The 1 Surprising Thing You Need to Beware When You Hit Your 40s

As you make that graceful exit from your 30s into your 40s you may think you have the whole “middle age” thing figured out, right? With celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Leonardo DiCaprio, and most recently Ashton Kutcher entering and enduring their 40s as the picture of health and vitality, how could turning 40 be anything but easy?

While some people say 40 is the new 30, there are some changes you should anticipate before you embark upon your 4th decade. Some differences, especially one (No. 5) should be addressed, or at least on your radar, as you enter and barrel through your 40s. Want to know more? Read on.

1. You’ll need a few more medical tests

Don't be late from doctor appointment

Prepare for more visits to the doctor. | NanoStockk/iStock/Getty Images

The typical drive-by appointment scheduled with your doc in your 30s should be stepped up in your 40s. Men should ask their physician about screening for colon and prostate cancer if they have a family history, according to Men’s Journal. A yearly mammogram and continued screening for cervical cancer should occur for women, Hopkins Medicine reports. All adults entering this decade should also be screened for high blood pressure and alcohol misuse.

Next: Rev up your skincare regime.

2. Your skin may rebel against you

Mature woman applying moisturizer to her skin in a mirror

Start a regular routine.| studiokovac/iStock/Getty Images

A decrease in estrogen and hormonal changes for women may reduce the skin’s elasticity and moisture, Prevention reports. Skin changes aren’t limited to women as men may also see a few more wrinkles and even age spots during this decade.

Combat skin changes by using a gentle cleanser, apply sunscreen, and moisturize every day. Consider booking an appointment with a dermatologist to screen for skin cancer and inquire about additional skincare strategies.

Next: Think your fertility bottomed out? Think again.

3. You can still have kids

young couple in the morning

Keep this very real fact in mind. | iStock.com/Ivanko_Brnjakovic

While fertility in your 40s is on the decline, you can still conceive, which may be good or bad news during midlife. Some women skip birth control during this decade, thinking they can’t get pregnant, only to be shocked to learn they can conceive, according to Today.

Pregnancy in your 40s presents a number of health challenges including certain cancers and cardiovascular risk increase, in addition to pregnancy complications, Health reports. Explore birth control options with your doctor and partner to ensure you have control over your reproductive destiny.

Next: Calling your son the dog’s name may happen.

4. Brain fog may occur more often

young female worried by what she sees on cell phone

Blanking out from time to time is normal. | nandyphotos/iStock/Getty Images

If you find your car keys in the fridge and forget you committed to attend your daughter’s field trip, you may be experiencing a little memory hiccup during midlife. Women often blame peri-menopause, menopause or even adult ADHD, according to The Huffington Post. But even men may experience memory loss due to hormonal changes in their 40s, Medical News Today reports.

Strengthen your memory by learning something new, stick to a routine and tap into all your senses, Harvard Health recommends.

Next: Is it my memory problem or is my butt getting bigger?

5. That post-work margarita won’t disappear with a spin class

Pretty runner eating a banana

Healthy choices are more important than ever. | iStock.com/Antonio_Diaz

Hormonal and metabolic changes in your 40s means Saturday night tacos and beer won’t disappear with a few workouts. Although weight creep in your 40s is real you don’t have to succumb.

Cut your caloric intake by about 400 to 500 calories per day, fill your diet with veggies and eat several small meals throughout the day to remain at a healthy weight, according to Prevention. Don’t blow off the gym because working out during midlife helps you stay healthy and free from chronic disease later in life, The New York Times reports.

Next: It’s normal to get a little bummed out

6. You may get a little blue

Sad woman lying on the couch at night

Feeling down is normal. | iStock.com/tommaso79

Stress, mounting financial pressures, and possibly the influence of the opioid epidemic positions middle-aged men in particular to be more vulnerable to suicide, according to Men’s Health. Middle-aged women also experience bouts of depression, most often current between the ages of 25 and 44. Changes in sleep patterns or an abundance of fatigue can be hallmark signs you are experiencing more than a few down days.

Some steps you can take to blow those blues away include making a gratitude list, talking with friends, journaling or even working with animals or getting a pet, according to Psychology Today. Seek professional help if you can’t shake your depressive mood for more than a few weeks.

Next: The concept of adulting is real.

7.  Weekends may consist of take-out and an evening with Netflix

Woman holding hotel magazine

Enjoy this calm time of your life. | iStock.com/Tim Hall

Hitting the bars until 3 a.m. might be a thing of the past in your 40s because you are either too tired or simply uninterested in the party scene at this point, Prevention reports. A decrease in your desire to party hard is positive not only for your body but also your bank account, as you should be socking away three times your annual salary by the time you hit age 40, according to CNBC.

Next: The sandman may elude you. 

8. Your best friend ‘sleep’ stops visiting

Sleeping problem concept

This may be the most frustrating side effect of all. | iStock.com/kasinv

The days of sleeping until 10 a.m. are gone as stress and family concerns often interrupt your time in dreamland. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults in their 40s get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, so in order to achieve this goal, sleep in a completely dark, quiet room set at a temperature of about 60 to 65 degrees, Today reports.

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