Change is an inevitable part of aging for women, but we often don’t think about what we should change. “Part of the problem is that aging often requires change, but most women don’t want to move to a frumpy town called Middle Age, where sensible shoes and boring clothes are de rigueur,” writes Ashley Macha on Health.com’s “11 Mistakes Women Make in Middle Age.”
She suggests several shifts that women our age should consider making:
- Realize that you need to evolve. “The biggest mistake women make is not doing anything at all,” Macha says. “Hair, makeup, and clothing that made you look fantastic in your younger years, often won’t cut it as you grow older.”
- Not spending enough on your clothes. As we age, it becomes more difficult to just pull an outfit off the rack at the store and find that it fits beautifully. Macha notes that as we age, we should think about investing in clothing that is more constructed with Lycra and consider using shapers.
- Comparing yourself to your 20s. “Few people look as attractive in middle age as they did in their younger years,” Macha said. “The goal is to look as good as you can – and be as healthy as you can – not recreate the body and face you had decades ago.”
- Skipping exercise. “Exercising can actually relieve pain, and stave off health problems in coming years, such as creeping weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, or dementia,” Macha reported. “If you can manage a marathon, great. If not, now is the time to check out the gym pool, start taking yoga, or fall in love with power walking.”
- Shortchanging sleep. It’s easy to shortchange sleep if you’ve got an active life which may include caring for parents as well as children. “Fewer hours of sleep are more likely to show up on your face, true. But it’s also linked to a greater risk of diabetes and other health problems, which become even more important as you age,” Macha explained.
- Ignoring your teeth. “One thing that can make you appear older is yellowing teeth, but it is about more than just looks. Dental health is closely linked with overall health, and gum disease – which gets more common as you age – has been associated with a higher risk of heart problems,” Macha wrote.
- Overdoing anti-aging efforts. Skin products such as retinol can diminish fine lines and wrinkles. If those don’t work, do explore other treatments, but realize that too many treatments can make you look unnatural.
- Being tied to hair “rules.” Choose a hairstyle that fits your height, shape, lifestyle, and hair condition. “Choose a cut and color that’s flattering, keeping in mind that it probably won’t be the cut and color that worked for you in your 20s and 30s,” Macha said.
- Using the wrong makeup. Your makeup colors and brands may not work on mature skin. For a natural look, use a magnifying mirror. Avoid heavy-duty powders and concealers, which can make you look older. Replace foundations, powders and concealers every six months to a year.
- Wearing the wrong bra. “The right underwear can help lift and slim your body, so re-evaluate your undergarments and invest in some new pieces,” Macha stated. “Most large department stores and lingerie shops offer free bra-fitting services.”
- Settling for a boring sex life. “Our culture tends to sell the message that young equals sexy, but you don’t have to buy into it,” Macha said. “You should have the confidence and freedom to dress and feel as sexy as you want to, and explore your sexual needs as well.”
Published On: August 16, 2010