At the age of 40, women hit the so-called “midlife”. The youthful days are bygone and the future awaits the highs and lows of old age. Women can undergo a great deal of physical and emotional changes during this phase. Often, trying to juggle between the mind that is still young while the body tends to hold back and give up on certain levels. This is especially true when the physical self has been brutally abused with a sedentary lifestyle during the youthful years.
So what are the physical and mental changes that happen when a woman enters the window of the 40s? How does her body look different than a younger woman? How can a 40 year old stay younger or look and feel like a 20 year old woman? Here are a few things you need to know about an average woman who is 40 and beyond:
General look and appearance
While opinions vary about how a woman looks as she matures at the age of 40, more often than not, women look better and even more graceful than their youthful days. As per the physical changes, here are a few most common ones to be observed:
- The skin no longer feels supple, glowy, bouncy or firm. At 40 or 45, women lose the subcutaneous fat under the cheekbone with causes a general deflation of the skin. There is a loss of about 30-40% of the collagen that is responsible for the youthfulness and the tighter look of the skin.
- Some women will have jowls, finer lines developing almost every day and sagging breasts, dryness on the skin and patches developing unevenly all over the drier parts of the body.
- The nose (which is made of cartilage) droops and while it changes shape throughout your life, at 40 it may be more evident.
- Crows feet on the temples and the thinner skin around the eyes develop more prominent dark circles and skin pigmentation.
- The eyes will also appear sunken and puffier with the slightest bit of inflammation in the body.
- The lips become thinner and the area between the upper lip and the nose can grow wider.
- The hair will grey out. This is almost inevitable as a woman hits 40.
- There might be unwanted and thicker hair growth in unusual places like your chin, chest and face.
- The body structure has an uneven fat distribution. More fat on the hips and waist changes the way a woman walks. The pace of movement is slower. Taller women might slouch and the back develops a bend that put more pressure on the lower half of the body.
- Cracked heels are might develop.
What does a typical 40 year old woman wear?
A typical 40 year old woman dresses more modestly as the sense of style becomes more refined. While different traditions might mandate specific dress codes, after 40 years, women prefer lighter shades in colours. Women generally tend to avoid mini skirts, tube tops, hair accessories and overly loud and quirky tees. Well fitted, softer colours look more graceful and smarter on 40 year old women.
What is the average weight and height?
Hormonal fluctuations are more common. The metabolism is relatively slower and the body tends to accumulate more weight despite a healthy lifestyle. While the weight may have slight fluctuations, fitting into old clothes is quite a task. It is common for women at 40 to have perimenopause and quite a number of women these days are complaining of early menopause as well. According to the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average weight of an American woman aged between 40 and 50 years old is 176.4 pounds. As per the data available on the Worlddata.info, the average US-american woman reaches 13 cm less with a height of 1.66 m.
What are the body changes for a woman with 40 years of age?
Here are the changes that may happen in women around 40-45 years or later:
- menstrual cycle takes a nosedive. Irregular periods are more common.
- sleep disruption and disturbances; often insomnia is severe
- headaches that stay for a prolonged period of time
- vaginal dryness and itchiness
- changes in libido. Sex is never the same. Often women at 40 have a lower libido.
- weight fluctuation and difficulty in shedding accumulated weight
- receding hairline
- dizziness, lethargy and loss of energy
- urinary dysfunction, a sense of urgency and more frequent need to pee
- unwanted hair growth
- water retention and bloating and intolerance to acidic foods
- heart palpitations and anxiety
- dry skin
- hot flashes
- night sweats
- Changes in vision
- Lower tolerance to certain foods
- Increased susceptibility to infections
- Higher chances of developing cancer
These changes may occur more frequently among older women.
What are the behavioural changes in 40 year old women?
There is a general lethargic feeling throughout the day. Mood swings can take a toll on emotional health. The symptoms of menopause reveal quite early so much so that it is often confusing for women to put a finger on what’s causing the sensitivity and irritation. This is the period of perimenopause. The levels of estrogen shoot up as compared to progesterone. The most common symptoms that characterize this period are:
- short-term memory loss
- fuzzy thinking
- difficulty multitasking
- mood swings
- difficulty concentrating
There also occurs a change in attitude and the mental makeup of women who reach the age of 40:
They don’t strive to please people: When we are young and this is true for both men and women, we find an uncontrollable need to keep people around us happy. As women get older and wiser, they realise how difficult it is to not just be good to everyone but also get equal affection from all.
They have better clarity: Life becomes more clearer at 40. Most women will stop expecting much. Everyone isn’t a competition and older women focus more on their own happiness and sense of well being. They also care for their families and close friends.
A perfect body doesn’t define worth: By 40, women are seeking at developing better connections at home and at work and working with better focus at achieving their passions. A perfect body image should not and does not measure her credibility.
Being experimental: There is a sudden surge in taking the paths never taken before. Whether it is an adventure sport or solo travelling, learning a new hobby, marriage or divorce and finding love again.
Can a 40 year old woman look like 20?
A typical 40 year old woman can still look younger despite the bodily changes that are inevitable. While cosmetic surgeries have seen a surge in this decade, there are a few natural ways in which a 40 year old woman can prolong her youth. Here are a few tips:
- Practicing strength training to increase muscle mass. Even daily walking can be beneficial.
- Eating lean proteins like meat, egg whites, legumes and dairy.
- Loading up on fibres to feel fuller so that you don’t bulk up on carbohydrates and sugars.
- Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. A minimum of 3 litres is a must.
- Practicing meditation everyday. This will keep the stress away.
- Staying away from caffeine, alcohol and smoking
- Eating smaller portions and more often.
- Sleeping for at least 7 hours daily
A woman at 40 can be mentally young even though years cannot rewind. After all, age is just a number! A better attitude can make even the biggest physical flaws appear unimportant. Superior intellect is always a more attractive feature in a woman. What do you think? Tell us in the comments below!