There are many hassles that accompany modern day living.
From the pressure to look a certain way, to be a perfect parent, to have a stellar career, a thriving marriage and relationships, and care for extended family as well, including aging parents.
There is also an increasing expectation to become a model citizen who cares and participates in community and volunteer projects, both at the local level such as PTA and local shelters, to global issues like environmental awareness.
Women go through so much more with regular bodily changes. Monthly periods, PMS and cramping, fluctuating hormones of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and eventually, menopause.
This multitude of demands can, and does, take a toll on the physical and mental health.
Now, more than ever, it is imperative that every woman embraces wellness, not as something that you do when you can carve out a few minutes before midnight, but as a lifestyle.
How can women make wellness and healthy lifestyle choices everyday?
Here are our top ten women’s wellness tips.
- Fuel your body
You are what you eat. We have all heard that phrase a thousand times.
Are you a greasy fried pizza, a sticky sugary piece of candy and fuelled by energy drinks or are you a nutritious broccoli and banana fuelled with clean healthy water?
The choice is yours.
For energy, weight management, and a long healthy life, it’s vital to feed our bodies with natural and nutritious food. Eat a natural, unprocessed diet with lots of fiber, vegetables, protein, and fruits.
To kick-start your day, make time for breakfast. Set aside 15 minutes at daybreak to eat a healthy feast.
Pack an apple and some nuts to snack on during the day as you go about your business and ensure you have fresh vegetables and lean protein for dinner.
To keep your teeth and bones healthy and prevent osteoporosis as you age, ensure adequate calcium intake with green leafy vegetables, grains, and dairy products.
Healthy eating manages your weight and fuels your body and mind to tackle the endless demands.
- Get adequate sleep
‘Let’s sleep on it’. How many times have you heard this phrase?
Sleeping gives you a break from the daily hassles, allowing the body to perform the vital functions of repairing the day’s wear and tear and processing memories.
When you get adequate sleep, you wake up with fresh ideas and perspectives, ready to tackle the day.
In reality, many women sleep for less than six hours a day, especially if they have very young children. While sleeping for 8 hours may be a luxury, aim for at least 6-7 hours to avoid sleep deprivation.
If you tire easily, have trouble waking up and concentrating, you may be sleep deprived.This can affect your output, focus, and mood.
If you struggle to fall and stay asleep, support supplements and a short meditation can help you unwind and shut off your mind.
- Embrace habitual checkups
We cannot emphasize regular check-ups enough.
Women are notorious for putting off check-ups and powering through symptoms that should be looked into by health professionals. .
You may feel that you are in robust health, but timely screening increases the chances of spotting grave conditions and ailments before they escalate.
What check-up should be done regularly?
- Check your blood pressure quarterly. This simple, cheap and quick test can save your life. High blood pressure can sneak up on you, and since it rarely causes alarming symptoms, can go untreated.
- Yearly fertility, breast cancer, cholesterol, diabetes, colorectal cancer, and skin cancer check. However, if your family has chronic diseases and a history of cancer, assess the risk and consider undergoing prevention testing and measures.
- Every three years, women aged 21 and older should undergo pap smears and annual pelvic exams.
- Every five years, sexually active women should undertake HPV, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases screening.
Every woman of child-bearing age should take contraception seriously, to not only prevent unplanned pregnancy, but also to lower risks of ovarian and uterine cancer and regulate your hormones and cycle.
- Zap your stress
Stress is highly destructive to your body and mind.
When we experience a stressful situation, it triggers a biological response, the “fight-or-flight response”, which floods the body with hormones and chemicals. Regular ‘flooding’ takes a great toll on our health.
One of the hormones that is released during stressful times is cortisol.
High cortisol levels can cause high blood pressure, constricted arteries, sleep problems, increased blood sugar levels, a suppressed immune system, and increased appetite which leads to weight gain.
To manage stress, find ways to relax. This can include a regular exercise routine, meditation, yoga, self-care, staying socially connected, healthy eating, and practicing mindfulness.
- Move your body
Incorporating physical activity into your day is vital to wellness.
Exercise has psychological and physical benefits. It motivates proper heart functioning, boosts the feel-good hormone (serotonin), reduces the stress hormone (cortisol), prevents bone loss, and builds muscles.
Furthermore, physical exercise increases self-esteem and a positive outlook.
Embrace aerobic exercises like jogging, dancing, swimming, bicycling, and walking, and combine this with a mix of resistance and weight-bearing exercises.
However, excessive resistance training without proper guidance can lead to injuries, so seek the help of experts before embarking on a rigorous regimen.
- Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated means drinking water and keeping off carbonated drinks and alcohol.
You can add lemon if you find it difficult to drink plain water. Lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C, aids digestion and freshens your breath.
Remember, water consumption elevates energy, mood, reduces cravings which helps your weight loss effort and keeps all your body functions, including the brain, performing optimally.
On the other hand, alcohol and caffeine causes your body to discharge fluids, increasing dehydration.
- Build a robust support circle
A good social support system of family and friends is great for wellness.
It increases longevity, lowers blood pressure, enhances self-esteem, alleviates emotional distress, and increases contentment levels.
Cultivate social networks at fitness groups, volunteering, hobby meets, and online.
To nurture your relationships, embrace give and take, appreciate others, keep in touch regularly, stop negative competition or family disputes. And, if you find yourself in a violent family situation, don’t think twice before seeking professional help.
Remember, to also listen more than you talk and steer away from criticism and pettiness.
- Cultivate a good sex life
Sex has a myriad of physical and mental benefits.
Healthy sex improves a woman’s power to control their bladder since it’s a workout to pelvic floor muscles.
Additionally, it keeps the immune system sturdy, improves sleep, lowers blood pressure, boosts mood, eases stress, and yes, sex is exercise; it improves heart health and ensures glowing skin.
Sex improves your relationship as well, and healthy relationships are key to well being.
- Keep reading
In this era of technology, it is easy to get distracted, especially on social media.
Therefore, set time aside to read.
Reading strengthens your brain by creating complex networks of signals and circuits, thus increasing brain connectivity. For example, reading a novel boosting your imagination and brain activity.
Additionally, reading alleviates depression, keeps you informed, reduces stress, increases good rest, and decreases age-related cognitive impairment.
So, skip binge-watching netflix, download the Kindle app and get busy reading.
- Turn on the laughter
Laughter is the best medicine.
Yes, a belly laugh releases endorphins (feel-good chemicals) that temporarily reduces pain, reduces stress, tones your abs, lowers blood pressure, and boosts T-cells, thus activating your body’s immune system.
So how do we amp up laughter?
Watch a comedy show, find hilarious youtube videos, catch up with your friends, and anything else that tickles your funny bone.
A woman’s body changes with age, but the basis of wellness remains constant. These basic and simple wellness tips will serve you well, ensuring you are hale and hearty throughout your life.
Ladies, “its time,” and yes, it can be time consuming, but with a little effort, motivation and a bit of scheduling, putting these wellness tips to work will support your life-long wellness journey.
Author: Christopher G. Aiello
Mr. Aiello has a reputable 30+ year trajectory in law practice. Having been selected for multiple recognitions and awards, he practices in the Superior Court of New Jersey in both the trial court section and the appellate divisions, the Workers’ Compensation Court, and Municipal Courts. He has appeared in dozens of televised, print and internet media. Now, he’s dedicated in full to his law firm Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman P.C.