Single working mother Katherine Sng, is in our books, a super-mum. Turning 40 next year, Katherine takes care of her 5-year-old son by herself, while juggling responsibilities at work and creating content for two websites (parenting website Bubba Mama, and lifestyle website Martini Blanc).
Katherine, who is in-between jobs at the moment, isn’t allowing the changes in life stop her from putting wellness as a priority. Describing herself as someone who is receptive to changes, Katherine shares: “I am passionate about healthy-living. When I’m not chasing after my son, I find time to do yoga, swim, play tennis, run and go to the gym. I also read and watch TV – particularly the Jimmy Fallon shows!”
From 30s to 40s
Age gives us the benefit of experience and wisdom, but it can sometimes be an impediment. Katherine has noticed significant changes as she transits from her 30s towards her 40s.
“I get tired more easily, and have less time for myself to work out. I tend to get hungry quicker now too. These, coupled with lower metabolism, means I have to be more watchful about my food intake, and be disciplined about my fitness regime.”
Now, Katherine sticks to a disciplined routine to ensure she is still taking good care of her personal well-being. For instance, she wakes up in the morning and drinks three glasses of liquids to start her day: A glass of plain water, then a glass of honey lemon water (drinking this on empty stomach is touted as a great, natural way to manage weight and aids with digestion), and another glass of water for her daily intake of health supplements.
As she approaches her 40s, Katherine is also conscientious about making small changes in her way of life. Compared to when she’s in her early 30s, she finds herself more discerning about the products that she uses, and also keeps a positive mind so she doesn’t feel too stressed despite the demands of life. Keeping hydrated by drinking lots of water is also an important commitment that she had made to herself.
Learn from the experts
We spoke to the consultants and nutritionists at Marie France Bodyline, who gave us some advice to coping with the challenges Katherine and those in their 40s face.
- Feeling unmotivated and tired easily: Katherine admits that she has lower energy levels compared to the past and thinks it’s harder to find time to work out. One solution is to set achievable goals and find a friend or companion who has the same goal as you do. This way, you will have someone who will help motivate you and keep you on track in achieving your wellness and fitness goals. Furthermore, you get to spend time with them during this process, killing two birds in one stone.
- Low activity level: There are simple ways to increase your daily routine activities if you are willing to put in some effort. For examples, use the staircase at least once a week instead of the lift or escalator, alight a stop or two before your intended bus-stop and walk to your destination from there, or park slightly further away from the lift and walk a bit more. You can also ask your friends out for a shopping spree window shopping – definitely an enjoyable activity that no woman can resist. Consuming foods that are high in magnesium can also help to generate energy for the body, to help Katherine feel more encouraged to work out.
- Getting back in shape: Age-related muscle loss at this age can slow down our body’s metabolism, and at the same time, calorie requirements also begin to decline. Couple this with the desire to reduce body excess fat from pregnancy after childbirth, weight management goals become frustrating to attain. Consider trimming calories from unhealthy fats and refined (white) starchy foods, as well as sweets and sugars that are added to beverages and foods. Emphasise instead, on foods that are rich in calcium, folic acid and iron.
- Health issues catching up: As you enter your 40s, you may start seeing health issues creeping up on you. As a form of prevention, maintaining your body fat percentage and body visceral fat in the healthy range to help improve your overall health and wellness. You can get a free consultation with one of Marie France Bodyline’s nutritionist to receive an analysis of your body fat mass and fat percentage.To further improve your health and prevent diseases, make sure your diet is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect you against heart diseases, Alzheimer diseases, cataracts, and certain types of cancers. Vitamin C (found in red and green pepper, citrus fruit, kiwi) and vitamin E (found in wheat-germ oil, sunflower seeds, almonds) are good antioxidants that can help protect the body.One in four women in their 40s also has low iron stores. To boost your immune system function, make sure you’re consuming enough iron.
This is part of a special series of articles in conjunction with International Women’s Day. We interview women of all ages and walks of life about their womanhood journey. Nutritionists and consultants from Marie France Bodyline will also share with us the changes women face at every age, what advice they have for each body, age and lifestyle needs, and hopefully, through these intimate sharing, you’ll be able to see a reflection of yourself and gain some insights on how to make your life and appearance better. Check out our introduction article to have a preview of the interviewees we have spoken to.
As you stay tuned for the next story, remember that regardless of age, your diet will always form an important part of your lifestyle, speak to a nutritionist for advice. You can also find out what’s your ideal BMI and receive a free consultation on weight management accordingly.