What happens in our 40's?
Before I share an overview of the things I did in my 40's to prepare myself for the next chapter of my life, I'll start with just a few things that may start to happen in our 40's.
We all know about the menopause, which I'll come onto in a moment, but what about somatopause?
For those of you who may not be aware somatopause is the gradual decline of somatotropin or growth hormone, which tends to happen in this decade (I think it may have happened at an earlier age for me!). This growth hormone to name a few functions, stimulates growth, cell reproduction & regeneration together with fat metabolism ( the breakdown and storage of fat).
Decreased muscle mass, increased fat, reduced libido and energy may also be experienced. Falling levels of oestrogen and progesterone - changes consistent with perimenopause also contribute to our body composition. When our oestrogen levels drop, fat storage tends to switch from hips and thighs to the abodomen.
Studies show that this in turns, increased our risk of heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, colorectal cancer & Alzheimer's disease.
What did I do in my 40's?
The best thing I did in when I was 40 was marry my husband! Aside from getting married, and when I was 46 I finally introduced resistance training into my weekly routine.
Up until that point & during my late 30's & early 40's, I had always used work as an excuse as to why I did not have time to engage in much physical exercise. My career at the time, took me away from home, either travelling significant distances, staying in hotels for a big proportion of the week, working late into the evenings, weekends and not having a lot of "me time".
When I was approaching 46, experiencing a fourth time of redundancy in my working life, I was fortunate to secure a role which was finally closer to home. A minimum of 100 mile round trip, but closer to home - I'd finally got the opportunity for a work-life balance.
Following the change in role and a holiday of a life time where I re-discovered my love for fitness classes, I decided to make some positive changes to my life; our life.
That's when I found a really good fitness instructor, running a combination of different classes, with a great group of people, many still remain firm friends, despite leaving the group when I qualified last year.