Changes in our 40s, 50s,....

October 14, 2011

There is no simple way to avoid the natural aging process. Aging is inevitable. Learning about what happens to our bodies and how we can take care of ourselves, will give us a healthier life. So, lets take a look at how we age.

There is no simple way to avoid the natural aging process. Aging is inevitable. Learning about what happens to our bodies and how we can take care of ourselves, will give us a healthier life. So, lets take a look at how we age.

In our 40's

Weight Distribution ... Body fat proportions continues to change. The ratio of body fat to muscle increases, as muscle mass decreases. Due to the aging factor, weight is being added to our thighs and buttocks. Some may notice dimpling in these areas...No, it is not your imagination, IT IS EASIER TO GAIN WEIGHT NOW, than it was when we were in our 30's.

Our shoulders become narrow and the pelvis grows wider.

DO.... Exercise! Walking and /or aerobic exercise will help to keep the weight off, as well as lower your risk of heart disease. Without exercise you may start putting on the pounds. Cardiovascular exercise for 30 minutes three to five times a week is recommended. Your shape has a lot to do with muscle strength. It is never too late for strength training which will increase muscle mass and boost metabolism. At age 40, your body needs 120 fewer calories per day. Watch your diet, and drink water. One rule of thumb is to take your weight, divide, by 2 and that's how many ounces of water you need daily. Prevent round-shouldered slumping by stretching the shoulders and watching your posture.

Height.... Reduction in height begins around the age of 43. The change is subtle and is a result of decreasing bone mass.

DO..... Start taking 1,200mg of calcium per day. Enhance your posture. Weight bearing exercises help prevent osteoporosis. Stretching exercises help since as we age muscles, tendons, and ligaments tighten. Start stretching and touching those toes...

Chest... Gravity is at work so things are going downliterally.... The rib cage continues to broaden and the breasts, have begun to droop.

DO..... Start working out with weights and do strength training that targets the breast..

Supportive bras work wonders under clothing but will not prevent drooping.

Hair.... There is a decrease in hair volume and moisture, and hair appears duller. Heredity is also a factor determining the onset of gray hair.

DO....Try weekly deep conditioning treatments . Coloring hair changes the texture, making it feel thicker and fuller. Trimming the hair lessens split ends.

Skin.... There is a decrease in moisture, and wrinkles and brown spots begin to develop due to the decrease in collagen and prior sun damage. Texture of the skin is changed due to dead skin cells collecting on the skin surface. There is a 50-50 chance you will notice "age spots", and possible enlarged blood vessels on the nose and cheeks.

Crow's feet may develop around the eyes and circles under the eyes may become more noticeable.

DO.... Use a more enriched moisturizer. Slather it on all over after a bath or shower while the skin is still damp. Exfoliate the skin with a loofah or mild abrasive cleanser on the body. Alpha-hydroxy acids and hyaluronic acids can be used if your skin reacts well to them. They will help even out skin tone and minimize fine lines. Protect your skin with sun screen.

IN OUR 50's...

Weight Distribution.... The weight continues to increase, a 50 year old body is more fat prone- fat contents peak in this decade. Average American women will put on an estimated 15 pounds between the ages of 30-65, most of it around your middle. Hence middle age! Abdominal fat increases after menopause. This is result of decreasing metabolism , decrease activity and poor diet . As the body decreases body's estrogen decreases, a subsequent increase in insulin makes loosing weight very difficult.

DO.... Aerobic exercise just a bit more vigorously is needed to achieve success. Aerobic exercise has been shown to help with some of the symptoms associated with menopause. Exercise helps reduce stress, relieves tension, decreases depression and it lowers your risk of heart disease. Taking 30 minute walk every day will help keep the weight away. Decreasing food portions, caloric intake and keeping fat calories under 30 percent will help with weight management. Aim for five servings of fruits and veggies a day.

Height.... You may continue to lose height as a result of bone loss and spine compression. Narrowing of your shoulders, and widening of the pelvis continues. Women experience the greatest decline in bone mass, during the first five years after menopause. Some women will have lost a total of 30 percent of bone mass after menopause. One out of three women will have developed osteoporosis as they go through menopause.

DO.... Add weight bearing and stretching exercises to your routine, as they will help reduce risk of osteoporosis and keep you limber. Continue with calcium supplementation and increase dose to 1,500 mg. Daily . Have your cholesterol and bone density tested. Discuss hormone replacement therapy with your health provider. Increase your diet in calcium and phytoestrogens. Review your risk for osteoporosis. Discuss options such as estrogen replacement therapy, alternative therapy and taking Fosamax or other bone building medications.

Chest....As a result of the rib cage broadening, the breast circumference may be increase as much as 3 inches. The bad thing is that the breast are flatter and continue to droop.

DO.... Push-ups will help tone the muscles in the chest.. Do them standing away from a wall, or with your hands on the edge of a chair and your knees on the floor. Do not forget a yearly mammogram as part of your annual health visit.

HAIR.... Hair growth is slower and remains thinner, especially around the crown and hairline. 50 percent of what we do have is likely to be gray.

DO.... We can may choose to color the gray or keep it. Coloring adds shine and thickness. Try new shampoo's formulated for thinning hair. However wash hair less often but condition often. Hair experts recommend hair style a shorter and layered as this adds volume, and conceals sparse spots, and makes a more youthful appearance.

SKIN.... The skin is dryer and may become itchy. Due to circulation decreasing we may notice less sweat and oil gland production. A decrease in your hormones are in part responsible for decrease collagen production. Laugh lines around the eyes and lips are deepened. Character lines are now visible, even when we are not laughing. Chin and cheeks begin to show just a hint of droopiness. Pigmentation on the face changes, tones lighten and brown spot may develop on face, neck, and body. The body may have scaly patches, and skin tags. Skin on the neck becomes more lax. Eye color even lightens during this time.

Vaginal dryness may occur due to decrease of estrogen.

DO.... Exercise! Exercise! It increases blood flow to the skin, increasing elasticity and color to the face. Continue with exfoliation and body lotions or oils on a daily basis. However take shorter and cooler baths and showers, as hot water dries out the skin. Drink plenty of water, minimum of 64 ounce daily. Alphahydroxy acids and hyaluronic acids also consider dermatologic measures: Chemical, and laser peels even laser resurfacing or collagen replacement. A must is sun block!!!

DO NOT BECOME DISCOURAGED! THINGS ARE DRASTICALLY IMPROVING, IF YOU ARE UNSURE COMPARE AT A PICTURE OF A WOMAN IN HER 50'S IN 1969 AND A WOMEN WHO IS 50 TODAY... WE ARE MUCH MORE YOUTHFUL, HEALTHY AND PHYSICALLY ACTIVE...