Everything you do today—the food you eat, the exercise you choose, your sleep, stress, and personal time (or lack thereof)—all affect your future health. It’s called preventive health care, and for women, it’s very important to consider.
In fact, the choices you make today affect all of the following in the not-so-distant future:
If you’re between the ages of 35 and 50, you have a unique opportunity to positively impact your future health through the choices made today following preventive health care healthy habits.
Proactive management of your health risk factors through lifestyle choices and a preventative health care strategy is something you should address now with the help of your gynecologist and perimenopause specialist. Why? Because as you navigate through these years, your body is also changing as it approaches perimenopause and menopause.
The experts at Moreland OB-GYN have created these resources to help women make proactive health care decisions that will improve future wellness through early perimenopause, perimenopause, and early menopause.
Between the ages of 35 and 50, you have the opportunity to change the course of your future health by adopting healthy habits and a preventative health care focus. At the same time, your body is continuing its evolution toward menopause—the point in time when you no longer menstruate.
As you start to feel early perimenopause symptoms, prioritizing healthy life choices and habits can not only improve your symptoms, it can help prevent future disease.
Perimenopause refers to the time period when a woman’s body is transitioning to menopause; from predictable, regular menstrual cycles to irregular cycles, and finally no menstruation at all.
No matter what age you are, before you begin having irregular periods, you may experience some changes in how you feel, your emotions, and your hormone levels may fluctuate. In many instances, these are not medically- related, but rather lifestyle-related.
Some clinicians refer to this period as the menopausal transition, but for a 40-year-old who is done having kids, you are likely not pre-menopausal; instead, you’re perimenopausal.
Family. Career. Managing the household. Caring for elderly parents. These are just some of the things you may manage on a daily basis. But the stress you feel now (and your lack of time to focus on your own health) can lead to future women’s health problems and disease.
Consider these examples:
Your preventive health care starts today. With many diseases, you are not going to experience symptoms now, only once the disease has already developed.
If you are not actively managing your risk factors for future illness between the ages of 35 to 50, you could be at risk for developing:
To help you manage and prevent future disease, keep reading to see what tests and screenings you might encounter at your next visit to the doctor.
After the age of 35, additional tests and health screenings for women are often introduced at your annual appointment. Talk to your gynecologist or women’s health doctor to make sure you have all of the appropriate women’s health tests completed as you age.
With an understanding of your health risk factors after age 35 and the additional tests you may require as you age, what’s the best way to be proactive and take charge of your health?
Prioritize your health, first, with women’s preventive health care support.
You always place everyone’s needs ahead of your own, only now, you have to realize that doing so can put your own health at risk.
To help manage your future health, you should focus on the areas of your life you can control and take proactive steps to focus on improvement, such as:
When it comes to your healthcare, think about preventative healthcare, versus reactive healthcare. When you have your annual appointment, ask more questions, get more involved in your own health and find a doctor who feels the same way about empowering you to take control of your own health.
Not only will making healthy choices help you, think of the impact it will have on those around you.
You have the opportunity to set the course of your future health. Here’s how to get started.
As women age, many complain that changing hormone levels are the cause of fluctuating emotions and changes in their bodies. Here are just some of the key hormones in women’s bodies and the role each hormone plays in everyday life:
Hormonal imbalances can be the culprits for some of the symptoms that women at or over 40 experience, but in many cases, it’s not hormones that are causing women to experience changes in the bodies and energy level—it’s lifestyle factors.
In many circumstances, the problems women experience after kids and as they approach perimenopause and menopause are actually related to stress and lifestyle factors. Continue reading to learn more about how to help your everyday health.
Eating a balanced diet is an essential part of overall good health. But what exactly makes up a healthy eating regime? Despite what trending and fad diets will tell you, eliminating full categories of foods, like carbs or sugar, is not realistic for the long-term, nor your best approach to a healthy lifestyle.
Your best approach to a healthy future is to make permanent changes to your eating habits that you can sustain, with balance; the healthy foods your body needs with some of the treats you likely enjoy.
Women’s health after 35, women’s health after 40, women’s health after 45—they are more similar than you think! Keep reading to learn more about healthy habits you can adopt to help improve your overall health!
The Department of Health and Human Services recently published the 2nd edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. What’s recommended for adults? At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity and two days per week of muscle-strengthening activity. Your exercise should emphasize strength, flexibility, conditioning, and stress management, not just weight loss.
Moreover, a key finding in the study was that regular physical activity over months and years can produce long-term health benefits.
As you incorporate exercise into your healthy habits, be sure to consider a variety of activities.
The most important thing to consider—every little bit counts. If you have 10 minutes free, go for a walk. If you have the choice, take the stairs. In fact, it doesn’t matter if your active minutes are broken up in 10- or 15-minute increments, it just matters that you get your active minutes each week.
Your future health depends on the healthy decisions you make today. Here are our top health tips for women to help you get on track for a healthy future.
Don’t Let Your Limitations Stop You
If you have knee problems, a busy family, limited time, that’s okay—you can still make healthy choices. Take every opportunity you can to work in healthy habits, especially when it comes to exercise. Vary the type of exercise to limit stress on certain joint or body areas.
Think About Bone Health
You never really worry about them, but your bones are very important, especially as you age. Maintaining bone mass should be near the top of your to-do list; it’s easy to do with weight-bearing exercise, which forces you to work against gravity.
Examples of weight-bearing exercises include weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis, and dancing. In addition, make sure you are getting enough Calcium and Vitamin D. Learn more about our Tone Your Bones exercise classes and osteoporosis on our website.
Get Your Daily Dose of Calcium and Vitamin D
Incorporating calcium and vitamin D into your daily routine is important. Calcium can be found in dairy products, milk, cheese, yogurt, almond milk, soy milk, spinach, broccoli, and legumes, and in calcium-fortified foods, like orange juice.
Vitamin D is needed to help calcium get into the bones. If you live in a sunny climate, you may be getting enough vitamin D from the sun during the summer months. To be sure, your body needs 1000 mg of calcium and 1000 IU of vitamin D daily. In the Northern Hemisphere during the winter, you may need to increase your intake of vitamin D to 2000 IU. Try to get the nutrients in your diet, but take a supplement if you are not able to get enough.
Read Labels, Carefully
Packaging is designed to entice you to buy, and how labels are worded can often be a little bit misleading. For example, Vitamin Water, despite its name, is full of sugar. Processed foods may claim health benefits, but whole foods are usually a better choice. Read your labels carefully and look for ingredients you can read and pronounce.
Putting your health first also means making sure you are protected from common illness and disease. Get your annual flu shot to protect you and your loved ones, and also be sure you are up to date on tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap).
Sleep is an important but often overlooked part of your physical and mental health and preventive health care. To help boost your overall health and energy level, try to get between seven and eight hours of sleep every night.
To do this, you might find it helpful to:
One of the most significant changes you can make today is to take control of your stress level. Left unchecked, stress can negatively affect your overall health.
How can women manage stress? Follow these tips:
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) affect millions of women nationwide before they get their monthly cycle.
After childbearing age, during perimenopause, and before menopause, some women report an increase in PMS and PMDD symptoms. As such, it is important to understand how to recognize if you are experiencing these feelings and that there are options that can help you.
Symptoms of both PMS and PMDD can include:
PMS and PMDD can also cause feelings of depression and anxiety. In contrast to PMS, PMDD typically has stronger symptoms and more intense feelings of anxiety and depression, and for some women, it can be a debilitating condition. It is thought that these conditions are a result of changing progesterone hormone levels and your gynecologist or perimenopause doctor can talk to you about your symptoms and how best to manage them.
Considering options like an Intrauterine Device (IUD) as contraception can reduce periods and related PMS and PMDD symptoms.
As you navigate through perimenopause, it is important to consider family planning options that work for you. When you’ve decided to stop adding to your family, finding the right birth control or contraception can be a challenge.
As you get older, your cycles can become irregular and you can even have months where your hormones do not follow the normal pattern and pregnancy can occur. Ensure that you have a contraceptive plan in place to reduce your stress level and manage your monthly cycle.
Here are some birth control options for women after pregnancy when your family is complete:
Discussing the best options for you and your lifestyle is an important conversation you should have with your gynecologist. Meet the Moreland OB-GYN team now, to learn more.
Every medical practice and every physician has a different approach to patient care and treatment.
When it comes to women’s health after pregnancy when your family is complete, or as you prepare for perimenopause, finding a doctor who prioritizes proactive and preventive healthcare and helping you develop prevention strategies is a must.
It’s important to find a doctor you like and trust. With the help and support of your physician and medical team, you can make the transition into perimenopause with confidence.
Regardless of your primary care doctor, insurance provider, or health system, keep in mind that you control your own care, and in many cases, you have the option to choose your healthcare provider.
As you approach your next physician visit, here are a few things you may want to consider discussing with your doctor if you fall between the ages of 35 and 50.
If you fall between the ages of 35 and 50, it’s important to know that these years are the building blocks for your future health—your doctor should work with you to ensure you are building a strong foundation.
As you’ve read through this page, you likely recognize that you are in a unique period of your life between the ages of 35 and 50.
Not only are you managing the everyday stresses of life, but your body is changing to prepare for perimenopause and menopause. Moreover, your healthy choices have the ability to combat stress and improve your overall health and reduce symptoms caused by your changing body.
How can you optimize your health?
Make the choice to start today. Adopt healthy habits and begin to see the difference it can make in your day-to-day life.
Proactive care with an emphasis on women’s preventive health, not merely addressing problems as they arise, is what you’ll find at Moreland OB-GYN.
Whether you are a busy mom, business professional, caregiver, or all of the above, you deserve a medical provider who focuses on you, your future health, and disease prevention strategies.
As your body is evolving toward perimenopause and menopause, your life is full of highs, lows, stresses, and hopefully a lot of fun. During this time, our team of obstetricians and gynecologists reminds you to slow down and take time for yourself.
Sustained habits lead to change, and change takes time.
There’s an old adage that says it takes 21 days to form a habit, so remember that changing aspects of your lifestyle, like sleep, healthy eating, and exercise, all take time. Change is hard for everyone but the payoffs are significant, especially if you are between the ages of 35 and 50.
As you work with your doctor to make the right plan for you, remember to be practical and realistic. Challenge yourself to change one healthy habit at a time, so you see and feel the results, and so your habits become permanent lifestyle changes. Working slowly over time on lifestyle adjustments will help reduce failure and help you feel confident that you can reach your health goals.
Moreover, adjusting lifestyle habits like sleep, stress management, eating, and exercise can help lessen the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause and help you transition through this period of your life successfully.
At Moreland OB-GYN, we specialize in women’s preventive health care and prioritizing the needs of our patients. We hope you’ll connect with us to help answer your questions and we hope you’ll turn to our experts as a trusted resource for information.