Help, I am turning 40! No need to panic if your 40th birthday is approaching, and here is why. Here are some thoughts on turning 40 to put your mind at ease.
Thoughts On Turning 40
According to the CDC, the current life expectancy in the United States is 78.7 years according to statistics gathered In 2018.
This means that as you approach your 40th birthday, you are truly only maybe halfway through your life. Thus, you have at least as long as you’ve already lived still left to go. This should make you feel as if your life is just beginning rather than coming to an end!
And this isn’t just about the CDC. One article featured on the Economic Times outlined a survey which discovered that most people finally achieved what they wanted in life at some point during their 40’s. Isn’t that exciting news. Thus, it can be assumed that not only is 40 not the end of your physical life, but rather it is also just the beginning of your journey as it pertains to your success.
Here Are Some Reasons That Turning 40 Is Just The Beginning
Of course, everyone’s life is different so some of these reasons and thoughts on turning 40 may apply to you while others may not. But either way, approaching your 40th journey around the sun is an excellent time to reflect over where you currently are in your life and where you should be!
You Care Less Now What People Think About You
When you were a young man or woman in your 20’s and 30’s you probably spent a lot of time worrying about how others perceived you and what they thought of the things you did and even how you looked. Reflect back on how you feel now. Chances are, you care a lot less what other people think because you are confident in yourself, your relationships, and your life.
At 40, you know that life isn’t perfect, and you’ve learned to embrace the mistakes you’ve made. You are also more knowledgeable about your body, and you know your strong points and your weak ones.
Another thing people often forget how scared they were to ask for what they wanted when they were younger.
This leads to lots of superficial and meaningless relationships during early adulthood. By the time you are 40 you’ve learned to ask for what you want making your relationships more meaningful and if you still have friends from your 20’s, well by this point they are definitely around for the long run.
This confidence that you have residing in you now is an immensely powerful attribute. And when you consider it, it should come as no surprise why people in their 40’s tend to find success more than any other decade of people, because you’ve got the confidence to go and do the things you want without worrying what those around you are thinking.
You Have More Money
When you were in your 20’s you were likely just starting out at your place of employment. Or maybe you weren’t sure what you wanted to do just yet and you were working a couple different jobs to pay the bills. But now that you are 40, you’ve probably established yourself in some sort of career. And this means you have more money to spend than during your younger years. Now when it comes to thoughts on turning 40, this is a major plus.
Besides just having more money to spend, you are also wiser now with how you spend it. You’ve now got the emotional maturity to say no to quick fads, investing more time and money into the things in life which truly matter to you.
Hopefully, you’ve taken the time to save some money as well, or that at least you’ve learned how to when there is something you really want to purchase. Either way, you should now have money to do the things you’ve always wanted to do, like travel, learn a new skill, or accomplish something off of your bucket list.
Did you know that according to surveys done, 40-year-olds achieved success more often than any other age group, it was also observed that people in their 40’s tended to own the most valuable items compared to any other age group.
You’ve Grown Braver and Wiser
Remember when you used to get walked all over at work? Maybe when your boss tried to demand you come in on your day off? Well, the years have gone, leaving you braver and wiser.
Now you know that when someone asks you to do something you don’t feel comfortable doing, you can say no. You also know that all of your actions have consequences and you are prepared to face them when you do something wrong.
And even when you are faced with a crisis, or consequence for your actions, what may have knocked you flat on the floor in your 20’s and 30’s is now probably a minor speed bump in your 40’s.
With age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes resilience, and the ability to handle the situations which are thrown at you. Plus, you know what you are worth now and you know that everything in your life happens for a reason.
If you have kids at this point in your life, this is also where your resilience will begin to help others. You can now give advice to those younger than you with confidence because you really have been there and done that.
And unlike when you were younger, 40 is also the age where people will begin to respect your opinion more than ever before, because they too know that arriving at 40 is a journey to celebrate.
You Have More Time
To add to the benefit of having more money, you’ll have more time to spend it on the activities you love too. If you had kids in your early 20’s, they are probably now grown up and out of the house. Or if you waited until your 30’s, your kids are definitely more independent at the present time than they were the decade prior.
And if you haven’t had kids yet, there is definitely still a possibility! And now you will have more time to put into raising them the way you’ve always wanted to rather than having to struggle to find the money and time to do so.
On the flip side, when it comes to your career, you’ll have more time in this aspect too. Like the having more money factor above, you also probably now have paid vacation at your job, or at least paid sick leave.
And whenever you start a new job, you start on the shifts or hours that no one else wants. Remember when you were working nights back in your late 20’s? Those days are long gone, as you now probably have your pick of the shifts, and the days off, that you want from your job because you’ve been there long enough to gain seniority.
And because you no longer care as much about what people think of you, this will make you feel as if you can say no to the things you don’t want to do. This means your 40’s will be a decade devoid of petty commitments that you simply don’t enjoy.
And this will give you more time for the people and activities that you love rather than wasting time to achieve some sort of status that you believe is important to your standing in life.
You Have Learned To Prioritize
When you are in your college years, and even until late in your 30’s, it was difficult to prioritize the things that you wanted in your life. Maybe you wanted to start a family or a new business but weren’t sure if you could handle both at the same time. The good news is, by 40, you know more about what makes you happy and what doesn’t, and you can use this to better prioritize your life.
And since you definitely know how to prioritize, this can lead to you getting more things done in both your professional and personal life. Which is another core reason that people in their 40’s tend to see success—because they know what they need to prioritize to get there.
When Turning 40, You Will Finally Feel Like An Adult
Even though you are legally considered an adult at the age of 18, it can be difficult to feel like an adult when your own parents are still around giving you guidance and direction for years after your 18th birthday.
Not that it is a bad thing, as parents can often offer great advice, but it can be difficult to feel like you are in control of your own life when your parents are still offering you constant help as you navigate through your 20’s and 30’s.
By the time you are 40, this advice and help has generally ceased, or changed tune a bit (maybe they help you raise your children now!) Or maybe your parents have started to be the ones who need help and advice in their lives as they move to their next milestone. Either way, you will now finally feel like an adult at 40 in a way you never got to in all the years prior!
Your 40’s Is A Great Time To Learn Something New
Learning new skills not only keeps your brain young, but it helps you to feel younger too And there is no better time to go back to school or pick up a new hobby than in your 40’s!
Think about it this way in your thoughts on turning 40. You now have more time, more money, and an increased confidence when it comes to how other people see you. This means there is no time like the present to embrace that one weird hobby you’ve always wanted to check out. Think pottery might be for you? Give it a try! Or even if it’s something like ballroom dance classes, you should go for it! You will learn something new while having an amazing time!
Life Is Happening All The Time
Many people spend their whole lives talking about what they will do someday when the timing, weather, and time feels right. But the truth is, life is always happening, and it is exactly what you make of it. If you decide that you will have a positive mindset when it comes to technology, and all the amazing things you are going to do now that you are 40, then you really will feel as if your life is just beginning thanks to your mindset.
This brings up another point. If you think that 40 is old, then you will most certainly feel old. This is why you must work to keep your mindset in a positive place as you grown and change into the amazing person you are becoming. If you recognize 40 for what it is, a rad milestone, then that’s exactly what it will be!
So, it’s time to embrace life by embracing 40. Tell yourself that life is just beginning and that it isn’t too late to do all those things you want to do. Your 40’s are actually an amazing time to pick up a new habit because, as mentioned previously, you now have all the time and more money available to do so!
6 Ways Your Body is Changing Yet Staying The Same When Turning 40
There are many misconceptions and thoughts on turning 40 that lead people to believe that they are growing physically old the minute they hit the dreaded four zero. But this isn’t necessarily true. Yes, your body is changing when you turn 40, but it’s also changing when you turn 50, or 70, or even 20! And some of these changes may actually have a positive effect on your life rather than a negative.
The point is, saying your body is changing isn’t a reason to label 40 as old. And while some things are changing, there are also quite a few things that actually remain the same from your late 30’s until your late 40’s. It’s important to recognize these changes so that you will be able to work with them as you go toward your future, rather than having them work against you.
Your Libido May Increase
One of the lies going around when it comes to thought on turning 40, is that your libido decreases when you hit 40, and this is another fact which has no science backing it. While it is true that women do lose some of their libido during menopause, as established above, 40 is not menopause. Most 40 year olds are still well and able to have children during their 4th decade of life.
And it should be mentioned that it isn’t just women who are told they begin to lose their fertility at 40. Men can often be told they will lose their libido. While testosterone does slow down as men pass 40, maintaining a healthy physique can help preserve testosterone production in men. This means that you can spend your 40’s feeling just as amazing as you did in your 30’s!
Some doctors even argue that women should experience an increase of libido as they hit 40, and this is because since they have fewer eggs, it is only natural that their body would work with you to get these eggs fertilized. And it seems to be true because many people report that they feel that their libido does increase when they hit 40.
There is a massive belief out there that women lose their prime fertility after the age of 35. This is a lie. The fertility decline after 35 statistics were found in a study in 2004, but as it turns out, that study used numbers collected regarding pregnancies which occurred in France between 1670 and 1830—and today’s world is nothing like 18th century France!
In an article on Women’s Health, they debunk this popular myth and discuss the ability of women to have healthy children well into their 40’s.
What does change as you hit your 40’s is that your eggs are more fragile, which just means you may have a little more difficulty getting pregnant, and have to take it a bit easier when you do conceive.
But even if you struggle with conceiving, your age doesn’t prohibit you from carrying the child. And with some help, (embryo transfer) most women are able to carry a healthy pregnancy to term until their late 40’s.
Whatever you do, just don’t let the number 40 lead you to start panicking, because that is what the fertility specialists want. If you are turning 40 and want to have a child, go for it, after all, you are perfectly capable!
And on top of that, now that you are 40 you’ve probably mastered adulting yourself and feel more prepared than ever to become a parent. This will help you to be more confident when the baby comes, and less frazzled as a mom half your age would be as she tries to raise herself and her child!
The Nerves In Your Mouth Get Less Sensitive
As you age, you will experience a reduction of both number of taste buds and in the sensitivity of the nerves in your mouth. Now this physical change is both a positive and a negative.
Because on one hand, if you’ve struggled with teeth sensitivity that has prevented you from eating sweets or cold foods, like ice cream, over the years, you might be finally able to enjoy these sweet treats in your 40’s. But on the other hand, it will make you less likely to feel cavities, which may arise from eating all these newfound sweets.
Don’t let this stop you though, enjoy those sweets, after all your life is just beginning! Just ensure that you keep up with scheduled dentist appointments and if anything does hurt, get it checked out immediately.
You’ll Be More Resistant To The Common Cold
Say what? You read that right on these thoughts on turning 40! It was discovered by Jack Gwaltney at Everyday Health that by the time you hit 40, you been exposed to numerous strains of the common cold over the years, and as a result, your body has now built up more immunity to the pesky bug.
This means that you’ll spend less time at home sick! This can be a huge plus if you are raising children, who tend to bring home all sorts of pesky viruses, or if you work in an industry where you are exposed to lots of people on a regular basis.
And while you’ll be getting sick less, it will be an added plus that you will know just what you need to do to help yourself feel better when you do get sick. Everyone needs different treatment as they heal from an ailment, and by 40, you will know just what works for you.
Maybe you are the type of person who needs a few days off work to watch TV. Or maybe a single full day of sleep will fix you right up. In either scenario, the guesswork is gone, and you can employ your favored method of recuperation any time you get sick to speed up your healing process.
Your Digestive System Will Change
When babies are born, they have an enzyme called lactose in their system which allows them to digest their mother’s milk. Well, by the age of 40, you will have most certainly lost this enzyme (or your body produces less of it) making you lactose intolerant. This might be bad news for your love of cheese, but this is great news for your health as you’ll be able to eat less unhealthy foods without pain.
Besides just lactose, you may find that other foods which are fried or processed now bother you too And like with lactose, as bad as this may be for your taste buds, it really is encouragement to eat healthy and get into shape!
And look at it this way, you will get to try cooking plenty of new and healthy recipes as you learn what you can and can’t eat. You never know when you might find your new favorite dish!
It Will Be Harder To Lose Weight
Maybe it’s a good thing that you will possibly become lactose intolerant sometime in your 40’s because as you age, it becomes more difficult to lose weight. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to, it just means that you will have to work harder to do so. You can still enjoy working out, maybe just up the repetitions or distance that you complete. And then it’s definitely time to watch what you are eating!
And you don’t have to take someone’s word for it either, as there are plenty of famous athletes who are known for being especially fit even though they are past their milestone birthday. For women, think of Elle Macpherson, Marisa Tomei, and Halle Berry—all women who are amazingly fit in their late 40’s. And just one look at Dwayne Johnson should let men know that you can absolutely still look amazing even at 40.
Getting In Shape When You Are 40
If you don’t have your dream body yet, it is never too late to decide you want to get in shape. And turning 40 is one of the best times to start!
This goes back to the fact that you once again have more time and money than you ever did before, which you can use to work on achieving your goal body. You also probably know more about your body than you ever did before as you’ve now been living in it twice as long as you were when you were 20!
Not only that, but one study published in the JAMA Open Network journal actually found that becoming active in your 40’s can reduce your chances of getting cancer just the same as if you were active for your entire life.
This means that starting to exercise at 40 is a bit like cheating the system, especially if you’ve spent the previous 40 years being sedentary!
Tips For Getting Fit At 40
Even though it’s a good idea to get fit at 40, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you train. And this is because your body is a bit different now than it was 20 years ago.
You won’t be able to just jump back into an activity or routine you may have completed on a daily basis years before. You should also consider having a physical with your doctor before beginning. And if you ever have any questions about workouts or diet plans, be sure to talk to a professional for advice!
Ease Into It
If you’ve never exercised before turning 40, it’s absolutely critical that you take small steps towards regular exercise. This is because your body is used to 40 years of a sedentary lifestyle and a sudden fitness routine could cause you to injure yourself before you even get started. Whatever physical activity you choose to pursue, start at the lowest level or intensity possible.
For example, if you would like to run an event like a half-marathon, then perhaps just start with a jog around the block. Once you master that, add a second block, or maybe even a third. Then up it to a mile and so on and so forth. Make sure that you get enough rest to allow your body to heal in between each period of exercise. Generally, you should only work out 4-5 day each week, allowing your body to recover the other 2-3 days.
It’s also important that you go-slow. Push yourself, but only for a bit at a time. Maybe your workouts are only 10 minutes to start, then you can up them from there. Healthline recommends that you start small with only aerobic exercise like biking or walking the treadmill, and then work your way through different exercises as you grow stronger. They additionally suggest you add some lightweight lifting and increase the weight and reps as you grow stronger. Just don’t forget to stretch well before every workout.
You may find that you benefit from consistent gentler exercise such as yoga or maybe Zumba. And this is okay, remember that part or being 40 is doing the things you love—so if you love a less intense exercise, don’t hesitate to participate in it, maybe just consider upping the frequency or intensity to improve your fitness.
Work Activity Into Your Everyday Life
Besides just a workout plan for the 4-5 days a week that you plan to exercise, you should also incorporate more physical activity into your everyday life. This will keep you looking and feeling younger without having to even make an effort.
And putting activity into your everyday life can be deceptively easy. If you can walk or bike to work, then start doing so and leave your car at home. Ask your boss if you can use a standing desk or sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair—both of these are good ways to keep your muscles engaged while you work!
And even if you can’t do any of the above things, try to incorporate more walking into your everyday life, such as a walk after dinner, or maybe walking to eat out at a restaurant. You will be surprised at how much better you will feel, and look!
Work On Your Mindset
When you turn 40, your mindset will be more crucial than ever as you start to try to get into shape. This is because you are going to get nowhere if you just sit around thinking that you can’t do something. You should rather should take steps to work on your mindset, making it a positive and happy place for your thoughts and body image to grow.
For those struggling with maintaining a positive mindset, it may help to engage in guided meditation. Guided meditation will help to relax your body and mind and for you to come to peace with yourself. This will help to purge your mind of negative thoughts while you focus on those that are more positive.
It doesn’t have to be guided meditation either, you can simply set time out of your day each day to meditate at home in your room. Journaling can also help if you have several negative emotions you are looking to purge or deal with.
No matter what you decide, just make sure your mindset is positive as you begin a physical journey with your body and that you work to improve your mindset in small ways every day.
Drink Lots Of Water
Now that you are 40, you will find that you feel dehydrated more frequently than you ever did before. So, you will not only need to make sure that you drink plenty of water while exercising, but you should also aim to drink water instead of sugary or alcoholic beverages.
The later will only dehydrate you more and wreak havoc on your body as you are trying to get it into shape. Alcohol can be especially difficult on your body as you hit 40 because your liver will be less tolerant of the abuse than it was when you were younger.
Eating healthy is necessary during any stage in your life, but as you go through some of the metabolism changes you may experience at 40, you will definitely need to watch what you eat now more than you did before.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy your favorite foods from time to time. It just means that your body’s ability to tolerate certain foods or certain amounts of foods is changing, and you will need to be prepared to adjust for this.
Definitely listen to how your body feels after you eat, and if there is a certain food which doesn’t make you feel great, cut it out. And this works in the opposite direction as well, as any food which keeps you feeling great should be consumed more often—as long as it isn’t something which will cause you to abandon your body goals.
Final Thoughts On Turning 40
In conclusion, no matter how you may think or feel as you are approaching your 40th birthday, it isn’t the end. It’s a landmark point on your amazing journey known as life. And you shouldn’t feel bad about reaching 40, because it is an age that can not only still embody physical fitness, but it can also be the decade that leads to success in multiple aspects of your life.
Whether you feel ready to reach the age of 40 or not, the day will eventually arrive. And this is why you should keep an optimistic and open mind when it comes to all the things you will accomplish when you hit 40.
You should also be able to look back at the person you’ve become and be proud of how much you changed. This pride and positive open mind will work wonders in your life as you begin the next stage of your journey. After all, 40 really is just another marvelous beginning!
Please add your own thoughts on turning 40, I would love to hear about your own experiences.
40 is definitely the best age. Everything you say is true: We’ve got the confidence, the talent, the experience and the time to pursue the things we want but we’ve still got health and energy. I’m actually 60 and I’m even more of all those things! Hahaha! I would never want to go back to being 20. And speaking of asking for what I want…how about a piece of that cake? 😉
You are an inspiration Cynthia.
Hey Michel, A great article about why Turning 40 is a time to celebrate your life. Definitely, with more confidence, you can help others and achieve more yourself. I’m well into my 70s now, and I still have a “bucket list” of things I wish to accomplish. In my 40s I traveled around the world, when I was over 50 I went white water rafting then when I was 60, I had a skydiving adventure. Life is what you make it at any age and I don’t intend to stop seeking new adventures.
It sounds like you still have a lot of living left to do and you are an inspiration. I hope that when I am in my 70s I still have the same sense of adventure that you do.
I am still far from 40. I am only 22 years old so I am still pretty young haha. I have an uncle who is turning 40 next year so I will be sure to share this article with him. I think the lessons learned here apply to whatever age you are. I had a good time reading this article, it is well written so thank you for this.
I’m not even 40 yet; I’m only 31. The whole kid thing, on the other hand, hit me hard. All I ever wanted to be was a mother and a loving wife. However, I have yet to meet a suitable young man. One thing I learned was to stop caring what other people thought. This is something I discovered a long time ago. This is because caring what others think will never make you happy. Without a doubt, this article made me think. So thank you for that. I’ll be sharing with those over 40.
Thanks for stopping by Kiersti. I think this information and advice could be used for everyone, but I think a lot of it you only wisen up to as you get older.
Each stage of our lives is a “New Beginning” when we choose to make it so. Age is not a factor when our mindset is based on possibility and growth. There is so much to experience in life and time is our most precious asset. Having recently retired from my main career I transitioned into a new business on a semi-retired basis where I enjoy learning new things, creating new income streams, as well as having additional time for family and other activities. Retirement is actually a “New Beginning” as well. Happy 40th to those who are 40 and all the very Best as you continue to reinvent ways to grow and expand.