EXERCISE All that muscle mass you proudly built up during your twenties? Yep, you’re now losing it – at a rate of up to 8% each decade after you hit 40.* But that’s not a reason to give up. Strength training helps you to hold onto the lean tissue you have.“Fewer reps with higher loads helps guard against osteoporosis,” says Worthington. “Try weights twice a week, a brisk walk twice a week and soft tissue work (foam rolling, yoga, Pilates) every day.”
DIET The energy you burn doing, well, nothing, decreases by 7% every decade after 30, so try switching up some of those refined carbs for lower GI options – foods rich in soluble fibre, which helps to lower bad cholesterol. Women under 50 need 25g of fibre a day to help with everything from digestion to heart health – 28g of flaxseed has 8g of fibre and can be added to smoothies, stews and salads. And while it’s a bit early to mention the ‘m’ word *quietly whispers menopause*, some women can experience symptoms soon after the big 4-0. Before your period, cut out caffeine and alcohol to lessen the effects.
Health check This little-known GP test is free for those aged 40 to 74. It takes 30 minutes and you’ll get a full MOT; blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI are all checked. If you’re not offered it, demand it.
Eye exam After 40, this is crucial, as problems like glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration can rear their ugly heads.