8 Bad Habits You Can No Longer Get Away With In Your 40s

Entering your 40s can be a strange experience because you’re definitely not getting any younger but mentally, you don’t really consider yourself as an “old person”. You may still want to continue the habits you have built over your 20s and 30s but the unfortunate truth is that no matter how young you feel in your mind, your body always keeps the clock. If you’re someone who’s entering their 40s soon or is already there, here are some habits you should look at again because they may cost you more dearly than you think.

1. Working Late Into The Night

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According to the CDC, 1 in 3 Americans falls short of the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night. And getting a good night’s sleep becomes even harder once you hit 40. Some of the factors that affect your sleep include shifting circadian rhythms, a natural decrease in melatonin, and the hormonal side effects of aging. When you’re in your 40s, it’s important that you organize your day well and stick to your sleep schedule to get at least 7 hours of shut-eye every night.

2. Giving Into Sugar Cravings

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When you’re in your 40s, don’t be too eager about digging into that bucket of ice cream or finishing off the leftover cake. Having too much sugar can disrupt your body’s ability to process it, which can lead to insulin resistance, putting you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Since type 2 diabetes is most common in people over 40, start cutting back on sugary foods. According to the American Heart Association, your sugar intake should be 25 grams per day or less.

3. Slacking On Dental Care

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Most people don’t like going to a dentist and make an appointment only when they absolutely have to. This attitude has to change as you step into your 40s. As you get older, not taking care of your teeth can have some serious health issues. Your oral health is also directly connected with your overall health and is absolutely necessary for keeping gum disease, heart disease, and diabetes at bay.

4. Letting A Bad Mood Linger

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While depression is more prevalent in women than in men, being in your 40s puts you in the age group most likely to have this condition. According to the CDC, only about 35% of people actually seek help for their symptoms. If you’re not feeling like yourself and are feeling low for more than two weeks, what you’re going through might be more than just a bad phase. Talk to your doctor about what you’re going through and seek help.

5. Overlooking Eye Exams

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If you’ve been lucky enough to have perfect vision even in your 40s, you may not see any need to see the eye doctor. However, after you turn 40, you’re more likely to experience eye problems that can lead to vision problems, like glaucoma. You should start getting comprehensive eye exams once you turn 40 because early signs of vision problems and eye conditions can begin at this age.

6. Skipping Strength Training

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As you step into your forties, you need to take a good hard look at how you’ve been doing things and how you should be doing them hence. While cardio burns calories, improves endurance, and reduces your chances of stroke, you should start invest time in lifting those weights too. You begin to lose muscle mass and bone density as you age and this process accelerates at age 40. Strength training helps you maintain your muscle while making your bones stronger. And more translates to higher basal metabolic rate.

7. Forgetting Your SPF

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Whether you’re in your teens or 40s, sun exposure is never a good idea. But as you age, it becomes even more crucial to protect your skin from damage. Ideally, a woman over 40 should be applying a facial moisturizer with sunscreen in it every morning. Also, it’s a good idea to set an appointment with your dermatologist for a baseline skin exam. But don’t stop that from doing a self-exam to check for new moles or unusual pigmentation.

8. Putting Off Mammograms

If you’re a woman in your 40s, you need to be especially careful about your health. In your 30s, your risk of getting breast cancer is 1 in 228 but after you turn 40, the odds jump to 1 in 69. So add those mammogram appointments to your yearly calendar today. Doctors advise that most women should start getting a mammogram at 40 and continue getting them annually or bi-annually, depending on your risk factors.