Turning 40 is a milestone birthday for many women. In some cases, it's also a time to begin taking health and wellness more seriously. By being proactive about your health at 40, you will help ensure vibrant and healthy decades to follow. If you're wondering where to start, here are a few important health steps to take around the time you turn 40:
Get Your First Mammogram
Forty is the age that many experts recommend women begin receiving mammograms since the risk of breast cancer can increase as you get older. While your annual well women's exam includes a breast exam, a mammogram is much more thorough and accurate since it provides imaging of your breast tissue. Your women's health clinic can help with this.
This is important because it increases your odds of catching a potentially malignant tumor in your breast much sooner, when treatment options are likely to be less invasive and the tumor is less likely to have spread. Chances are, your mammogram will come back clear, which will give you increased peace of mind.
Have Your Blood Pressure Checked
Even if your blood pressure has always been healthy, some women find that their numbers start to go up once they reach their 40s. High blood pressure puts you at risk at everything from stroke and heart disease to dementia, so it's important to stay on top of it. If your blood pressure numbers come back in the healthy range, be proactive in keeping them there. Natural ways to lower your blood pressure include a healthy diet with minimally processed foods, lots of exercise every week, and anything that reduces stress such as meditation or regular massage.
Take Care of Your Bones
Your 40s are also when bones can become weaker and more brittle, potentially leading to conditions such as osteoporosis. Luckily, there are many things women can do to keep their bones strong and healthy into their 40s and beyond. Be sure to get plenty of calcium in your diet, via foods like yogurt, milk, and broccoli. If you're concerned about this, ask your doctor if a calcium supplement would be a good fit.
Working out regularly, especially with weights, is also great at keeping bones strong. Smoking is terrible for bone health, so consider making this the year you quit.
Turning 40 isn't something to fear. In fact, by following these important health and wellness steps, you will be using your 40th birthday as an excuse to become even healthier than you were in your 30s.