WOW! As I approach my 40th birthday, I feel that life is passing me by really fast and I need to live in the present moment and enjoy the simple things life has to offer. However, I also noticed some changes going on in my body! Possibly some of you who read this can relate to me!
Recently I have seen some changes in my body both good and bad. I have thought, how will I get through my 40’s and what do I have to look forward too? I KNOW for sure that my body has changed a lot. Then I ask myself these questions; will I have a mid-life crisis? How can I keep my energy level high? How will I feel emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually in my body?
Sometimes, when I wake up in the middle of the night to pee, I can’t go back to sleep, or I have a hard time going back to sleep because my mind worries about all the things I need to get accomplished the next day, week , month! I also have realized that I need to appreciate my body even more so NOW at 40! I have decided that at 40 with my metabolism and body changes I have incorporated doing more strengthen workouts. I have been using resistance bands, body weight exercise, weights, cardio (high to low impact) and stretching/yoga very frequently. In addition, also have started meditating to rest my mind.
At 40 I know I have to watch my eating habits even more. It is natural for our metabolism to slow as we age. However, I still give myself one day during the week and one on the weekend to eat what I want. It’s about a balance lifestyle and a balanced diet. I feel this is one key to happiness. I also drink herbal teas and take daily supplements to help with mood, hormones, energy , stress and sleep. I feel my body is responding well to all the natural remedies. During perimenopause each one of us might experience different symptoms. Some women might have severe symptoms and some of us might have more mild affects of approaching menopause. Some of the symptoms can range from depression, fatigue, you might feel worn out, you might struggle against daytime drowsiness, and you might even sneak an afternoon nap. Don’t get me wrong I love naps! I LOVE to sleep! You might even feel short tempered or have a harder time managing your time, or daily routine. As your body changes estrogen levels start to decrease and when this happens we start to notice some changes in our bodies such as weight gain. And we start to feel helpless, cynical, moody, depressed and so on weight gain happens.
I would love to share some of the information and knowledge I have learned through this process called midlife. I will give you a few tips on why eating nutritional foods is so important and why making sure your hormone levels are balanced. How can you keep your hormones balanced naturally without taking hormone treatments? By going to a professional such as acupuncturist, reflexologist or naturopathic doctor who focuses on women’s needs. As I mentioned in my daily routine, I drink hot lemon water with cinnamon to start my day and also drink natural teas (you can find in any store), apply essential oils and eat nutritional foods. This is how I plan to keep my body balanced without drugs. I had to make some lifestyle changes to better myself and my health to keep my body balanced from the inside-out. I am healthy size 6 and only 5 ‘2″. I have to be thoughtful and careful of what I’M PUTTING into my body and exercise often to keep my body fit and healthy. I don’t workout for weight loss, this is a problem for many women. When you focus on weight loss your plan often fails, in large part because of the stress you put on yourself and your body. I workout to keep my heart healthy, bones strong and muscles lean and active.
Let’s face it “A lifestyle change is hard and challenging for anyone. I feel like my life is changing and I need to make some healthy choices for myself and my body.”
These are the reason diets don’t work. I have done everything from diet book and fad -diets. I have learned through my experiences that fad diets don’t work. Here’s my reason “why”:
1. They give you false promises.
2. You lose the lack of control in your life and body.
3. They don’t teach you how to consume your healthy lifestyle, and how to live a healthy lifestyle that fits your life and budget.
4. It deprives you of living a life of balance.
5. It takes your happiness always from deep down inside of us.
6. Once you stop, you gain weight and some.
Yes, you’ll lose the weight. People often view dieting as a temporary situation to lose weight but are never taught how to live a healthy lifestyle. They return to same old eating habits and weight gain inevitably happens. This is why we must change how we feel about ourselves inside and out. It’s about changing our mindset and how we see ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As you get older, you have to make smart food choices and be mindful what goes into your body. Be careful when you make lifestyle choices around your health and body. Dieters choose to lose weight or gain control of what they eat and this often results in unsuccessful weight loss. The typical strict and restrictive weight loss diets are unlikely to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Here are some tips I have learned about midlife:
First we need to regain our energy! You need positive things in your life, sleep and enjoy some me time (self-care).
You must learn to pass up processed foods for fresh whole foods. Let’s make this simple eat more fresh veggies and fruits. The cleaner you eat, the better it is for your body and your mood. You’ll find it much easier to maintain a healthy weight and avoid the weight gain. Don’t forget balance, I still enjoy a piece of pizza from time to time. When adding exercise to your life, find something you can stick to and brings you happiness within your heart. Remember this when you exercise, your body releases happy hormones. If you are feeling moody, sad, anxious, angry or experiencing mood swings grab your shoes and exercise, run, walk or turn some music on and dance.
It is also important to incorporate some fiber into your lifestyle, so you stay regular! Why is this so important in midlife? It helps you stay consistent and helps lower your risk for heart disease and can decrease cholesterol. It can even act as an appetite suppressant, filling you up faster and longer. We want that!
I also suggest keeping a food journal which can help with being mindful, thoughtful and healthy eating habits! When you see what you have eaten on paper you know what your body is consuming throughout the day and this can give you perspective on your diet. I know you might be too busy to keep a food journal but here are easy to use apps now that you can have on your phone, so no excuses. Research has shown if you keep track of what you’re eating that you will eat less and eat mindfully. This will also help you realize food triggers (foods your body can’t digest or are allergic too).
Stay physically active! I admit it, at times I need to dig deep down for energy to get through teaching my live online fitness classes. I do love the benefits after working out. The so-called “happy hormones” known as endorphins send positive chemicals that improves your overall mood. In regards to the time of day working out it is best to workout in the morning. Research has shown that morning workouts help increase your metabolism, which means you will burn more calories all day long. Good news, right? But in reality some of us might not be early raisers, so getting that morning workout in might be difficult. You might prefer to workout at night but make sure you workout three hours before bed. Research has shown if you work out to close to your bedtime it can rev you up, which can leave you tossing and turning all night! I recommend doing a morning workout when you are able. When you do a workout I would recommend working out intensely for 30 to 45 minutes. Working out intensely for longer can causes stress in the body. When stress occurs the body releases a hormone called “Cortisol”. This is the hormone that help modulate stress levels in the body but if you receive too much Cortisol it can increase fat in our gut! And you don’t want that! Cortisol is a hormone that influence and regulates changes in the body when it is under stress. When stress is too high the release of cortisol increases and the body will store fat from it being released”. In a way our body goes into a “flight or fight response”, which is a normal response. This is why I recommend 30-45 minutes of exercise 5 days a weeks but don’t forget those rest days! What I mean by rest, it’s pretty simple “DON’T EXERCISE”.
Remember to find something you love and something you can stick too, and it must feed your soul from the inside -out and give you joy in your heart! Always remember a healthy and fit lifestyle must fit your life and your budget-its not one size fits all!
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