It seems as if every day a new miracle treatment arrives on the market that can help women live longer, lose weight, or have less wrinkles. So much information and so little time to wade through it all!
How can you tell what works or better yet, what should you be doing to address common women’s issues? You know what I’m talking about – bone health, heart health, skin health, and emotional well-being. Women are told to pay attention to these but not told how to effectively manage them.
Amidst all this marketing hype, there are a few tried and true methods that can improve women’s overall health and well-being.
Here are five steps (no gimmics!) that you can take to improve your health and prevent disease:
Protect your Bones
It turns out that drinking milk and hoping for the best really isn’t enough to keep your bones healthy as you age.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. There are multiple reasons for women’s increased risk of osteoporosis including having smaller, thinner bones than men and lower levels of estrogen after 50 due to menopause.
Some very famous faces, both young and old, are dealing with osteoporosis with diet and exercise. While you can’t make your bones thicker or prevent aging, you can eat a nutritious diet and maintain proper levels of vitamin D and calcium. Vitamin D assists your body to absorb calcium, helping you build strong, healthy bones.
Just take it from Sally Fields who was diagnosed with osteoporosis when she turned 60. She walks everyday with her golden retriever to get her daily dose of vitamin D and exercise.
“It’s important to adjust your workout to keep things new and interesting. I can do [mine] in 30 minutes or less,” she says. “I know quick, easy workouts are important for women since we all have busy lives.” – Actress, Sally Fields in an interview with Everyday Health.
Exercise your Heart
Did you know that more than one in three women are living with heart disease according to the American Heart Association? Luckily, one of the most effective preventative methods is cardio exercise, which is a simple fix for such a complex issue.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of heart pumping exercise a day. Some simple cardio exercises are jumping jacks, stair climbing, and jumping rope. Cardio exercise also has the added benefit of improving joint and lung health. Win-win!
How many times have you been asked this question: are you drinking enough water each day? As annoying as this question may be, it is a very important one! Staying hydrated has been proven to increase your metabolism, lower your appetite, prevent constipation and kidney stones, and lead to healthier skin. Water is great for the body and being hydrated makes you feel great. Just take it from Cameron Diaz:
“Once I drink the water, I feel it immediately. I go from being a wilted plant to one that has been rejuvenated by the rain.” — Actress, Cameron Diaz
Although health experts are split on the exact amount of water your body needs to stay hydrated, it is typically recommended that you consume at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water every day to maintain a healthy level of hydration. If your body doesn’t get enough water, you can experience brain fog, exhaustion, and mood swings. But this simple fix will have you feeling top notch in no time.
Try Deep Breathing
Stress can have a negative effect on the body including raising your blood pressure and increasing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain. While you might not be able to eliminate stress from your life, you can find ways to lower your stress levels naturally.
Focused breathing is a great tool for calming the mind and learning how to deal with stress. Consider taking a class or downloading a breathing or meditation app. Begin by setting aside ten minutes a day to sit and breathe deeply; deep breathing calms your mind and lowers your stress level. The results will amaze you.
Receive Regular Screenings
The best medicine is prevention. It is important that yearly women get a pap smear, a mammogram beginning at age 45, and heart-health screenings.
And remember: prevention is important but knowledge is power. Know your family medical history and be proactive about your healthcare. Advocate for yourself and your well-being.
“For women, starting with prevention, we have to be our own advocate.” – Journalist, Joan Lunden in an interview with SheKnows
Although it isn’t always easy, try to ignore the hype and do what really works. Seek advice from your doctor about what steps you can take to improve your health today.
Each journey starts with a single step and your journey to better health starts with implementing one good habit at a time.