It’s National Women’s Health Week, the annual May event that encourages women of all ages to take control of their wellness and live their healthiest possible lives. Use these four ideas to refresh your path to a healthy lifestyle or encourage the women in your lives to try them.
Pledge to eat well.
A healthy diet is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. Healthy eating starts with modifying your diet to ensure you’re getting enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Adding more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet is a quick shift you could make this week. Cutting back on foods with excess fat, salt and sugar can also help you feel your best and give you more energy. A change to healthier eating also includes learning about balance, variety and moderation:
- Aim for balance. Eat from each food group, and listen to your body – eat when you’re hungry and stop when you feel full.
- Look for variety.Eating a variety of foods from each food group every day will help you get the nutrients you need.
- Practice moderation. All foods, if eaten in moderation, can be part of healthy eating – even sweets can be okay!
Get enough sleep.
This week, make it a priority to get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night. Set an alarm for when it’s time to go to bed, and stick with it. It’s easy to forgo a good night’s sleep to fit in everything on your busy schedule – however, it’s crucial to get enough sleep at night so that your brain can grow and repair cells; form new pathways for learning, remembering and processing information; and rebuild enough energy to get you through the next day. Continuous sleep deprivation is linked to a number of chronic conditions including diabetes, obesity and depression.
Make it a point to go for a long walk or extend your workout this week – or, start working out if you don’t already. Physical activity can help you control your weight, stay healthy and make the most of life. It also helps reduce your risk for heart attack, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers. Adding more exercise to your health regimen can seem overwhelming at first, but starting with small, short-term goals will help you to be more successful in the long run.
Schedule a check-up.
National Women’s Check-up Day falls on the second Monday of May. Schedule a yearly preventive appointment with your doctor to check in on your current health, your health goals and what changes you can make to your routine to help you get there. You should also use this time to ensure you’re up to date on vaccines and medical tests. Schedule a check-up at one of Blue KC’s Spira Care centers online.