The most essential ingredient for maintaining (or improving) your health – is knowledge. It is being able to recognize what your body needs in order to prosper at every stage of your life. And while you may be on the track to good health this decade, the next one may need a slightly different set of habits to navigate your life in a continued healthy way.


After age 40 a lot of women look to vitamins to fill the missing holes that may be lurking within their diet. The problem with vitamins is that give false assurance that you are receiving all the vital nutrients you need. We are a long ways from understanding all the magic found within food, so consider the few things we do know as cherries on top of a plate that is largely unknown. A woman over 40 has a greater need for good nutrition to maintain her health, including quality protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Rather than seek good health within a plastic bottle, invest your energy into stocking your refrigerator and cupboards with whole food that will support your body and give yourself the best chance of aging gracefully and disease-free.

Long Gym Hours

Most Women over 40 are making resolutions to visit the gym longer when in reality you should be thinking about visiting less. Why? Because the body needs more time to recuperate after 40. The body also reacts negatively to high cortisol (stress) levels, which are often the result of those two-hour binge sessions on the treadmill. What’s a girl to do? You can work out harder but within a shorter amount of time. You can accomplish wonderful things for your body in just 15 minutes of higher intensity training. Concentrating on shorter hours with greater intensity keeps cortisol levels down, variety high, injuries at bay, and can build lean muscle mass with more consistency than any marathon workout.

Training to Lose Fat

As a woman ages, the idea of increasing size on any part her body is unappealing (there are exceptions, of course). Women over 40 tend to focus on cardio to lose weight and maintain lean muscle, but there are a couple of reasons why this focus is no longer smart. After 40, a woman is actively losing muscle faster than she is building it. She is also actively replacing that muscle with fat. It may seem logical to combat this trend with long hours of cardio, but it is actually more important to mix your routine with a combination of weight/resistance training. It will help to replace the muscle mass you are losing, reduce the fat you would otherwise be gaining, and leave you feeling energized at the end of every workout. Compound movements, such as squats, pendlay rows, bench press, and planks build lean mass over large areas of your body so that you get more results out of a short period of time.

Special-Occasion Shape Up

Every woman is guilty of ramping up her workouts before a big date, wedding, high school reunion, or holiday party. And overall, this mindset may help motivate women to reach their goals and learn to believe in themselves. And when you’re in your 20s and 30s, you can get away with that. But those yoyo days should be long behind you after 40. You will not be able to bounce back and forth between ‘binge’ and ‘beautiful’ without facing some real repercussions. Those long, all-out, high-intensity sessions will not only leave you incredibly sore, they may also leave you injured, frustrated, and stuck in a bed during the special event. It is much easier to maintain a regular workout routine, and you will benefit by keeping lean muscle mass, avoiding stretch marks, and getting more accomplished with all that extra energy.

Low-Fat Diets

Low Fat is a phrase that has become synonymous with good health, and when you’re under 40, it may even help some women maintain their weight. But fat takes on an important role after the age of 40. Fat can strengthen your heart, decreases inflammation (the cause of many diseases), and believe it or not it can even burn more fat. The best way to manage a lean diet is not to pay attention to the quantity of fat you are eating, but rather its quality. And a few high-quality options include olive, avocado, fish, coconut, almond, walnut, and chia.

Author's Bio: 

I enjoy helping others to live their best lives. It gives me great pleasure to be able to inspire others to find the will and stamina to create smart choices and help where I can.