You Know You are Over 40 When - Body Image Issues and Your Health
Body image is different over the age of 40. The hands of time leave a physical impression that we are no longer in our 20s. Signs such as optional clothing are no longer laughed at - we are scared of seeing ourselves or others who are over 40. With a handful of exceptions such as Valerie Bertinella who donned a bikini to celebrate her new found youthful figure and health, many of us over 40 have experienced these 10 changes to our body:
From physical to mental changes, this is what everyone experiences. For some, it happens or is noticed sooner. For some, later. For many the changes take a toll upon our self confidence and energy level. For all of us, we need to know the signs, symptoms and actively fight against the aging process. Not with Botox but with exercise and first class foods. As my hairdresser states, go with bangs not with Botox. See if you recognize any of these 10 signs.
Over 40 Famous Quote by Coco Chanel
Body Image Yield Signs at Age 40 and Above
Famous Quote by GmaGoldie
"Muscle is the only free insurance for protecting our most valuable asset, our bodies." GmaGoldie
10 Noticeable Changes and Simple Solutions To Age Gracefully
As we age, unfortunately our body changes. I noticed the changes after 40 and they became more pronounced after age 45. Here are some of the changes I noted and some solutions.
1- LACTOSE INTOLERANCE
One of the common changes is IF we were not lactose intolerant before, oftentimes after 40, we start experiencing gas from milk and milk product intake. Lactose is a sugar most commonly found in milk. Don’t confuse lactose intolerance with a milk allergy which can be life threatening. Lactose intolerance is denoted by the following symptoms: abdominal pain after consuming milk, abdominal bloating, and the most notable one as we age – that smelly symptom known as “gas”, diarrhea and also in some cases nausea.
Simple Solutions: Consult with your doctor and perhaps consult with a registered dietitian. Remember when you limit milk and milk products, your calcium and vitamin D are limited; you still need to include calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Your health professional may recommend dietary supplement. For more information see 
For More Information
American Dietetic Association
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606–6995
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
P.O. Box 170864
Milwaukee, WI 53217–8076
Phone: 1–888–964–2001 or 414–964–1799
2 - LOSS OF MUSCLE TONE
This is not just the battle of the bulge. Muscle tone does burn more calories, but more importantly, muscle tone protects joints and helps us maintain our balance.
Loss of muscle tone means loss of your protective armor for your joints. Knee injuries, back injuries, rotator cuff, hips are all joints within our body which we need to protect. Muscle is the only free insurance for protecting our most valuable asset, our bodies.
We are not taught but I have learned that my body loves using its muscles. Yes, you need to work your muscles to exhaustion. You need to change your program to activate new muscles, activate old muscles in a new way. And muscles respond to activity throughout our entire life. You are never too old to start. You may be too old to learn a learn trick but your muscles are ready!
Muscles are also known to help protect bone strength.
Simple Solution, target toning such as strength, calisthenics. Rubber tubing, barbells, and yes, my Grandmothers sandbags all work. Myself, I love body weight exercises, water calisthenics and tubing for my troublesome thighs that protect my tender knees. And of course, I swear by sit-ups in the water with the water aerobics tool called the EZ Swimmer.
3- LOSS OF BALANCE
It is not your imagination, our bodies really forget how to balance. Remember seeing your Grandparents so vertically unstable. That will be us too. And you will begin to feel this change in your body sometime after the age of 40. Loss of balance is a critical concern because of possible injuries and associated illness with trips and falls.
“According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of every three Americans over the age of 65 falls each year, and among individuals 65-84, falls account for 87% of all fractures and are the second leading cause of spinal cord and brain injury. The good news is that physical activity can improve balance and reduce the risk of falling. In one study of 256 older adults (70 to 92 years of age, average age 77) who did tai chi for six months, there were 52% fewer falls in the individuals who did tai chi compared to those who didn't, and there were fewer falls overall among the individuals who did tai chi compared to those who didn't (28% versus 46%).”
Simple solution: Balance exercises. Balance ball, EZ Swimmer's Seated Balance. Stability exercises in the water or on land are mandatory as we age.
Famous Quotes on Body Image
Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels. Anonymous
Those who indulge, bulge. Anonymous
I don’t consider fat a disease. I mean, c’mon, who had the gun to my head? Nobody. What gene in my body says I have to eat four cakes instead of two? It’s a choice. Kirstie Alley
Famous Quote on Gray Hair
Gray hair is God's graffiti.
Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. ~Mark Twain, Following the Equator
I'm not 40, I'm eighteen with 22 years experience. ~Author Unknown
Old is always fifteen years from now.
“Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the
labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in
order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still
4 - WEIGHT GAIN
This and wrinkles are the two vain items of growing older which I wish we could avoid. Yes, there are surgeries – amazing money can buy tummy tucks, etc…
Simple solution: None - just plain hard work (exercise), diet and tons of discipline. Threefold summary:
1.) Add exercise (cardio and target toning)
2.) Decrease food intake (portion control) and
3.) Change food intake types (increase nutrients, decrease sugars and fats).
For 12 helpful tips also see my article entitled 12 Mandates to Myself to Train Myself to Eat Like a Thin Person. As Gerry Pugliese so elegantly stated it: “Saying eating properly is a skill that needs to be practiced.” According to Gerald “Gerry” Pugliese, Diet-Blog
5 - GREY HAIR
For some of us, grey hair arrives sooner. For some of us such as my Grandfather, he went bald very young but our running joke was that he did not have a grey hair in his head.
Simple Solution: Dye
6 - WRINKLES
A wise man once told me the surest way to judge a woman’s age is to look not at her face but at her neck and her hands. And oh, boy, the lack of moisturizing the neck over the years really does show my real age!
Simple Solution: Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize.
The moral of the story here is to make it a point especially nearing 40 or even after 40, to moisturize the neck. Funny thing, my ears get dry – they tell me when they have been left out – I am sure no one else has itchy ears from dry skin! There are some things in life we need to indulge ourselves, moisture cream is one of them. No, you don’t need expensive creams but you do need a lot of creams.
Three Types of Creams: Hand, Face and Body
My recommendation is to always have three types of creams on hand besides your hand lotion. Hand lotion must be kept underneath the sink for both men and women. My brother-in-law will help with the dishes (men – are you listening! - this is absolutely true!) and after wards, he needs the hand lotion.
In addition to the hand lotion you need of course your body lotion and also a good bedtime cream to continue this important hydration process while you sleep. It is at bedtime that I indulge my neck and my arms.
In my youth, no cream or oil was needed - now I must moisture daily or "dry".
7 - SHORTNESS OF BREATH
As a personal trainer, my clients and the entire gym know firsthand I always shout to breath deeply. Breath in through the nose, hold and out through your mouth. There was a super hyped program by a celebrity who I normally love who felt strongly there was research to prove deep breathing would help with weight loss. I don't subscribe to this theory but I do believe we need to expand our lungs. One of my clients who has exercises vigorously for over 20 years, came up to me and stated that she was able to climb the stairs with no loss of breath - a new treat for her.
Simple solution: Exercise. Hire a personal trainer, practice the proper breathing. Yoga and pilates and strength training all center around the breath.
8 - POSTURE
When we exercise we are very focused - the posture, the correct movement. Practice deep breathing exercises during exercise program
Simple solution: Learn once again proper posture and practice it daily.
10 - ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
This is the biggest monster of all 10. Our mental state will bring down our physical well-being.
Human beings across all continents are plagued by depression and sometimes anxiety. These emotional problems can lead to physical illness and injuries. This is especially true for those of us over 40. While we don't hold an exclusivity on anxiety on depression, the likelihood is greater. We must guard against this emotional trauma that can set us back physically.
Simple solution: Be on guard and take action. See your doctor, be open about your emotional ailments as well as your physical ailments.
Over 40 Take Special Care
None of the above solutions are simple IF we don't learn the signs and listen to our body. Our body is our temple and it is up to only us to take care of it. Oftentimes, we are care takers for many others and ignore ourselves. That is the wrong thing to do. We cannot take care of our children, our spouses without concern for our health. Eat well, exercise and pay close to attention to what your body is telling you.
Wise Men Do (and Wise Women too!)
Wise men "do" consult a physician before it is mandatory.
Wise men "do" schedule regular phsyical examinations.
Wise men "do" know to team with their family doctor with openness and honesty.
Wise men "do" know even with the slightest of doubt to talk to a physician.
Wise men "do" not hesitate to consult a physician.
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© 2010 Kelly A Burnett
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