Vitamins and Supplements for Fitness after 40

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Do I Need Vitamin and Mineral Supplements?

To take vitamin and mineral supplements or not to take them- that is the question. I had always been under the impression that medical providers should recommend that people obtain their recommended  micro-nutrients from foods that they eat. However, there is data showing that that may not be the best advice. In my ebook, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, I discuss the supplements that I recommend for mid-life people on weight loss and health maintenance plans.

Recently, a group studied the vitamin and mineral intake of Americans and discovered that, in general, although only about 10% of Americans are showing outright deficiencies, some populations are at higher risks for deficiencies than others.

The most common nutritional deficiencies noted included vitamin D, dietary fiber, calcium and potassium. These were listed as public health concerns for the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans released in 2016.

Studies indicate, and common sense would agree, that when vitamin and supplement intake increases, the deficiencies and inadequacies decrease. There has been an insufficient study to show that supplements affect chronic disease outcomes, and some of the data is conflicting.

So…what are we to do? Are we to take supplements or not?

If you are a non-Hispanic black, or are over 60 years old then you have an increased risk for vitamin B6 deficiency.

Symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency can include: anemia, dermatitis, swollen tongue, depression, confusion and weakened immune system. Mild deficiencies can be asymptomatic.

If you are non-Hispanic black, Mexican-American then you are more likely to have vitamin D deficiency.

Deficiencies of vitamin D can lead to bone issues, muscle weakness and compromised immune function. I discuss this in detail in Sunlight and Fitness after 40

Few foods contain vitamin D; it is produced from sunlight, and darker skinned people and those who use sunscreen have reduced synthesis leading to deficiencies.

If you are female, non-Hispanic black or Mexican American then you are at risk for low iron.

Iron deficiency can lead to reduced physical capacity and progress to anemia (low blood counts if not managed). However taking additional iron without verifying that you are iron deficient can be harmful.

This study found that supplement users were actually the healthier people. The supplement users didn’t use them to compensate for bad diets. This group used them as a part of a healthy lifestyle that included moderate alcohol drinking, exercise, and nonsmoking.

So if you are reading this fitness blog, you are likely the ones who are taking the supplements to improve your already healthy lifestyle.

So What Vitamin and Mineral Supplements are Recommended?

This study found the following vitamins and minerals low in many American diets:

Vitamin A, C, D, E, K, Choline, calcium, magnesium, zinc and potassium.

What are the Doses Recommended?

Many ask me the recommended dosages for each supplement, and there is not one answer to that. The dosage depends on the product that you purchase. The amount of each vitamin and mineral provided by different products vary. This means that following the bottles recommended intake is the safest way to ensure that you are not under or over dosing yourself.

This chart helps identify foods with the needed vitamins and minerals, and in the last column are the recommended daily amounts. (I didn’t paste it in the blog because it’s pretty long- sorry for the extra click- but you won’t be sorry, it’s a great table).

Vitamin and Mineral Chart

If you are on a strict weight management program, it is very important to ensure that you maintain the micronutrient balance in your body to ensure that you feel the best that you can every day.

If you are thinking about taking the step to lose weight and gain health, or just want to find a fun activity, then buy my book, Second Chance at Health- Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating.  Buy Book Now.



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Depression and Fitness after 40

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Depression can make fitness after 40 more difficult. But not impossible.

Depression and hopelessness are rampant today, and suicides are all over the news.

These feelings  can be worse in midlife. The state of our health can contribute to feelings of depression at midlife. Ensuring that we are eating healthy foods and moving enough can help decrease the likelihood that we will experience depression. My book, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating may be just what you need to improve your mental and emotional outlook on your life.

One study shows the rate at which middle aged men and women, ages 40-59 experience depression is 9.8 percent. This is higher than adolescents.

Typically if one experiences depression during midlife, it will not have been the first time.

If you’ve been following any of my blogs, you will know that I am fairly transparent with my life and how I manage it as it relates to my health and fitness. I do not talk about topics that I don’t have firsthand experience with, and depression is one of them.

When can depression happen?

Typically bouts surface in response to life circumstances, but sometimes there seems to be no identifiable cause. If you feel sad and depressed, see your doctor! Those who seek treatment may be prescribed an antidepressant. These are very appropriate but they don’t have to be permanent. You may be able to be weaned off of them under medical supervision after a certain amount of time. But did you know you have other options?

Did you know that there is an alternative to medication?

Mild to moderate depression and hopelessness symptoms can be eased through physical movement!

Choosing an exercise program that you think that you will enjoy doing (because likely right now you don’t ENJOY anything), will do two things, it will release feel good chemicals into your body and it can take our mind off of your worries. Planning exercise, or even just walking,  4-5 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes is a good start! Aim to get 10 K steps a day and monitor you moods improvement.

Choosing good healthy foods, the kinds that are fresh and unprocessed will help you.

Spending time with other people, volunteering and finding a purpose to get up and get dressed everyday will help.

If you are thinking of taking your life, please don’t. It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Call a suicide hotline and speak to someone!

I have seen some very sad people change into joyful ones when they make a plan to regain their health and they stick to it.

My book, Second Chance at Health -Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, can be your guide.

Purchase my book by clicking this link- Buy Book Now

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Health Guide You Can Trust

Six Steps to Eliminate Medications

Reduce or Eliminate Medication and Feel Better after 40!

As a nurse practitioner, I understand the burden of lifestyle diseases and their treatments. Lifestyle diseases are ones that creep up on you…you wake up in your mid 40’s and realize that you are on medicine for blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. It seems that your body is falling apart.

You are not destined to experience the same health as your parents. Although there is a genetic component to many of the diseases, your lifestyle can decrease or eliminate how they will show up in YOUR life.

Many lifestyle related illness and diseases are insidious and we often don’t know how bad we feel until we start feeling better. High blood pressure is called the silent killer because you often don’t know that you have it until the damage is done! Diabetes type 2 is often hard to spot until it is acute. Only once you have the sugars under control do you recognize that you have not felt good for a long time.

Feeling physically well also helps us feel emotionally well. Physical health makes us more resilient to the normal ups and downs of life.

Make a commitment to improve your health! You will feel better and wake up with joy and vitality each day.

You may be the one that changes someone else’s life as well. When they see you making changes, they take encouragement from that. Whose hero are you going to be?

Medications themselves, although useful, have side effects that can affect how you feel. You can live with little to no medication support, and be side effect free. How about being able to keep more of  your time and money to yourself and your loved ones.   Your money won’t  have to going it to your doctors or  to hospitals.

But How?

Well, first understand that your genetics and your lifestyle played a part in your health over time. In your 30’s you may have gained weight and become more sedentary. You may have noticed that you had to buy bigger clothes before they went out of style or wore out 😊 Many of the lifestyle diseases occur because of too much food and too little exercise.

I have a 6-step plan that can help you to reduce or eliminate your medicines. It will take time, work and commitment on your part, but you CAN regain your health.

Step One

-Complete the Healthy Body Checklist

Step Two

-Identify one or two health issues to address
-One should be weight IF you are overweight

Step Three

-Choose the eating plan that will best improve your specific health issue
-High Blood Pressure- DASH Diet or Mediterranean Diet
-Diabetes Type 2- low carbohydrate/low calorie diet

Step Four

-Choose  the exercise/movement plan that will increase your activity level. (Take a trip down memory lane and go do the activity that you loved to do as a child or teenager)
-Count your steps and add 500 additional steps per day until you are walking 10K steps per day

Step Five

-Choose some reasonable targets and set a start date
-Weight- your first target weight loss should be a 10% weight loss
-Exercise- if sedentary set your goal to do your chosen activity 2 times a week, then after a month increase it to 3 times a week, then after that 4 times a week…you get the picture

Step Six

-Set up an appointment with your doctor when you have lost 10% of your weight!
-You may be able to reduce your medications at this visit!

Sustainable Changes

Sustainable lifestyle changes do not have to be earth shattering. Some of the most successful programs that I have seen work include simply lowering the intake of their favorite foods. Yes, they ate hamburgers and ice cream occasionally. They did not forbid themselves anything, but their commitment to their health helped them to refrain from indulging daily.

Freedom in Health

When health is attained, by which I mean, appropriate body parameters: body fat percentage, lab work, and hydration level; occasional dietary indiscretions are not catastrophic. Indeed, this IS your only life here on this earth…you can ENJOY life and GOOD health! They are not mutually exclusive.

Maintaining health can be reduced to three lifestyle actions

1. Making healthy food choices daily
2. Achieving and maintaining a normal weight
3. Regular physical activity

In my book, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, and it will help you ensure your success.

Buy Book Now

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