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The human body is a complex creation that allows us to do many wonderful things. For example, there are 26 small bones in our feet that carry our body weight with every step we take. The neurons in our brain produce and send more messages than all the existing phones.

These neurons together are even capable of generating enough electricity to light a low-wattage bulb. And what is more powerful than the ability to procreate—to create life? As we get older, our bodies weather many injuries, infections and diseases. A woman’s daily life is chaotic with multiple responsibilities, work, chores and social engagements that maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes difficult. A healthy lifestyle is a lifelong journey but regular health check-ins for certain risks become even more pertinent as you age.

Each decade of our life brings new responsibilities and experiences. Unfortunately, it also brings more health risks. Here are 3 most critical risks to avoid in each decade:

In your 30s: As you grow from an infant to when you reach the age of 30 your muscles flourish and strengthen. But post your 30s your body begins a new fight against sarcopenia.

Sarcopenia literally means loss of flesh and is a natural ageing process that results in a gradual loss of muscle mass and strength. This muscle loss with ageing can be even worse for physically inactive people. Such people can lose around 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade after the age of 30. It can also be accelerated by chronic disease, hormonal changes and malnutrition.

Muscle weakness reduces mobility, weakens the quality of life and can even lead to fall-related injuries entailing expensive hospitalization and lengthy recovery processes. Low muscle storage and a decline in physical activity can advance the accumulation of visceral and ectopic fat. This can result in various metabolic complications such as fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Although sarcopenia occurs in both sexes, muscle loss is amplified in women owing to depleting estrogen levels following menopause.

Early interventions to maintain a higher muscle mass and strength can ward off or delay sarcopenia. An active lifestyle, regular strength training and a nutritious diet rich in protein can steer us towards quality living even in old age.

So start a strength-training program with a professional trainer. Necessary training is imperative to achieve your health goals without suffering an avoidable injury. You don’t even have to go to the gym. There are online training programs to choose your pick of a lot like Fitcom India.

1. In your 40s: Sometime in your 40s, women will notice symptoms of menopause like irregular periods, hot flashes, mood changes and slowed metabolism. This menopausal transition is called perimenopause which leads up to menopause. During this phase, estrogen - the main female hormone climbs and drops irregularly. This decline in estrogen and fluctuation in the menstrual cycle hormones causes high levels of cortisol or stress hormone and inflammation in the body. This new stage in a woman’s life involves a significant impact on their physical and mental health.

Proper intake of a nutritious diet and exercise has the power to boost energy levels, good sleep and mental health. A healthy lifestyle can reduce perimenopause symptoms such as hot flashes and anxiety. A healthy diet includes a balance of protein, healthy fat, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.

Exercises such as strength training, interval training and even regular walking can strengthen your muscles, and bones and can ease anxiety and stress. Some research studies indicate that exercise can reduce the frequency of hot flashes. It is important to not add external stress through extremely restricted diets and exercises. High levels of cortisol in your body may upset your metabolism and appetite.

So the goal should be to focus on the parasympathetic nervous system in order to maintain cortisol levels. The second goal is to work on your body composition so that you gain more muscle instead of fat. A smartly composed workout session and dedicated personal trainers can actually help you in achieving optimum physical benefits without adding any more unnecessary stress to your body.

2. In your 50s: Around the age of 25 to 30 years, women attain peak bone mass, that is their bones are at the strongest and densest stage. A key role in sustaining bone strength is the female hormone, estrogen. Most women around the ages of 45 and 55 experience menopause, which is the natural ending of periods. Along with menopause comes an increased risk of osteoporosis, a bone disease that develops when bones become thin due to a decrease in bone mineral density and bone mass.

The decline in estrogen levels around the time of menopause brings about increased bone loss. On average, in the first five years after menopause, women lose around 10% of bone mass. If the bone strength before menopause is deficient or inferior, any bone loss post-menopause increases the risk of osteoporosis. About one in two women over the age of 60 years is likely to suffer one fracture due to osteoporosis. Research suggests that about one in two women over the age of 60 years will experience at least one fracture due to osteoporosis.

While these processes are a natural part of ageing, osteoporosis can be delayed and managed with regular impact exercises and a diet rich in calcium. Impact exercises include those where the body takes impact through joints making your bones stronger like dancing, hiking, running and skipping. Adequate intake of vitamin D to ensure efficient absorption of calcium and avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking and caffeine can all support strong bone health.

A progressive loss of muscle and bone strength, decline in fertility and mobility and escalating mortality denote the universal biological process of ageing. So it is not surprising that as you grow older, you notice the changes in your body and its slow deterioration. But understanding the advancing risks can help you implement early interventions and reduce or control the identified risk factors.

It is important to note that these were some of the inevitable risks that women will face in various decades of their life. These risks cannot be prevented altogether but they can be managed. Optimal energy levels, regular physical activity and a nutritious diet can help you sustain high levels of physical function through each decade, as you age.

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