• Dr Sally Norton


Any ladies out there wanting to ensure that forty really is the new thirty and that fifty doesn’t fill you with dread? Read on for four ways to ensure that forty or fifty-something is free of fear.

Hit it

High-intensity training or HIT is more than just a passing trend – it is shown by more and more research to be a great way to exercise. It’s quick – short bursts of ‘give it all you’ve got’ mean that an effective exercise session can be done and dusted in less than half an hour. What’s more, preserving good muscle strength which we tend to lose as we age, means it is easier to control weight as well as looking fit and toned.

Floor it

And whilst we are on the subject of muscle toning, there is one muscle that is often forgotten....the pelvic floor. We may want firm glutes, taut abs but if exercise leaves you rushing to the bathroom then you need to rethink your training. Make your pelvic floor exercises part of your everyday routine and ‘jumping jacks’ will no longer fill you with terror. Not sure how? Check out the NHS SqueezyApp for info and reminders.

​​Pack it

With years focusing on low-fat / low-cal diets, we have lost sight of proper nutrition. Low carb is the latest fad that has little basis in science. Yet protein has had little attention from women – instead it’s packaged up into body-building supplements. But it can help us feel full for longer and healthy proteins can have heaps of other benefits too. Oily fish gives us healthy omega 3 fat, beans and pulses provide fibre and one portion counts towards our 5-a-day. Some studies recommend aiming for around 1g protein per kg of body weight per day (unless health problems contra-indicate it).

Ditch it

We may be able to get away with it in our younger years but the forties and fifties mean a radical reappraisal of our eating and drinking habits. It’s time to finally realise that there are certain things that are doing us no favours at all. Of course, total denial would make life very boring, but can you ditch or radically reduce some of these?

  • Fags – in the bin. No question. You know it, and it’s never too late as stopping smoking now will reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and more. As well as make you look, feel and smell better today!

  • Alcohol – there is no longer a safe limit of drinking. Science has not clearly demonstrated a health benefit to any booze so the more you can reduce your alcohol intake the better – and the better you will feel the next day too.

  • Sugar – recommendations are for no more than 6 teaspoons or 24g of added sugar a day. That’s any sugar, including fruit juice, honey, or other so-called natural sugars other than sugar found in milk or whole fruit and veg.

  • Processed food – the more you can steer clear of processed food and focus on freshly prepared, the better your chance of avoiding unnecessary salt, sugar, bad fats and excess calories.

So don’t get fed-up. Fight back. Hit it, floor it, pack it, ditch it - you will find your 40’s and 50’s a whole lot more fun!​