If you’re 35 and older, you may relate to the following concerns that many of my clients have:
- Metabolism slowing down, feeling more tired and winded more easily
- Impaired digestion – food sensitivities, bloating, belching, discomfort after eating
- Hormonal imbalance: can lead to depression, anxiety, low libido, irregular periods, infertility, etc.
- Change in cravings and food preferences, especially for refined carbs/sugar
- Gaining weight more easily, especially in the mid section
- Can’t “get away” with things that you were once easily able to bounce back from, like lack of sleep, unhealthy eating, etc.
- Illness and disease and genetic susceptibility
- Wrinkles and fine lines, looking and feeling “old”
I personally experienced a few of these changes sometime after turning 35. They were subtle at first: such as the texture of my skin changing – from dewy and youthful, to super dry AND breaking out again. I also had a noticeable change in my midsection – extra weight – and was having sugar cravings like I hadn’t experienced since I was in my early 20s.
This did coincide with the postpartum period after giving birth to my second daughter, so many of the changes were due to lack of sleep and hormones.
However, this is when my clients often notice the changes themselves: they experience a stressful event or situation (it’s common to juggle multiple responsibilities, including career, parenting and taking care of aging parents and family), and/or the accumulation of stress and/or toxins over time and sometime after 35, it begins to manifest more in your body and health. After 35, your body also goes through physical changes, such as changes in metabolism, bone density and hormonal shifts.
The good news is that despite these changes, getting older doesn’t necessarily mean life goes downhill from here.
But it does mean taking care of yourself differently and being more conscious, aware and curious about your body and health.
Here are my top 5 tips to get started:
1. Listen to your body: I want to assure you that you aren’t crazy if you feel like things have changed/are changing and can’t exactly pinpoint what it is or why it’s happening. Maybe you’re more anxious, depressed, experiencing brain fog, getting sick more easily, noticing changes in your menstrual cycle. My clients often share these concerns with me and tell me they are brushed aside because their lab work comes back normal, and that there’s not much more that can be done, and this is often far from true. If the symptoms are chronic and not getting better, listen to your intuition and find a health professional who will listen and help you get better.
2. Take care of your gut: Leaky gut and food intolerances are common as you get older (and can also result in the extended belly/muffin top look), and there are steps you can take to heal your gut other than taking antacids and other medications – which is commonly recommended and are most likely to be more harmful in the long run, and also doesn’t address the underlying root causes. Gut health is one of the core foundations that I teach my clients, as it can affect everything from metabolism, energy, immune health, etc. Start by feeding your gut healthy bacteria, found in probiotic rich foods, such as sauerkraut and other fermented foods, and greatly reducing/eliminating inflammatory foods that can disrupt healthy gut flora, such as refined sugar and processed foods, and for some people, gluten and dairy.
3. Connect on a daily basis with what makes you feel joy and peace: It can be easy to focus on what isn’t going right or what could be better, but make time to focus on what truly nourishes you – body, mind and spirit. You may want to connect with friends more frequently – get away from the computer or your phone and connect with people face to face. Find a hobby, volunteer, take long walks, dance like no one’s watching. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks – between work, family and other responsibilities – and put fun on the back burner – easily leading to more stress and negatively affecting your health.
4. Movement: Keep your body active and flexible by finding movement that is rejuvenating, grounding and invigorating for you. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box – exercise isn’t just hitting the gym and jogging/running. In fact, many of my clients find that they lose motivation when they think of exercise in these more traditional ways. Try dancing, swimming, rock climbing, yoga, Pilates.
5. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize sleep (as much as you can) – Sleep is the time when your body goes into rest and digest, and detox and rejuvenation mode. Too many people sacrifice sleep and don’t think of the negative consequences it can have on their health. Make sleep a priority and cultivate good sleep habits. If you have trouble with sleeping or wake up feeling exhausted even after a solid 7-9 hours of sleep, this is one of my specialties and I’m happy to help you get some solutions – and rest!