attention to what our bodies are telling us.

Some of this can be countered with our own actions, thankfully. So, with each area that I am going to share with you, I will also address what we can do to make this transition into our newest decade less painful”¦literally.

What I am about to discuss is not just for women, because men”¦while you might be more distinguished now, you too are aging.

1. Beauty is More than Skin Deep

Let’s start with our skin, since it is most noticeable to us, as well as others. The condition of your skin will depend on 3 things. One is how you treated your skin in your youth. If you were in the sun a lot with very little protection, you might have some issues heading your way, such as wrinkles, age spots, and even skin cancer.

Another thing that will affect your skin is how you treat your skin now. You are probably well beyond the “˜need to be tan’ mentality. There are studies out that make it clear now that skin cancer is a real threat for those who abuse their skin with tanning. But it also advances all signs of aging in our skin.

If your skin is drier than it used to be, drink more water and less caffeine. You can also combat some of this aging process with an anti aging skin treatment such as creams and masks. And, for the more advanced aged skin, laser treatments are available. But, ouch.

The third influence on our skin is genetics. If you were blessed with skin that doesn’t age, count your blessings. Not many of us are, and need to work at it, if we want our skin to remain as youthful as our mind.

2. Menopause, a Girl’s Best Enemy

This could happen at any time really. Some women experience it in their early 20’s already, even though that is rare. And, it might even be too soon to be worrying about it now at 40, but knowing what to expect is half the battle. Well, part of it anyways.

Meanpause (no, not a typo”¦it’s just cruel) can wreak havoc on your life, with hot flashes, weight gain, irritability (no, not me), and sleepless nights. However, if you check with your doctor, you might be a candidate for estrogen replacement, or vitamin E and black cohosh as natural alternatives for hot flashes.

3. Heart is where the Age Is

As we pass into our next stage in life, the risk for heart disease increases right along with our age. Pay attention to any new feeling you might have in your arms and chest, especially if it occurs during a stressful period.

Changing your diet to fewer fats and sugars will help, as will regular exercise. If you are looking to make a significant change in your diet or exercise routine, you should get it approved through your doctor. You don’t want to suddenly place a lot of stress on your heart by running a 10k race, when you’ve never run before.

4. More to the Joint

Arthritis seems to be more and more common these days. Or, maybe it’s just that I’m surrounded by people who are aging right along with me. It’s a painful condition, no matter what the reason is though. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do about it coming on.

However, you can take a couple steps in relieving the pain, without increasing medication. First, get some healthy exercise, and by “˜healthy’ I mean something that is not going to aggravate your arthritis. In other words, when mine is flaring up, swimming feels far better than climbing stairs.

Something that also helps is to lose a little weight, even if you aren’t necessarily heavy. A difference of just 10 pounds can make a difference on your joints. If you doubt me, put a 10lb bowling ball in a backpack, strap it on, and then walk around with it all day.

5. A Weighty Topic

And, speaking of weight”¦your chances of gaining weight go up significantly when we cross the magical age of 40. No, you won’t wake up 10lbs heavier tomorrow, but it could sneak up on you. I was surprised to learn that there’s an actual reason for this, other than we are probably not as active as we were when we were a kid.

Our fat characteristics change as we age, not just our pant size. We always have a mix of brown and yellow fat cells in our body. However, as we age the ratio changes from more brown and less yellow, to more yellow and less brown. Unfortunately, yellow isn’t as nice to our bodies, because they have a lower metabolic rate, which makes it easier to lose, or maintain weight.

As long as you know this, you can combat it with an adjustment of your caloric intake, as well as the calories you burn in exercise. In other words, you have to work a little harder than you used to in order to maintain your weight.

6. The Risk of Cancer

The risk of certain cancers increase as we pass 40 and unfortunately, the preventive testing criteria for some of these cancers has also changed. Those cancers include:

  • Breast
  • Cervical
  • Prostate
  • Colon

Back in 2009, a U.S. Government task force made a controversial decision to change their recommendation of women getting a mammogram at age 40, to now getting one starting at age 50, and every 2 years thereafter. They also suggest that self-examination is useless. Um, what?

Yes, many doctors”¦and many breast cancer survivors in their 40’s strongly disagree. If your physician cannot help you get the tests you deserve, seek out a second opinion.

The best present you can give yourself for your 40th is a promise to get an annual physical, and listen to your body, head, and your physician.

About the Author

As a writer, business owner, and a mom, Michedolene Hogan often finds topics that she can share her own experiences with her readers, such as skincare and sun damage. She was visiting http://www.ageless-beauty.com when she decided to write on her latest topic of kids and sun damage. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and young son.