Women are constantly bombarded with ideas about what it means to be healthy and how to reach that state of optimal health. We see influencers on social media promoting the latest and greatest, which can change from one season to the next. All the options for products that supposedly decrease weight, help manage stress, boost libido and energy, and keep us looking young and vibrant can be overwhelming at best. At worst, they can be a waste of time and money. Here, we cut through the fog of marketing to discuss some of the basic lifestyle habits that can bring you into a better state of wellness in the coming year.
- Consume quality foods, and truly enjoy them! We spend too much time trying to eat for weight loss or management. A healthier option is to eat for nourishment and pleasure. The two can coexist, and it can be fun trying new recipes that speak to your taste buds. No fad diets are necessary, just whole, fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats like avocado, avocado oil, and coconut oil. When we say enjoy the quality meals you make, we mean to eat slowly. Mindful eating not only reduces how much we consume but it also enhances the overall experience because we’re feeding all of our senses when we take our time with this practice.
- Exercise. We all know that exercise is paramount to health and fitness. However, we want to suggest spending more time considering how you’re moving your body. If you aren’t excited about your daily workouts, or you tend to start and stop various fitness regimens, explore what feels really good to your body. Do you like walking more than running? Do it! A daily 45-minute walk burns calories, is good for the heart, and can give you time to listen to books, podcasts, or music that brings you joy. One caveat here is that studies show the immense value of strength training, particularly for women in perimenopause or menopause, due to the ways that strength exercises affect hormones. This need not mean weight-lifting. Yoga and pilates are also considered strength training exercises.
- Sleep! How often do you find yourself thinking that the tasks on your plate are more important than sleep? Just one more load of laundry, or one more email answered, and you’ll hit the sheets. This mindset has been to our detriment and it is time to let it go. You may need 7 hours of sleep a night or you may need 9. It’s up to your body to tell you. Learning to build your schedule around your sleep needs versus the other way around could be life-changing in terms of your happiness and your productivity.
- Stay connected. The vital importance of human connection has been made very clear during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re still navigating how to feel safe in public spaces or larger gatherings, you’re not alone. As we continue to move through this time in history, keep your loved ones as close as you can in whatever ways feel best to you. Emails, texts, phone calls, and video chats can still feel connecting. Snail mail has become a novelty in this high-tech day and age, so consider making or purchasing cards to send to friends and family as a way of maintaining connection. We can also build new connections, even at this time. Consider online courses or book clubs as a way to make new friends. If your sense of safety is greater, these and other social events can be enjoyed in person.
Women’s health is an important topic at every age. We’re here to support you by providing women’s health services that are tailored to your unique needs. To schedule a visit at our Kettering or Englewood office, call 937.771.5100.