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The better news is that there's no reason to feel unhealthy in your 40s — and the lifestyle tweaks that can help should also keep you good and honest as your grow older.

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You should be able to be 40 and fit, while also insuring yourself against things that often kick in down the line — like postural problems, mental ill-health, and major diseases. B efore we get started, a small disclaimer: this article represents a theoretical blueprint and is not intended as personal medical advice. As ever, you should consult your GP if you are troubled by a specific problem — be it mental or physical. J ust 30 minutes of exercise a day should help you offset osteoporosis, hold on to muscle mass, maintain your natural range of motion, avoid back pain, lower your risk of heart problems and maintain a healthy sex life.

After the age of 40, we typically lose about 1pc of muscle mass each year. This in turn slows your metabolism, weakens your structure, and lessens your athletic appearance. Weightlifting is your friend here. I'm not talking about lifting huge chucks of cast iron, like those beefcakes on Muscle Beach — I mean low intensity, relaxed movements using manageable weights and focusing on compound movements.

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This will help to send your body a signal that it needs to hold onto its hard earned muscle mass — but crucially not overwork it. Try not to lift more than 80pc of your personal best, and never train to failure ie lift until you can lift no more. Come 40, we're planks of wood only not so upright.

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Stretching regularly will make you a lot more resilient to injury as you make your way through mid-life. Which should you do? It's really up to you. My verdict? S o you sit all day at a desk, hare around the five-a-side pitch I t's ok. I get it. Yoga isn't for everyone, and no-one feels like they have half an hour to spare every day anyway. However, that doesn't mean to say you're beyond hope. Aim to rotate your hips, shoulders, knees and ankles, and open up the spine. Simple exercises like squats, lunges, planks, cat stretches are all an excellent idea.

I've seen so many people incorporate it into their daily routine and become lean in just a few months. What does it mean? Technically, you're aiming to train at a specific heart rate — somewhere around the beats per minute band, which is the area where your body burns fat for energy. Not only will these activities burn fat, but they'll also lower your cortisol levels, helping you deal with the dollop of stress you wade through every day. You're not so robust in your 40s, however, so you need to adapt your mindset, otherwise you run the risk of developing a chronic injury that you won't be able to shape over the following years and decades.

L isten to your body, never exercise through an injury, and if you're tired, rest. What you put in your body becomes all the more importance come mid-life. Healthiness now isn't as simple as looking in the mirror and looking at the scales: you can be an outwardly fit, slim person and still harbour gremlins inside that will take their toll later in life.

Fortunately, it's not to late to correct years of over indulging on fast food and quick snacks. Did you know that almost any ailment is at least slightly alleviated by a high water consumption? This is because a hydrated body is our optimal and natural state of health, helping to flush toxins, reduce inflammation, lubricate joints, support your metabolism and improve energy, digestion and mental performance. Often you'll get a noticeable increase in health and vitality just from upping your water intake alone. Don't like the taste? Get over it!

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Water is your life source. W e could get really complex on this one, go into all the various diets out there and calorie counting apps and fasting theories. But it only serves to put a lot of people off — and to an extent, it's all just noise anyway. That should ensure you have enough energy for the demands of the day, take in all the building blocks for muscular repair after exercise, and supply the fats needed for optimal hair, hormone and skin health.

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Of course, everyone is a bit different, and you can play around with that formula to fit your needs. But it's a good starting block for a diet that will keep you fighting into later life.

The Health Mistake Fit Women Make

S eems trite, but it's true. The antioxidants alone will play a huge role in how well you age, as they help to battle damage from free radicals and oxidative stress. An increased intake will fortify your immune system, making you more resilient to illness and disease.

M icronutrients sounds like a complicated word, but realistically they're already a natural part of your diet, present in all well, most of the foods you eat. However, as the body depends heavily on micronutrients like calcium, vitamin B12, magnesium, potassium and omega 3s, it's worth checking that you're not suffering from a deficiency.

Never heard of it? You're not alone. But a deficiency in this trace mineral, although rare, has been linked to impaired immune function, recurrent miscarriages, hypothyroidism, extreme fatigue, and low testosterone in men. Remember when I said we could get more complicated about diet in point seven? Well, this is one of those examples — and I promise it's more than just needless noise! F odmap foods are certain types of carbohydrates that cause a significant amount of abdominal distress for many people.

Over 4 million people in the UK regularly suffer with IBS, and your chances of being affected increase as you get older.

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Reducing your instances of Fodmap foods and finding alternatives should help to alleviate abdominal bloating and indigestion. Inflammatory foods are foods that in many people create a swelling in the stomach. The body treats this inflammation as an immune response, expending energy to counteract it and lowering your immune function. Walk to the next town to grab a bite. There are walkable paths all over the city with family-friendly parks along the way.

Getting out, moving, and enjoying family time has never been so easy.

Health Tips We Could All Learn From the Swiss

Americans, myself included, love to snack. And for good reason. Swiss people prefer mindful meals with their families or colleagues versus snacking over their computers throughout the day. Yes, alcohol, even at work lunches, is the norm. Have you ever been to a professional sports game without seeing an array of endless food and sponsors at every turn? Swiss pro hockey games like many other sports have fewer than five food vendors. You have to exit the stadium with your tickets every time you want a bag of mixed nuts, a bratwurst, or a beer. Quality shut-eye is a key component of self-care and crucial for making better choices. While I found a great local gym to join, most people spend fewer than 10 to 20 minutes total on a cardio machine and instead focus their time on short bouts of weight-lifting with the intermittent bouts of high-intensity cardio.

Perhaps HIIT training really is the best workout? You never know which healthy habits might stick! It's even cheaper if you can find it at a dollar store. You'll never find me without these supplements. Yippee bidet, yippee bi-yay, America. Gwynnie would call this the season of consciously coupling.

What's making you better might be making others unwell. There are plenty of other topics to ask us about. Detox that nonsense. Ask these questions before signing up with a bopo gym or trainer. Get familiar with your shadowy sides, babes. They eat real food. Written by Elizabeth Shaw on December 18,