March 11, 2015

Tips for healthy aging: Your 40s



Part three of our seven-part series

Aging begins at birth. Even so, the way we age changes with each successive decade of life. What health goals should you have when you are in your forties?  The following tips can help you adopt habits that will maximize your health now while preparing you for a better future.

For women, learn about menopause

The average age when menstruation ends is 51, but many begin to experience the first signs of menopause in their 40s. These may include:

  • Abnormal bleeding.
  • Hot flashes.
  • Insomnia.
  • Urinary incontinence.
  • Vaginal dryness.
  • Changes in sexual function.
  • Psychological changes.

Learn all you can so you can make informed decisions about managing changes you may find bothersome.

Manage your cholesterol levels

High cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease, stroke, and coronary artery disease. These risks increase for men over age 45 and women over age 55. The best ways to prevent high cholesterol are to:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Not smoke.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Keep blood pressure below 140/90.

Kaiser Permanente Washington generally recommends a total cholesterol test every five years beginning at age 40—although this may vary based on individual risk factors.

Plan for breast cancer screening

Talk to your doctor about establishing a schedule for regular mammograms. Most women can start getting mammograms at age 50, but some may begin earlier depending on individual risk for breast cancer.

Check out our tips for your twenties and thirties to see healthy habits you can still start now, and look ahead to your fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond on our Healthy Findings blog.

Live Healthy


Healthy aging: Never too early—or too late

Advice based on your current decade of life.