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Midlife

Midlife Women – 5 healthy habits

Midlife Women – 5 healthy habits to implement straight away

Midlife can be challenging.  There are so many changes that take place internally and externally at midlife that may knock you off balance.  Some women manage to sail through the transition of midlife without so much as breaking a sweat.  While others suffer miserably.  How can this be?

Invisibility

Women report that they start to feel invisible as the glow of youthfulness begins to fade and the march of time begins to let itself be known both on the face and the body.

Aging

Skin aging and laxity are common and for some women this is really depressing. Their once pert breasts, and firm buttocks may have travelled a little further South, a speedier process especially when they have not been exercising.

Isolation

Midlife

 

This may also be a time when children marry or leave home for University and the house may become eerily silent.  This can leave a big gap and empty space in a woman’s life particularly if she has not kept up any outside interests or hobbies. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Getting older is guaranteed for everyone and unfortunately there are no eternal youth elixirs available to keep you looking young forever.

Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery can keep some tell tales signs of aging at bay, but does not address the internal aging process, and not everyone has the finances to fund the constant upkeep that cosmetic enhancements require.

Mindset

Our mindset, lifestyle choices and the actions we take have a huge impact on our overall wellness and how we feel in midlife.

Here are 5 habits that you may wish to implement into your life so that midlife doesn’t knock you off balance or catch you off guard.

Be prepared, be committed, be motivated.  Health is priceless but needs an investment of your time, energy and the correct life choices.

5 Habits of happy Midlife Women

Happy midlife women follow these principles:

 

1.

 Healthy eating habits

healthy eating habits

Eliminate or reduce alcohol, smoking, sugar, processed foods and junk food.  Alcohol and caffeine are stimulants which will exacerbate hormonal fluctuations.  If you are suffering from hot flushes, then spicy food may have to stay off the menu.  Drink plenty of water to flush the body of toxins and aid the digestive process.  Include flaxseed, chick peas, lentils, seeds, and plenty of vegetables into your diet, along with sauerkraut, natural live yogurt, aloe vera juice and apple cider vinegar.

2.

Managing stress levels

stress

High levels of stress may also affect weight in a very negative way due to the effects of cortisol.  If you are feeling highly stressed make sure you find a way to manage it through relaxation techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, self hypnosis, yoga or similar.  Discover what your stress triggers and find a way to reduce or eliminate them.  Holistic therapies such as reflexology, massage, Reiki may also promote stress relief and a sense of inner peace.

Make sure you have good quality sleep

sleep

During the day our hormones are busy and are used up.  In sleep we are rejuvenating and the endocrine system produces new hormones. Make sure that your room is completely dark and that you sleep around 10pm. Have a bedtime routine and that you have exercised during the day.  Avoid coffee, tea and alcohol before bedtime.  Switch off all electronic gadgets at least two hours before bed.

3.

Emotional Wellness

Hormonal fluctuations can affect your moods and cause you to feel irritated, annoyed and angry.  You may feel out of control on some days, but it doesn’t have to be this way.  Hypnotherapy is a great technique to work with the mind, journaling, and listening and responding to your own needs is also helpful.  This is a great time to reconnect with all of the things you used to love doing but are no longer doing so.  Make time to do what you enjoy.

4.

Supercharge your confidence

Now is the time to work on yourself and to do all that makes you feel self confident.  Making sure that you are doing what is necessary for you to feel happy with your self image.  Working on your personal development, dressing well and perhaps doing some inner work.  An image makeover can work wonders too.   Working with a hypnotherapist or coach may help you with self confidence issues.

5.

Exercise

exercise

It is never too late to start exercising. There are so many ways to exercise that you are spoilt for choice.  Make sure you choose something that you enjoy as you much more likely to stay motivated and continue.  If you don’t enjoy the gym, why not work out at home, or outside?  Do you love dance?  Why not try Zumba or another form of dance such as Salsa, Ceroc or Ballroom?

The important thing is to get moving.  Your body is not designed to sit still and be sedentary.  Even something as simple as walking for 20 minutes each day is better than doing nothing at all.  Exercise releases the feel good hormones endorphins which will help keep your moods uplifted.

Choices

We all have access to 24 hours a day, and a personal choice on on how we choose to spend our free time.

All of the habits above can be easily implemented into a busy lifestyle, and are so beneficial to overall wellness.  There is no time like the present, why not start today?

Why not pop over to the website and download your complimentary shopping list and exercise planner to help you on your journey to wellness.

We have some great programmes to help you through midlife and beyond.

Have a happy, healthy day!

 

Isobel McArthur

Founder of Flourish Beyond 40 Online Women’s Wellness Programme

 

 

 

 

 

 

healthy eating

Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy Food – Let Food be your Friend

It has been interesting to observe how my body changed when I “flourished” into my 40s.  All of a sudden what I could get away with eating in my 20s and 30s no longer applied and I realised the importance of eating healthy food.

My body began to redistribute weight differently and a muffin top started to present itself over my jeans.  As I sat in the bath contemplating this new part of myself,  I knew that I needed to address and embrace new eating habits that were better suited to a midlife woman, and fluctuating hormones.  A cavalier attitude with my diet was not cutting it at all. Perimenopause had arrived and menopause was knocking at the door.

There is much evidence to support the true fact that the amount of energy that we burn while resting, drops off by the age of 30 and then a further 7% each decade after that.

Common sense points to the fact that of course if we eat exactly the same in our 40s and beyond as we did in our 20s and 30s weight would start to creep on. Not eating healthy food was no longer an option.  Have you noticed your waist bands getting tighter? your bra bulges increasing?  It doesn’t happen overnight though it may seem that way when you finally notice these things.

Bottom line – you need fewer calories than you did when you were younger

With midlife comes other concerns and issues such as risk of heart disease, diabetes, that with increased cholesterol levels, sedentary lifestyles, poor eating choices is a recipe for disaster.

cholesterol

There is no need to feel deprived when you choose to eat healthy food there are many tasty substitutes out there for you.  Don’t focus on the things you can’t eat, but on all of the things you can.

Eating healthier is easier than you think.  How about adding some spinach to to your eggs, or enjoy raw carrots, cauliflower and celery with some hummus as a snack.  Fill your plate with lots of roasted delicious veggies. Raw unsalted almonds and walnuts make a great snack too.

What is a Healthy Diet?

In the younger years you may have followed various different diets or ways of eating in a desire to “look good”, however this attitude shifts in the 40s and beyond towards a necessity to be healthy and look good.

But what is a healthy diet?  What are you supposed to eat or indeed not eat in your midlife and beyond years?  There is so much conflicting information out there now that no wonder you don’t know what to believe any longer.

One of the biggest gifts you can give yourself is to give up or at least restrict sugar in your diet. Did you know that sugar is eight times addictive as cocaine?

Giving up Sugar

When you go shopping, check the food labels and avoid any that have sugar in the first three ingredients.  Giving up sugar may be difficult at first and you may experience cravings, however these generally disappear after a few weeks have passed.  During this time please do not try to substitute your sugar intake by using artificial sweeteners, you may wish to try Xylitol or Stevia (made of plants).

Supplementation is important at this time in your life and there are many excellent supplements out there that may help you. Chat with your local health store and ask them to recommend the best supplements for you. Sugar also causes your blood glucose levels to rise sharply and then to crash which will leave you feeling drained and tired.  Sugar certainly has negative effects on your overall wellbeing and impacts your life significantly.

Moving into Menopause

You may find that as you move into the menopause that hot flushes are making themselves known, generally at the most inconvenient times and it is no fun having a hot flush mid conversation at work or otherwise.  There are certain food groups that trigger or worsen hot flushes and now is the time to remove these from your diet as they are over stimulating:

Coffee

Spicy foods

Alcohol

alcohol

Don’t forget your bones! Eating good sources of protein that contains tryptophan is important.  Include cottage cheese, turkey, legumes and oats. Tryptophan helps to make serotonin which is very helpful in controlling moods, appetite and sleep.

Healthy Food Groups

There are some food groups that are excellent for you at this time in your life, one of them being oats.  Oats is good news for cholesterol and the heart as it contains beta-glucans that helps reduce the unwanted form of cholesterol.  Having oats in the diet also protects against the build of plaque on artery walls.  Are you ready to start eating your porridge now?

EVIDENCE

It has been concluded by researchers that eating just 3g of oats every day helps to reduce cholesterol by 5 to 10% and the risk of heart disease lowers.  Great news for midlife.

OILY FISH

healthy food fish oils

Full of Omega 3 fats and great in helping to lower blood pressure, heart rate and reducing the risk of irregular heartbeats.  Choose wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna and herring.  Be careful in your method of cooking as omega 3 fats are sensitive to high temperatures, so steam lightly or cook on a low temperature.

We have just scratched the surface of eating healthy food in your 40s and beyond.  If you want to learn more then why not visit the Flourish Beyond 40 Guidance and Support page and shop where you are able to browse various ways of helping yourself back to health, and the options of joining the Flourish Beyond 40 Programme and Facebook community.

You may also like to read about weight and exercise in midlife and beyond and managing stress.