Every day we are bombarded with a new diet, fitness routine or pill that promises to guarantee all round good health. While they might actually turn out to be whatever they promised to be, they are usually either too expensive or time consuming. Here are some easy tips proven and tested by medical experts that one can follow starting today, to stay healthy and strong.
What to cut out
Just say no to smoking and excessive alcohol consumption which has been linked to an increased risk for breast cancer. Throw out the fad diets, as many leave out important nutrients.
What to eat
Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, beans and nuts and seeds can help with weight control (which improves your overall health). These foods also help give you the fibre you need (21 grams daily if you are over 50 and 25 grams if you are under 50).
Vitamin reminder: Menstruating women should eat iron-rich foods or take an iron supplement to prevent iron deficiency anemia. Vitamin C helps with iron absorption. Other vital nutrients are calcium, to prevent osteoporosis, and vitamin D, to help with calcium absorption.
Accumulate 150 minutes of aerobic exercise throughout the course of the week. Sounds daunting? Not if you break it down into 15 sessions of 10 minutes each or five 30-minute sessions.
Clock yourself daily and don’t forget to go for “moderate intensity” – that’s when you can carry on a conversation while being a little out of breath and having a slight sweat.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work.
Look for the farthest spot rather than the closest when you park and walk to your destination.
Begin and end your day with a walk around your block. Do some exercises while you watch television.
Don’t forget muscle-strengthening exercises to fight osteoporosis. 10 to 15 minutes twice a week of squats, lunges, push-ups, sit-ups and weights will keep the weigh off while strengthening your muscles.
See your doctor for an annual check-up and make sure you get these tests: blood pressure, cholesterol, bone density, pre-diabetes and thyroid. Breast exams, mammograms, Pap smears and pelvic exams should all be carried out periodically according to your age and family history.
Feed Your Soul
Find a hobby
Women need to do things that are soul-feeding that aren’t aimed at gratifying others. A satisfying hobby will promote emotional growth and increase your sense of self-worth, which leads to better health all around.
Consider reading, gardening, or taking care of an animal. Gardening and taking care of an animal can also help with exercise, plus growing herbs and fresh vegetables can improve your diet.
Even if you don’t do any of the above, make relaxing priority. Ask for help when work and family are stressing you out. Sleep at least seven to eight hours nightly (exercise and a good diet will help.)