A Heart Health Guide for Your 30s, 40s, and 50s
In Your 40s
You'll gain weight more easily as your metabolism slows, and many women feel double-whammy stress from raising a family and caring for aging parents. "Depression, which is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, is more likely, too," says Dr. Andersen. "Maintaining your mental and physical health now will make it easier to deal with age-related changes around the corner."
- Exercise regularly. It will improve your mood along with other cardiovascular risk factors. If lifestyle changes don't banish the blues, consider therapy or antidepressants.
- Make yourself a priority. It's vital to carve out time for stress-relieving activities like meditation, reading, and socializing with friends.
- Pay even more attention to your diet. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish, and keep intake of saturated fat, salt, alcohol, and calories low.
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