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Ladies, loving your age: The Fabulous 40's Part I

Hello Beautiful People! Byen venu

"Real beauty isn't about symmetry, weight or makeup; it's about looking life right in the face and seeing all its magnificence reflected in your own" -Valerie Monroe

Let's go......

There is an awesome reason to celebrate being a woman; there's a more than 50% probability that by 2030 the female life expectancy will break the 90-year barrier-a number thought to be unattainable at the turn of the century. For many of us though, it's not just the quantity but the quality of years that counts. As a woman in her mid-forties (and celebrating a birthday this coming July); I want to center the next number of blogs on women's health and wellness.

Your 40's: The set up for a strong and healthy future.

Muscle building: your muscle is the key driver of your metabolism, now is the time to start safeguarding your "muscle stockpile" if you haven't already. Lack of healthy muscle increases your risk of diabetes; with two full-body strength training sessions per week, you will burn an average of an extra 3,000 calories per month. Most women drop about 5 pounds of body fat and gain nearly 3 pounds of lean muscle mass within 10 weeks of starting a smart, sensible program.

Sleep: I have addressed the power of sleep on past blogs; however, women in their 40s often feel the challenge of prioritizing demands of family and/or work are way (especially we women of color) over the act of prioritizing rest, truth be told, this is the age when you're setting the foundation for what your brain will look like 10 to 40 years down the road. Sleep is not only essential to your overall health, but it is also the ultimate in self-care; sleep resets and recharges us. For women, these years typically include both perimenopause and menopause, which bring significant challenges for sleep. More than half of perimenopausal women—56 percent—sleep less than seven hours a night, on average. That’s a big jump from the third of pre-menopausal women who are sleeping less than seven hours nightly. Nearly one-quarter—24.8 percent—of perimenopausal women say they have trouble falling asleep four or more times in a week.

Even more common than trouble falling asleep? Difficulty staying asleep. Among women in perimenopause, about 31 percent say they have trouble staying asleep at least four nights a week.  Half of the perimenopausal women—49.9 percent—wake in the morning feeling tired, rather than rested, four or more days weekly. I've talked about the connection between poor sleep and weight gain; If you don’t get enough sleep to meet your individual needs, you will gain weight. This really interesting 2017 review of sleep-metabolism research found that running a sleep debt leads to the consumption of an average of 285 additional calories a day. 

Hormones have a lot to do with this. When you’re sleep-deprived, cortisol levels are high, and serotonin levels are low, and your body starts to crave starchy, sugary, and fatty foods to help boost serotonin and calm stress. At the same time, lack of sleep increases the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and suppresses the satiety hormone, leptin, which signals when we’ve eaten enough. Support the daily habits and choices that boost sleep—and avoid the ones that hurt it. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and attention to mindfulness and stress management can make the difference in sleeping well during some of the busiest, most challenging years of our lives.

Tomorrow: Mood, your teeth (yes I said teeth) skin and screenings every woman in their 40's should get.

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