Hitting your 40s means you’ve reached middle age, at least chronologically speaking. But when it comes to state of mind, your fourth decade translates to a new beginning, a chance to explore the path not (yet) taken and to devote time once spent on raising children or establishing a career to a new endeavor.
The majority of women feel both physically and intellectually at their prime when they hit age 40, having gained the wisdom they lacked in their 20s and the financial and emotional security that was missing during their 30s. It’s time to pursue dreams postponed and to develop satisfying hobbies.
With that in mind, here are some of the ways women celebrate this milestone.
Learn a Sport
Even if you’re already an exercise junkie who never skips a workout, learning a sport is a great way to take an active lifestyle to a different level. Some people feel they’re not coordinated enough to start playing tennis or golf, but it’s always worth a try. You don’t need to win the club championship — just develop enough skill to make it enjoyable.
That said, your 40th birthday may not be the best time to take up soccer or other sports that pose a high-injury risk. Think swimming, perhaps, or cross-country skiing. Sign up for lessons or just find a friend willing to spend some time teaching you the basics. Chances are you’ll surprise yourself by picking up the sport fairly quickly — or at least have a ball doing it.
Join a Book Club
Reading shares one thing in common with exercising: it’s easier to get motivated when joined by friends. Book clubs come in all flavours; the key is to find one that satisfies your tastes. Some groups use reading a guilty-pleasure page-turner as a good excuse for getting together over dinner and a couple of bottles of wine. Others choose dense, challenging non-fiction that involve deep discussions. Most are probably somewhere in the middle. Ask around or search online for local book clubs.
Women who were the primary caregiver for their children may find themselves a little out of sorts once their kids no longer need them around 24/7. Volunteering is a way to pursue a desire to give back to your community. There’s no shortage of opportunities, but it’s best to find an organization or activity that naturally appeals to you. Animal lovers can devote time to a shelter, and hospitals can always use someone with a patient, caring personality. Music lovers might connect with a public radio station. The list is virtually endless.
Make a Cosmetic Change
This might be as simple as a new hairstyle, but many women who have long put other’s needs ahead of their own might pursue something a little more dramatic. Mommy Makeover surgery, for instance, combines plastic surgery procedures such as a tummy tuck and breast augmentation. Vancouver plastic surgeon Dr. Peter Lennox makes mention on his website that post-pregnancy breasts “seldom return to their ‘pre-baby’ appearance. Instead, excess skin can cause them to sag or take on a ‘deflated’ appearance.”
With plastic surgery becoming much more common these days, looking good in a bathing suit or tight-fitting dresses is no longer hard to attain.
Do you know of other ways to step up your lifestyle in your 40s? Feel free to share them with us!
This post was written by Christine Turner and is produced in partnership with Vancouverscape.