As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, there’s no better time to share some health and fitness tips geared specifically to women. Balancing the demands of career and family often means self-care is low on the list of priorities. However, it’s important for women to stay healthy not only for themselves, but for all the people who depend on them. So today, as we recognize the many contributions of women, let’s look at the top 10 health and wellness tips especially for them:
Stick to a healthy diet
Many women tend to neglect their own dietary needs because they are too busy to follow a healthy diet. Try to get the nutrients you need from a natural food diet, including fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meat, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy products, and lots of whole grains and nuts. In general, women require a lot of calcium to build healthy bones and keep them strong as they age. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, grains, leafy green vegetables, tofu, and cabbage.
Hydration is crucial to a healthy life and proper physical and mental functioning. Drinking lots of water during the day is also key to keeping yourself fit from the inside out. Carry a water bottle wherever you go as a reminder. Hydrating yourself is also crucial to weight loss or maintenance because it not only reduces the feeling of hunger, but also helps you eat less during meal times.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is critical for women’s overall well-being. Being overweight can significantly increase the risk of several chronic diseases and can reduce the quality of life. The best way to maintain a healthy weight is to eat moderately, nutritiously, and get enough sleep.
Take daily supplements
Along with a daily multi-vitamin, Zinc, Magnesium, and Calcium are the minerals most women need. A Zinc deficiency impairs the immune system, which results in thinning of hair, and Magnesium helps with sleep, bone health, and may also help in relieving premenstrual symptoms, anxiety, and migraines.
No matter what stage of life a woman is at, they tend to juggle and multi-task, which leads to stress and anxiety. Make time to relax and unwind every day in order to maintain perspective. Practice yoga or meditation, read a book or magazine, or talk a walk outdoors. And, learn to say no without feeling bad about it.
Get annual checkups
Health check-ups and screenings are an important way to recognize problems – sometimes even before you show any symptoms. Even if you feel well, early health checkups and screening tests can not only spot signs of serious diseases and conditions but also give you a better chance of effectively treating them. All women 40 and older should get a yearly mammogram to detect cancer in its earliest stages. And, schedule a checkup every year with a primary care doctor no matter how busy you are.
Get plenty of sleep
With the busy schedules most women maintain, it can be difficult to get the proper amount of sleep. Insufficient sleep impacts productivity, as well as the mental and physical state of your body. A minimum of 6 to 7 hours of sleep each night is vital.
Build a strong support system
Research shows social circles increase happiness, life span, and the likelihood of surviving health problems. The best way to build a support circle is to be a part of someone else’s support circle and be there for each other. Volunteering, charity work, hobbies, and recreational team sports are other ways to meet people and form friendships.
Make time for yourself
Take time for yourself and fill the time with the things you want to do. A daily dose of “me time” is one of the many healthy habits that keep women feeling their best.
Authored by Zach Meeker, Research Assistant for Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center
Click here for full podcast playlist.