We looked at changes and challenges that 20 and 30 year olds face last week, and we now look at what we can expect in our 40's and 50's.
40's – You are at the peak of your career
You are at the height of your career, going on full throttle for your dream lifestyle and pursuing the best for your family. This is an exciting time career wise, challenging time taking up leadership roles at work and learning to be the "perfect" parent, taking up time and energy.
"Why do my team members behave like this? I was never like that when I was their age?"
"How do I get my child to sleep through the night? How do I shield my child from all the bad influences in this world? (while cradling your new born)"
On top of all that, obligatory entertainment creep into your calendar more ofter than you would like. You are always checking work emails when you are on holidays, never really switching off the working mind. Yet you think:
These are the sacrifices I need to make to maintain the current lifestyle for myself and my family and to pursue my dreams....so I get to do what I want later in life. I have no time for training and I feel OK anyway.
What ACTUALLY happens to your 40 year old body?
Your metabolic rate continues to decline together with a reduction in the level of hormones (mainly thyroid and sex hormones).
The sophisticated food and dining experiences that come with increased work and social functions contribute to your waistline expansion and trigger new food sensitivities. Your body starts storing fat in different areas, building muscles and strength or losing fat becomes harder, foods high in sugar and saturated fats cause digestive issues and your previous minor aches and pains are now becoming more persistent.
Those of you who were training at an elite level in the last two decades now need longer to recover from a training session. You are more prone to injuries and find yourselves spending more time nursing injuries and doing "re-hab" type training than you would like.
The body image conscious you may then turn to "quick fix" diets and exercise programs which will further place stress on your body (joints in particular) and wreak havoc with your hormonal levels setting predisposing your body to the development of chronic diseases.
How do you look after your 40 year old body?
- Keeping adjusting to caloric intake as metabolism continues to slow down
- spend more time on strength/resistance training to slow muscle loss and maintain insulin sensitivity to prevent Type 2 diabetes
- spend more time on mobility, warm up and active recovery
- focus on quality food choices and the prevention of chronic disease
- practice mindful eating
- de-stressing activities must be incorporated
- ensure you get enough sleep as sleep is becoming more and more important for maintenance of cognitive functions and cell rejuvenation and if you have disruptive sleep, fix it. Gone are the days when you could party all night and still function optimally.
50's – The Golden Age
Your focus will turn "inwards" with respect to what is important in life. Body images are no longer issues on the forefront of your mind and you are rather more interested in finding purpose and intention in life, feel good about yourself by your standards.
Your joints scream at you in the morning, lean muscles turn squishy even you are fit, skins loose their elasticity (this had started some decades ago but you now can see this happen). You get up at 5:00 am in the morning and suffer from greater mood swings as females experience pre-menopause or menopause symptoms and males experience lower testosterone levels.
You are more susceptible to injuries and you find you are spending more gym time on rehab and nursing injuries. More frequent appointments with you optometrists are also on the cards.
Healthy habits you need to develop in your 50's
- Eating more fruits and leafy vegetables can help with fighting oxidative stress and reduce risk of chronic diseases
- adjust caloric intake as metabolism continues to slow down
- increase intake of Omega 3 rich foods to keep brain functioning sharp and eyes healthy
- keep doing exercises to keep lean muscle mass and ensure that enough time is devoted to warm up and active recovery
- make mindful eating a way of enjoying life
We will continue to explore our life cycle in the final part of this article next week.
In the meantime, ring (03) 8528 1001 or email us: email@example.com to make an appointment to make the best decision of your life to create the best version of you, whichever age group you fall under.