Looking for health tips for women over 40? With age comes wisdom, but that doesn't mean you know everything!
Knowing a few simple tricks to address the most significant health concerns for women over 40 will help you maintain exceptional health for years to come.
If you're over 40, you might notice a few changes in how your body and mind look, feel, and function.
You may experience less muscle mass, a slower metabolism, weight gain, or thinning hair.
You could feel more tired or have more mood changes.
Some of these symptoms indicate hormone imbalance, which is common with aging in women.
Knowing which health concerns to watch out for and what to do about them is the key to staying healthy over 40 and beyond.
Start with the top 10 health tips for women over 40 we lay out below!
Learn how you can improve your health today by making these 5 easy lifestyle changes!
Health Concerns for Women Over 40
Before we get into the tips, knowing what you need to watch out for as you age is a good idea.
There are a few common health concerns women over 40 may face at some point.
Overweight and Obesity
Obesity is a common condition, especially in adults over 40.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 74% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, putting them at risk of chronic diseases and their risk factors.
One reason obesity increases over 40 is because of changes in body composition, as well as reductions in your body's metabolism.
The good news is that you can still reach and maintain a healthy weight and stay disease-free!
Osteoporosis is an ongoing condition that makes your bones brittle and prone to breaking.
There are several reasons women over 40 are at risk of osteoporosis and low bone density.
Estrogen decline that occurs with aging in women is a risk factor, as well as not consuming enough calcium and vitamin D or not participating in bone-strengthening exercises (running, jumping, walking, etc.) over the course of your lifespan.
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding/Iron-Deficiency Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is sometimes a concern for women, especially those of childbearing age or women nearing menopause.
Women who menstruate lose more blood, and therefore iron, than non-menstruating women and have higher iron requirements.
Your risk of anemia is even higher if you have heavy menstrual bleeding.
Women younger than 50 require 18 milligrams of iron daily vs. 8 grams for women over 50.
Eat plenty of iron-rich foods like meat, poultry, tofu, spinach, legumes, and iron-fortified breakfast cereals, and take a multivitamin supplement containing the right amount of iron for your age and life stage.
Women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis or other forms of arthritis.
Age is also a risk factor for arthritis, especially being over 40.
While genetics and family history are the main risk factors for arthritis, adopting lifestyle habits can reduce your risk of getting the disease or lessen unpleasant symptoms.
Breast, Cervical, and Ovarian Cancers
Cancer is a common chronic disease among adults, especially those over 40.
Breast, cervical, and ovarian cancers are concerns for women and should be screened for periodically by a healthcare professional.
See your primary care or OB/GYN specialist annually to screen for common cancers, as early detection and treatment is the best way to beat the disease.
Many women experience hormone fluctuations as they approach menopause and beyond.
As a result, they often notice vaginal dryness, loss of sexual desire, hot flashes, sleeping problems, mood changes, fatigue, night sweats, chills, thinning hair, weight gain, or other unpleasant symptoms.
Healthy lifestyle habits, dietary supplements, or hormone replacement therapy (if your doctor recommends it) can reduce symptoms and give you a better quality of life.
High cholesterol is a common heart disease risk factor among U.S. adults, and women over 40 are no exception.
Your risk of developing high cholesterol increases with age.
Other risk factors include lack of exercise, poor dietary habits, smoking, excessive alcohol, and obesity.
Ways to reduce high cholesterol naturally include eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and other plant-based foods.
Limit animal fats, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight.
Take cholesterol-lowering medications or supplements if your doctor recommends them.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is another common heart-disease risk factor among women over 40.
Many of the same risk factors for high cholesterol apply to high blood pressure.
Examples include obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol, poor dietary habits, and lack of exercise.
Too much sodium, too little dietary potassium, and high stress levels are also high blood pressure risk factors.
Healthy lifestyle habits and taking blood pressure-lowering medicines are ways to control blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Heart disease is a common cause of death in the United States.
In fact, it's the leading cause of death in women (and men), according to the CDC.
The risk of developing heart disease increases with age and a family history of heart disease, but also with unhealthy habits.
Eat healthy foods, get regular exercise and plenty of sleep, and keep blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure in check to reduce heart disease risks.
Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Diabetes is another common disease among men and women in the United States, affecting 1 in 9 adult women.
Your risk of diabetes increases over 40, and uncontrolled diabetes boosts your chance of nerve damage, organ damage, heart problems, eye problems, Alzheimer's disease, and more.
Maintaining a healthy weight, eating nutritious foods, and getting regular exercise are ways to lower your risk of diabetes.
If you have diabetes, properly manage your blood sugar to prevent complications.
Make healthy lifestyle changes or take insulin or oral diabetes medicines if your doctor asks you to.
Thyroid disorders can develop in men or women, but they are particularly common among women.
Thyroid diseases, such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and thyroid cancers, affect your thyroid gland, which is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that produces thyroid hormone.
Thyroid hormones regulate your body's metabolism.
When thyroid levels aren't balanced, they can affect your energy, body weight, sleep, hair, skin, menstrual cycle, mood, and more.
A simple blood test, physical exam, and ultrasound, if needed, help your doctor detect or rule out thyroid disorders.
Depression and Anxiety
Depression is a common mental health disorder among women, and anxiety often accompanies it.
Depression and anxiety increase your risk of physical aches and pains, relationship problems, issues at work, weight gain, and substance abuse.
If you struggle with constant sadness, fear, or worry, adopt healthy habits and see your doctor for an evaluation and treatment if needed.
They may prescribe medications, suggest transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), or recommend you attend counseling to work through challenges and diminish the negative effects of mental health disorders.
Gum disease affects many women over 40, as it's present in nearly half of adults age 30 and older and over 70% of adults 65 and older.
Gum disease can cause bleeding gums, a receding gum line, loose permanent teeth, jaw bone loss, bad breath, and permanent tooth loss.
Gum disease is also linked with heart issues, as people with gum disease are 2-3 times more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or other serious heart problems.
The best ways to reduce gum disease include brushing your teeth after meals with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, seeing your dentist at every six months for dental cleanings, and limiting sugary drinks and sweets.
Detecting and treating gum disease early is the best way to prevent complications.
Top 10 Health Tips for Women Over 40
Follow these health tips for women over 40 to maintain excellent health and wellness, while reducing the risk of common diseases:
Boost Plant Foods/Fiber
Plant foods are loaded with satiating fiber, vitamins, and minerals!
They aid in healthy weight management and lower the risk of obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
At each meal, aim to eat fruits or vegetables, plus whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Fill half of each plate of food with non-starchy vegetables and the other half with whole-grains or starchy veggies PLUS protein foods like chicken, eggs, or tofu.
Add healthy plant fats to your menu to feel full, enhance vitamin absorption and brain health, and maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Consume olive oil, other plant oils, avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butter, and olives.
Take omega-3 fatty acid supplements if your doctor recommends them!
Get More Sleep
Sleep is more important than you might think when adopting health tips for women over 40 is your goal.
Sleep gives you more energy, balances hormones, controls hunger, and reduces the risk of being overweight and obese.
Getting enough sleep gives you the energy to stay physically active and mentally alert.
Set a regular bedtime and aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
Consider guided sleep meditation if you struggle to fall asleep on your own.
See a Doctor Regularly
Seeing your doctor regularly is one of the most important health tips for women over 40.
It's the best way to detect and get treated for illnesses, diseases, and risk factors before complications arise.
Schedule routine physical exams at least once yearly.
Your doctor can prescribe medications if needed or refer you to specialists if you have cancer or other concerning medical problems.
They may offer hormone therapy, if you're a good candidate for it, to reduce unpleasant menopause symptoms.
Get Your Teeth Cleaned Regularly
See your dentist at least every six months for routine dental cleanings and exams to maintain a gorgeous smile and reduce the risk of gum disease and other oral health problems.
Continue to practice exceptional oral hygiene habits at home by brushing your teeth after meals, flossing daily, and using antiseptic mouthwash if your dentist recommends it.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health when it comes to your overall well-being.
If you struggle with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention-deficit disorder (ADD), eating disorders, substance abuse disorder, or other mental health issues, see a psychologist to get the treatment needed to restore your quality of life.
Move Your Body More
Move your body more to maintain an exceptional health, increase the number of calories burned, maintain a healthy weight, keep your metabolism high, boost strength, and keep your heart healthy.
Aim for at least 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week.
Try to do something that keeps your body moving (yard work, house chores, walking the dog, etc.) for at least 45 additional minutes to look and feel your best at every age!
Do Resistance Exercises
Doing resistance exercise regularly is one of the most important health tips for women over 40 for many reasons.
Lifting weights increases your body's lean mass, which boosts metabolism, strength, muscle definition, and heart health.
To complete resistance exercises, lift weights, use resistance bands, or use your own body weight as resistance.
Work each major muscle group (arms, shoulders, back, chest, abs, butt, and legs) at least twice weekly if you can!
Take Dietary Supplements for Women
Even if you follow a nutritious diet, it's sometimes difficult to meet your body's essential nutrient needs.
Your doctor may recommend dietary supplements to stay as healthy as possible.
They could suggest multivitamin supplements, calcium, vitamin D, iron, omega-3s, fiber supplements, probiotics, protein supplements — or supplements that support your joints, immune system, heart, hormones, and metabolism!
Find Active Outdoor Hobbies
Spending time outside offers numerous benefits for your overall health and well-being.
You can receive much-needed vitamin D, de-stress, and feel better physically and mentally.
Get outside when you can by choosing active outdoor hobbies.
Examples include hiking, cycling, jogging, rollerblading, playing tennis, or playing outdoor sports games with your family!
Join a Healthy Living Program for Women
In addition to adopting health tips for women over 40, having structure and motivational support increases your chance of maintaining exceptional health long term.
The Fit Mother Project offers healthy living plans designed with busy moms' needs in mind.
It can help you reach an ideal body weight and keep you and your family on track with healthy living!
Continue practicing the best health tips for women over 40, and try a free meal plan and workout today!
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on health tips for women over 40.