People between the ages of 30 to 50 are at the highest risk of developing a herniated disc in their spines. The result is radiating pain throughout the back, buttocks, and thighs. Lower back pain becomes especially common at the time of your fortieth birthday. The good news is that there is plenty that you can do to help alleviate the problem. Physical therapy can help build muscles that will protect your back. Swimming regularly is a great way to get exercise without straining your back. Check with your doctor for ways to help deal with back pain without becoming dependent on painkillers.
Having goals is important, and achieving them is equally essential. You should ‘never give up’ on something you really want. However, as you hit 40, and thereafter, don’t be surprised if you are okay with taking a more relaxed approach to getting what you want. Your dreams are still important, but don’t deny that as you get older, you have less energy and big dreams seem more out of reach as you age. Don’t feel guilty to go with the flow and settle for something else, even if you did have a plan in mind since you were 10. Just try to seek an alternate route that still satisfies you in the meantime.
9. Your “Weird” Personality Traits May Become More Exaggerated
You probably thought that quirky habit was just a random thing when you were younger, but you will notice that you have specific traits that shine through by the time you turn 40. It’s not like you are changing overnight, or purposely doing something extra. You just get more comfortable as you age, and don’t mind pronouncing yourself instead of concealing anything. Say goodbye to insecurities and let go of the fear of judgment you had in your 20s and say hello to the quirky 40s.
There is a double whammy here, especially for women. The hair on your head will begin thinning, and you will notice more hair on your face. And not only are you seeing more hair, but it is thicker and darker than face hairs that may have appeared in your twenties or thirties. Blame changing hormones for the extra time you will have to spend tweezing or going to the beauty salon (not unlike the facial hair that can appear during pregnancy due to hormones). Experts recommend laser hair removal, and there are plenty of devices you can buy and use at home.
As you age to 40, your muscles naturally begin to weaken. Unfortunately, the muscles in your digestive tract can easily fall victim to muscle weakness, leading to digestive problems that include irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, and peptic ulcers. You can help alleviate the muscle loss and ensuing uncomfortable conditions by eating healthy foods with plenty of fiber (not just taking fiber supplements) and getting plenty of exercise. If you are experiencing bowel discomfort, check-in with your doctor to see if there may be something that you can do. You may need to get a colonoscopy, which is something that you will have to start anyway as you age.
Lactose intolerance is another one of those conditions that can develop at any age, but many people associate it with children. Adult-onset lactose intolerance is not uncommon, and its prevalence actually increases the older you get. If eating dairy gives you a stomachache and maybe sends you running for the bathroom, there is a good chance that you have developed lactose intolerance. The condition is easily managed with dietary adjustments, such as using plant-based milk (which on the whole is healthier than cow’s milk) and dairy-free sorbet instead of ice cream.
5. You Can Choose How To Respond to Situations with Confidence
Not every situation even deserves a response, and you will learn that as you age. However, you can also choose how you want to respond when the time is right. If you were a dramatic teen or reactive young adult, you may notice your habits slowly shifting as you turn 40. By that age, you will learn yourself, how you are programmed, and how to control it. Refine your personality, as complex as it is, and allow it to shine when appropriate.
What’s acceptable, appropriate, and even legal may change as you age. Things that were funny in your 20s may be not-so-silly in your 40s. Your life experiences will change the way you engage with the world. As you encounter that change, your ideas will likely develop and entertain new concepts you never considered before. Sharon Podobnik Peterson describes this stance perfectly. She is the founder of the self-help book subscription box GoLoveYourself.
Remember how we said you won’t care as much as you age, and that’s a good thing? This carefree attitude will help you handle stress better. As things happen, you won’t be as bothered, and can probably just let it go. Something that would cause an emotional response in your 20s may be nothing more but a causal conservation in your 40s. Plus, when serious things do happen, like the loss of a job or a death in the family, you will be ready to cope in a mature way.
Muscular atrophy, or weakening of your muscles, commonly happens as you get older. You can avoid much of that atrophy by going to the gym regularly or getting a daily walk, but some of it occurs in places where you cannot do much about it. Take your throat, for example. You cannot exercise your throat at the gym, and as those muscles weaken, you may begin to experience difficulty swallowing. Your reflexes may have difficulty determining if you are swallowing a solid or a liquid, and you may start experiencing some discomfort when eating and drinking.
Again, this age-related change is more common in women and is heavily associated with hormonal changes around perimenopause. Another reason you may experience a decrease in libido is the mounting stress that tends to build up around the age of forty. You are no longer young and dumb and have to consider things that you may not have realized before. Alternatively, maybe you just have so many responsibilities now that you did not once have that you just lose interest. Stress management can help here and many other age-related health conditions that tend to set in around the age of 40.