How Aging Affects Our Bodies – Turning 40 is a Pain in the Back

The year 2012 brought some changes to my life, the most monumental of them all being my fortieth birthday just a few months into the calendar. Although some people dread this milestone birthday, I faced mine with a positive attitude. I was positive that if I was going to have to turn forty, then I was going to do it somewhere more fun than home. When it comes to traveling I can relate to explorer Jacques Cousteau who once said, “The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” My husband and I called our travel agent and, after exploring vacation options from Victoria, Canada to Florida in the United States, packed up our teenage sons and headed out for a chilly week of dolphin watching from the comfort of a secluded, oceanfront bungalow.

The weather was warmer than expected that week. Each morning my husband and I took our coffee down to the water’s edge and enjoyed long walks, beachcombing for treasures like sea glass and oddly shaped bits of driftwood that we’d add to our collection at home. And what an addition it made. Unfortunately, I could not enjoy it because after sitting in the car for the long ride home my back muscles were screaming in pain. I spent the next two days in bed with a heating pad, but as time went on I found that being forty came with a whole array of problems.

No Fountain of Youth for This 40-Year-Old

When I visited my doctor about my back pain, she suggested a completely physical during which she helpfully discovered out other problems that I’d developed since my last visit, the biggest problem being the fifteen extra pounds I’d added to my otherwise petite height. Those extra pounds were almost as sneaky about creeping up on me as age forty itself had been, but unlike my age I could turn back the gauge on the doctor’s weigh-in scale – and with her tips, I did! Here are some she shared with me that I’m sure can help you as well.

  • Add color to your diet. Traditional “white” foods like white bread, white potatoes, and white rice have little nutritional value compared to vibrant vegetables, bright fruits, and even lean meats.
  • Baked versus fried. I grew up in the southern area of the United States, and growing up we deep fried everything from tater tots to Twinkies. My doctor suggested websites that had baked versions of my favorite recipes, eliminating hydrogenated oils and trans facts.
  • Multi-benefits from a multivitamin. If your diet lacks the right kinds of foods, you can give your body a boost by taking a daily multivitamin. Even if you are eating all the right foods, there’s no guarantee you’re meeting daily minimum requirements.
  • Go alcohol-free. Drinking a glass of wine can have its own merits, but the extra calories add up. Recipe and virtual bulletin board websites now have instructions for making “skinny” versions of your favorite drinks. Mine is a peach sangria that has less than half the calories of what I used to drink!

Retain Your Aging Skin’s Youthful Appearance

Just because your over-the-hill body is racing to the future at a breakneck pace doesn’t mean your skin has to suffer the effects. You’ll find a broad range of anti-aging skin care products in your local pharmacy and your dermatologist can prescribe even stronger remedies. Creams, serums, and powders work to reverse the aging process, clearing away old, dead cells and replace them with new ones. Some companies even use controversial ingredients like stem cells and growth factors in their products in attempt to achieve extreme results in a quicker amount of time.

Another place you can find relief from aging is at your local day spa. In addition to amenities like massages, pedicures, and use of personal saunas, one of the most highly requested perk is anything to look and feel younger. It is in response to these many requests that a lot of spas are including minimally invasive anti-aging cosmetic procedures that are performed in a single visit. Although I haven’t yet felt the need for Botox injections, I wouldn’t mind a laser treatment to erase those annoying lines around the corners of my mouth. People in the Vancouver area will find spas that offer a variety of signature treatments, many which use ingredients that come from Canada’s western coast.

About the Author

Freelance author Becky James-Muth has finally embraced her new milestone age and hasn’t let it slow her down one bit. When she isn’t working she enjoys traveling with her family, and is currently planning a future vacation that involves an Alaska cruise. Becky’s free time at home is spent researching her family history, walking with her golden retriever, and making jewelry from found objects like bits of hardware, treasures found on either mountain trails or beachside walks, and spare pieces from old board games.

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