I’ve been interested in fitness and nutrition my entire adult life. Keeping fit and healthy are high on my priority list. To be honest I never found it to be that difficult. I love being active and eating right was never really a chore. Maintaining a healthy weight, good energy levels and just feeling healthy came easy to me. But slowly things started to change. First, I became a mother. I had a healthy pregnancy. I gained just the right amount of weight (according to my doctor). The “baby weight” came off easily but there was no mistaking, my body had changed. And that was not a bad thing. But it did take some getting use to. And I did get use to it. Actually learned to appreciate the changes. The fact is I’m probably the only one that even noticed them. The bigger change to my life, that lead to changes in my body and my health, came more from the demands on my time. I went from being single and setting my own calendar to being married and a new mother in a very short span of time. I could no longer just decide to head to the gym or go for a bike ride around the lake whenever the urge hit me. Finding time for me became a struggle. And when I did find free time I was usually too exhausted to use it effectively.
And then something else happened. I turned 40. And it may not always be inevitable but it certainly is common for your body to start to change, yet again, when you hit your 40s. Especially if you are a woman. I swear it was like a switch was flipped. Even though I really wasn’t eating any differently I noticed that any extra calories were sticking around. The light workouts I was managing to fit in here and there just weren’t cutting it anymore. My metabolism was starting to slow down. I had less energy than what I was use to. Changing hormone levels were making changes, both physically and mentally, that I was not all that happy about.
Since my body was changing against my will I knew that I had to make some conscience changes to get back on track and stay healthy. And that’s just what I did. Even though changes are bound to happen as we age there are plenty of things we can do to fight back and feel good. I’m not saying it’s necessarily going to be easy, certainly not as easy as it was when you were in your 20s, but the good things in life rarely come without some real effort. Here’s a look at some of the changes I made to help me stay 40 (something) and fabulous:
Get More Active – Deliberately
Yes I have a four year old and she does keep me active to some degree. We spend a lot of time outside. We go for walks, take bike rides, play in the park. These are all wonderful things, for many reasons. But they are not enough. The light cardio benefits I may get from these activities are helpful but they do little to maintain and build muscle which is absolutely essential to maintaining good health. Strength training maintains and builds muscle which not only helps burn fat but also keeps you flexible and protects joints from injury. Strong muscles mean better posture, increased mobility and balance. There are studies that suggest strength training is also beneficial as a mood lifter and can help with minor depression. And one of the biggest benefits, that is especially important to women as we age is that strength training builds bone density and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
So now, instead of “sneaking in” a work out when I can I go to the gym, on my lunch break, at least 3 (often more) times a week. That is my time. There is no trying to keep the preschooler entertained while I squeeze in a few lunges.
Get More Sleep
Proper sleep is essential to good health at any age. But if you are already combating the effects of a naturally slower metabolism making sure you are well rested is even more important. Did you know that a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain? Just like age, not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on your metabolism. So no more late night House of Cards binges here (ok to be honest we’ve watched them all anyways). Not only does getting the right about of sleep help keep your metabolism on track but it also helps you have enough energy to get through your day – and get in a good workout!
I suppose I’m pretty fortunate that, generally, I don’t have a lot of trouble getting to sleep. For me it’s just a matter of getting myself to bed at a reasonable hour. But I know that some people, like my husband, often do have troubles getting a good night sleep even if they do manage to get to bed on time. Orange Naturals has a couple of great, all natural, products that can help with that.
Orange Naturals Sleep is made up of a therapeutic combination of herbs like passion flower, valerian, hops and lemon balm that are calming and can really help with insomnia that is caused by stress.
The Orange Naturals Sleep Homeopathic drops is another natural solution that can help calm an overactive mind, ease restlessness and promote healthy sleep patterns.
I know that taking sleep aids can be concerning but these all natural solutions from Orange Naturals are not habit forming and they leave you feeling refreshed and alert in the morning, not groggy!
Looking Closer at Nutrition
I have a pretty good understanding of what makes up a healthy diet. And now that I have a little one to cook for I am even more aware and focused on what I’m serving. But sometimes we need something that we just aren’t getting enough of in our diets, even if they are healthy overall. Certain supplements can help bridge that gap.
I started taking the Orange Naturals Advanced B-Complex a couple of months ago. Vitamin B complexes are sometimes referred to as “stress formulas” because of their ability to help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. They are also important to help the body use carbs, fat and protein efficiently and effectively.
The Orange Naturals ND Shakes are also a great way to get in those important nutrients that are sometimes missing. They are also easy to take and great if you are like me and often just forget to take your pills. I just mix them up with some milk and make myself a nice chocolate shake (you can also get vanilla). The shakes are packed full of good things like vitamins and minerals, protein, fibre and calcium.
Most of the areas I’ve addressed in my goal to be forty something and fabulous are ones that can apply to just about anyone at any age. Exercise, sleep and proper nutrition are essential to us all. But sometimes we need to take a closer look and address a specific issue, and age comes with plenty of those.
As women age their changing hormones can have an effect on thyroid health. Sometimes the thyroid function can be seriously compromised and in that case it’s important take whatever medications your doctor may advise. But sometimes the change can me relatively minor and not show up as something serious in your annual check up. In those cases, when it’s minor, you just need to support an overall healthy functioning thyroid, and your doctor has not prescribed medication, a natural supplement like Orange Naturals Thyroid Health can be just what you need.
Orange Naturals Thyroid Health is a synergistic blend of nutrients and herbs that are designed to support the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland. Thyroid Health contains iodine naturally sourced from bladdderwrack to help in the day-to-day functioning of the thyroid gland, along with other important thyroid minerals such as selenium, zinc and copper.
Yep I’m going there – menopause. Although I have’t hit it yet I’m pretty sure I am experiencing some perimenopause symptoms. Mood swings, night sweats – you know, all that fun stuff. Orange Naturals Menopause Homeopathic is a liquid formula that is easy to take and absorbs quickly to help relieve these pesky symptoms. It can help reduce hot flashes and night sweats, help support a balanced mood and improve sleep.
Embrace Your Age
You can’t fight it so you might as well embrace it. I have another birthday coming in just a few short weeks and I have to tell you that since I’ve taken a proactive approach to taking control of my own body I am ready for another candle on that cake. I feel good. I look good. All it took was a few changes and additions to my life and the benefits have been noticeable from the inside out.
No matter what your health goals or concerns are, Orange Naturals has something to help you get there. Be sure to stop by the #onatural blog to get lots of great tips and advice for feeling your best and keeping your entire family healthy. You can also find Orange Naturals on Facebook for more information and fun!
Disclosure: I am part of the Orange Naturals Mom Ambassador Program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own