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Regaining control of your health can be a challenge at any age, but it can be especially daunting for women in their 40s. Not only are we busy raising our families and working full-time, but our bodies just don't respond to weight loss like when we were in our 20s.

The downside, though, is it's even more important to be healthy now than when we were younger.

In this episode of Forever 39, we talk to New Jersey resident Amanda Mancini. She's the founder of PureFit Women, a health and wellness company that specializes in helping busy women of all ages regain their health, fitness and nutrition through holistic lifestyle changes.

Mancini said it's especially important for women to lead a healthy lifestyle in their 40s because of the changes our bodies are undergoing from muscle-mass loss to hormone changes.

"It's more important at this stage to really take control of your health to avoid diseases and things are not really necessary as we age if we pay attention to ourselves and practicing what I like to call 'self-care,'" Mancini said.

Mancini said some of her clients started coming to her due to health scares, something she says might be avoided if women just took care of themselves.

One obstacle for a lot of women in their 40s is not getting enough activity.

"I think people overestimate the amount of activity they do in a day. They think that if they work out for 45 minutes a day, that that's enough. Unfortunately, it's the lifestyle ... you tend to be in your car most of the time. People are just not moving around enough," Mancini said.

So while an hour trip to the gym is great, it's just not enough. Mancini recommends purchasing a step tracker so that you can make sure you hit your target number of steps per day. She said there are several things women can do throughout the day to implement more activity into their lives — park the car as far away as possible when running an errand, walk up and down the stairs at home 10 times or walk the track while your kid is at soccer practice.

One of the biggest mistakes Mancini said she sees women make is relying on fad diets and not focusing on overall health and nutrition.

"If it's not something that you can do for the rest of your life without having to think about it all the time, it's not going to work long-term," Mancini said.

What does work, according to Mancini, is to change the way you look at food. She said when she looks at a food, she asks "What is the food going to do for my body?" If the food isn't going to provide her body with any nutritional value, then it doesn't have any place in her diet.

"If you look at food as what it's going to do for you as opposed to cutting calories and trying to be skinny, you'll actually take this big weight off your shoulders most women are carrying around," Mancini said.

So if you're anything like us, and just trying to be at your best health so you can be the best mom, friend, wife and career woman out there, click on the podcast player to get useful tips to a better you.

Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — Hating on your friend's significant other.    PLUS: Airbnb vs. hotels. Share your thoughts on all of them below, on Twitter, on Facebook or at forever39@nj1015.com.

— Annette and Megan, Forever 39

Join us for next week's podcast when we discuss how to stop saying "I'm sorry," our favorite viral moments, and 14 things you should never put on social media about your relationship.

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