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How to Take Control of Your Health and Wellness After Turning 40

I remember in my youth thinking when my parents were in their 40s that they were OLD. Maybe I could see how they lived and felt it was different than how my teenage body and mind worked. I was reminded on a yearly basis working for corporate healthcare of the changes in our healthcare across the ages in training modules. I just saw the list of the changes increase in each decade and thought "Wow there is a lot to deal with as one age and it doesn't look too great." In my active mind and body, I thought this would not be so hard on me because I take good care of my body. Oh, I was surprised and my understanding changed in my 40's. This can be a whole different experience for each individual. I have had patients at each decade of life say "It all goes downhill after age___".

What changes occur after age 40? The changes include muscle loss, changes in metabolism, lean tissue loss, skin and hair changes, height and weight, blood vessels, endocrine system changes, and hormone changes.

Muscle mass decreases about 3-8% every decade after age 30, and even more after age 60. It is a natural part of aging called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is a type of muscle atrophy that is mostly caused by inactivity. This is recognized by people when they have difficulty with daily activities like walking, balance issues, standing from a chair, twisting a lid off a jar, and picking up a grocery bag.

Metabolism slows with aging as muscle mass decreases. Of course, there are other factors in dealing with metabolism like hormones and genetics.

Lean tissue loss is another factor after age 30, where some muscle, liver, kidney, and other organ cells are lost.

Your skin becomes thinner and less elastic. Your bones and veins become more visible and any wound to the skin, including cuts, scratches, and bumps take longer to heal.

People tend to lose up to 1-3 inches of height mostly due to degenerative changes in the spine and decreased fluid content in the spinal discs.

There are cardiovascular changes like blood vessels becoming stiffer, causing the heart to work harder, contributing to higher blood pressure.

The endocrine system changes with an increase in type 2 diabetes.

Hormonal changes occur, and many women will experience perimenopause which can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, and depression.

So what can you do to to take control of your health and wellness with all these changes that are occurring? The research is out there and it is not by taking or using anti-aging products. You have to put in the work of exercising regularly which is recommended by Mayo Clinic to be at least 30 minutes a day. Other recommendations are to exercise for 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. This will help every change due to the aging listed above. Then it is eating a whole food, plant-based diet. This diet has been scientifically proven to minimize menopause symptoms and decrease cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Next progressive weight training to improve bone density, increase muscle mass, improve metabolism, and along with exercise regulate hormones. You will also need to address mental health with anxiety and depression by seeking out healthcare providers who specialize in these for treatment and strategies. Sleep is also important, you need to allow your brain and body to regulate your body and repair damage.

Be encouraged, you can change your health and wellness. There are people who care and want to help others live a more meaningful and healthy life. It may be not only in mainstream healthcare but in private practices where providers want to educate and empower others to take control of their lives. This is one reason why I left mainstream healthcare and opened up my direct care practice. Take action for your health and wellness and visit my website, call or text, and let's move forward to a more meaningful life.

#LiveInspired, #Compasion&KnowledgeToHeal

Karen Baltz Gibbs, PT, DPT, CSCS, CMP, LMT, Owner Garage Training & Rehab Gym

call/text: 971-719-3162

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