It pays to take care of your health. Getting sick is an expensive proposition in America, and you can prevent many pricey problems with a little daily self-care. However, there’s also the time factor — when are you supposed to squeeze in caring for yourself among all your other responsibilities?
With a little creativity, you can take better charge of your body and mind. After all, isn’t feeling better a glorious incentive to improve your habits? Here are five health tips all women should consider and advice for meaningfully implementing them into your routine.
1. Attend Your Annual Checkups
Preventative care can catch minor problems so that you can take action to correct them before they become major headaches. For example, more than one in three American adults live with a prediabetic condition. You can reverse this with nothing more than diet and exercise — but many people don’t know they fall into this category.
The only way to find out is to see your doctor each year for a routine physical. Your doctor should order a blood test to determine your risk of developing various conditions. They can demonstrate how to perform home checks like breast self-exams. They’ll let you know what signs should concern you enough to seek emergency care.
Likewise, you should see your dentist once a year for a cleaning and x-rays to determine if any of your teeth need repair. These aren’t luxury bones — they’re essential to help you chew. Furthermore, oral bacteria from gum disease can adhere to your heart tissue, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. This condition remains the number one killer of men and women. It’s well worth the cost to prevent it.
2. Get a Handle on Nutrition
It’s been a long day at the office, you still need to pick up the kids from soccer, and then you’re supposed to cook a healthy dinner? Someone get you a cape, Wonder Woman! Will you cave to the siren song of the drive-thru out of sheer exhaustion?
Few would judge you if you did — but you might not feel too hot if you do so frequently. Fast food comes laden with all kinds of additives, salt and empty calories your body doesn’t need. You could find yourself adding extra notches to your belt loop before you know it.
Prepping your meals on your days off — or even one weekday evening — doesn’t have to mean eating the same thing for every occasion. It’s more a matter of doing the troublesome work like chopping vegetables that overwhelm you on busy days. Invest in the right storage solutions for your family size so that you don’t end up pitching those strawberries before you eat them.
3. Find Movement That You Love
You know that you should exercise to increase your energy levels, maintain your mobility and feel better. However, the couch sounds so much more inviting than a treadmill. How can you trick yourself into doing what you should?
The first step is finding movement that you love. If the thought of riding the elliptical bores you to tears, kick the machine to the curb. Hello — there’s a whole beautiful world out there to hike and climb. Lace-up your shoes and hit the trail.
Another tip is making a workout buddy. It’s tempting to skip the gym at days’ end when you want nothing more than to collapse. The guilt of leaving your BFF waiting compels you to stick with your program.
You can also throw out the idea that you have to hit the gym for an hour to get fit. You can do so in short bursts of only five to ten minutes. Take a 10-minute walk on your morning and afternoon work break and throw in 15 minutes of resistance band training during television commercials at night. You’ve rocked your 30-minute requirement without hardly breaking a sweat.
4. Discover Healthy Ways to Ease Stress
Stress can kill. Research from Australia suggests it can rewire your brain, keeping your blood pressure elevated and raising your heart attack risk. Remember that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer?
However, some people ease their tension in ways that adversely impact their health. Please don’t reach for the bottle. Instead, embrace techniques like yoga and meditation. Even going for a drive and belting out tunes at the top of your lungs is much healthier — and less likely to lead to addiction — than drowning your sorrows in vodka or whiskey.
5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
A lack of sleep can have tons of negative health impacts. Your immune response decreases. You become more accident-prone, making getting behind the wheel as dangerous as doing so after a few drinks. Plus, you get grumpy.
Please practice proper sleep hygiene by reserving that room for sleep and sex only. If you’re one of many living and working in tight quarters, power down your electronics 30 minutes before bedtime to avoid glowing lights keeping you awake. Use a white noise machine to drown out chattery roommates or music-playing neighbors and make your space as dark and cool as possible to encourage rest.
Women, Please Consider These 5 Health Tips
While you can’t prevent every injury or illness, you can do a lot to take charge of your overall well-being. Please consider these five health tips to save money and add more life to your years.