Health And Fitness And The Over 40 Woman
The big 4,0
Turning 40 is a milestone that most women approach with a sense of anxiety. Some common questions are, how much does life change after 40? What will I be able to expect from my body? How will I face the challenges of aging? and how do I age gracefully?
As a woman over 40 I’m grateful to have achieved this milestone-and to realize it isn’t as bad as I feared it would be-but still I find myself looking at my reflection more and more and wondering, “who is that?”
I suspect that most women over 40 have had this or a similar experience or maybe you are just having a difficult time coming to terms with certain aspects of the new you.
For most women, once there is still a 3 at the front of your age you still feel comfortable as you haven’t quiet reached there yet. There, of course being middle age. Once we get to 40 though, things start to change. While some of these feelings of being somehow different can be psychological, as a result of what we have been led to believe, the reality is that our bodies do start to undergo some changes. There is no invisible line that you cross over when you get to 40, it’s very likely that some of these changes started for some of us from the age of 35. But 40 is the magic age and that’s when we start to notice.
Did you realize that you are not considered to be in “the menapause” until a year after your last period? I recently learned this little fact, therefore most of these changes take place in what is called the peri-menopause stage. Some of the changes include;
- Irregular menstral cycle that is either shorter or longer
- mood swings
- Loss of hair or dry skin
- Loss or decrease in sexual desire
- Difficulty sleeping
- heart palpitations
- hot flashes night sweats, coldness
Please note that some of the symptoms can be similar to other conditions such as thyroid disorder. Therefore you should always confirm with your doctor that the changes that you are experiencing are indeed peri-menopausal changes.
Of course this is different for every woman in terms of the timing, the symptoms experienced and the level of intensity. Some women sail right on through and are not greatly affected by the transition. My mother, for instance hardly had any problems whereas my best friend, who is 10 years older than I am, had a very difficult time.
This period of you life, providing you don’t give in to the voice in your head telling you that it’s time to panic, can be an amazing time of self discovery. As a woman, you are no longer the insecure child of your 20s, no longer struggling with identity issues as you did in your 30s… you are simply at a point in your life that demands self-reflection and a renewed focus on you.
Most women by age 40, have spent many years fulfilling the roles of super…mom, wife, employee, daughter, sister…only to wake up and discover that you have not really done a good job of taking care of you.
If you fall in this category, never fear there are ways of reclaiming your sense of self and getting fit in the process.
NOW is the time to pay attention to your own health, well-being and fitness. NOW is the time to realize that getting fit is not just a nice idea for when you have the time but an actual health imperative.
The aim of this site is to help women design their own health and fitness program, to offer a sprinkling of advice and huge doses of encouragement. A great deal of focus will be given to physical fitness and if you are anything like me, you neither have the time nor the patience for fitness clubs. Please don’t misunderstand, there are advantages to fitness clubs and we will discuss them briefly. However I have found it more rewarding to design my own program and work at my own pace.
I’ve always been a fitness enthusiast, so I’ve spent years researching and putting into practice what I’ve learned. When I hit my 40s I realized it was no longer “business as usual” as my body now had different needs. I therefore had to switch my focus to finding out what the new challenges would be and how to slow them down.
Join me on this journey of re-discovery and renewal. I will act as your guide as we examine some of the facets of fitness-fitness of mind, body and spirit-specifically targeted to women over 40. You will come to realize how simply focusing on your own “wellness” can actually make you stronger and more capable of being the Super Woman you’ve always striven to be.