In honor of this month’s celebration of Mother’s Day, I wanted to take some time to focus on women’s health. For students, stay-at-home moms, and working women alike, it’s often difficult to find enough time in the day, meaning that our health often takes a back seat to other priorities.
Seven Tips for Women’s Health
Today, let’s look at seven easy and effective ways for women to improve their health.
- Apply SPF daily: Protect your skin! It’s imperative that you wear SPF (higher than 30) on your face every single day — even if it’s cloudy or if you have plans to stay indoors. Be sure to add a layer to the back of your hands, your neck, and your ears too. These forgotten areas are common spots for various types of skin cancers.
- Take the stairs: According to a 2019 study, climbing 60 steps in 20 seconds 3 times a day, 3 days a week, for 6 weeks improves your cardiovascular fitness by nearly 5 percent. Even a small increase in your cardiorespiratory fitness can have a lasting impact on your overall health. An easy way to achieve this goal: Next time you’re at the doctor’s office or a shopping mall, opt for the stairs over an elevator or escalator!
- Sleep better: Sleep is important for so many reasons: It helps you practice better nutrition, focus more, and improves your physical and emotional wellbeing. An easy way to achieve better sleep is by lowering the temperature in your house. Bump the thermostat down two to three degrees after dinner and two to three more at bedtime. 65 degrees is the optimal temperature for a deep, restful night of sleep. Another tip to help you fall asleep faster is to dim the lights and mimic the darkness outside. This action helps promote the production of melatonin, which in turn helps you fall asleep faster.
- Practice mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness on a regular basis can improve both your physical and mental health. Like any muscle, the more you practice, the stronger you get! You can find guided meditations on apps like Calm or Headspace. You can also do this basic breathing exercise: Take two or three deep breaths and think about three things that you’re thankful for, three things you’re looking forward to, or three things that make you happy. This quick activity can lower your heart rate and blood pressure and also boost your mood.
Nutrition Advice for Improved Women’s Health
- Drink more water: Specifically, before you drink your coffee, start your day with a large glass of water. Not only is it good to replenish the hydration lost throughout the night, but it also helps turn on your brain, kidneys, and gut, making it easier for you to wake up. In more general terms, try to drink half your weight in ounces of water throughout each day. So if you weigh 140 pounds, aim for 70 ounces of water per day.
- Make sure your breakfast includes protein: Eating protein first thing in the morning helps stabilize your blood sugar and energy levels, which in turn helps stabilize your hunger and moods. Opt for two scrambled eggs with avocado toast or a smoothie with protein powder, frozen strawberries, and almond butter. This simple change may help you reach your weight loss goals as well.
- Prep your produce: For many of us, the biggest deterrence to eating vegetables and fruits is simply the process of preparing them. Each morning, make an effort to cut up at least one fruit and/or vegetable. These nutritious snacks will increase your intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which improve digestion, better your skin health, and make your body stronger against everyday damage. Plus, research shows that adding these colorful foods into your daily routine can improve both mood and motivation.
Let’s all take some time today to focus on our health. Try to incorporate one (or more!) of these easy and effective tips into your life and let me know when you start to see the benefits!