Diet and exercise are important in every stage of life, but even more after 40, here are the doctor's quick tips for optimal health.
Reassess your diet to maintain a healthy weight. "Women should reassess their calorie intake after 40 and should make adjustments to their diets based on their activity levels." (The single best way to lose weight).
Bone up on calcium. Women over 40 need to increase their focus on calcium intake. "Without real effort, most women fall short of the recommended daily allowance for calcium and would benefit from a supplement.
Do weight-bearing activity. Exercise can help keep leading factors of heart disease at bay, and keep bones and muscles strong - which is extremely important as women enter perimenopause. In addition to cardio exercise, weight-bearing activities that improve bone strength are recommended.
Rally your friends and family, try starting an exercise program that includes a buddy system for motivation and fun.
Don't be last in line. Women tend to place the needs of their family ahead of their own, but when it comes to health, women need to make themselves a priority.
Quit smoking. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the US, with one in five deaths related to the hard-to-quit habit. Smoking affects women both inside and out -- it is linked to aging and increased risk of heart disease and many types of cancer.
Don't skip doctor's visits. In addition to an annual physical and gynecological checkup, women should know what screenings are recommended for their age group. This information can be provided by their physician or found online. The medical specialist also advises that women prepare a list of questions for their healthcare providers and get answers for all of their health concerns.
Keeps tabs on everyone. A family health record is a good way for women and their families to stay on track with their health. Keeping a tabbed binder with physician contact lists, an appointment schedule, allergies, medications and a list of past medical procedures can be helpful.