Take the right steps for better health: National Women’s Health Week
National Women’s Health Week kicks off on May 14 and will be celebrated through May 20. The goal of Women’s Health Week is to remind women to make health a priority and to encourage them to take the right steps for better health. Adopting a healthier lifestyle includes fitness, nutrition, diet, and mental health. To successfully improve your overall health, it is best to start with small steps:
1. Get Active
As a general goal, you should try to exercise for 30 minutes to an hour every day. Walking, running, hiking, weight training and resistance training are all beneficial. If fitness isn’t your favorite thing, one way to get motivated is joining a team or taking a group class like yoga, spin or Zumba. Make your workouts fun and social by inviting a friend along. If 30 minutes seems impossible at first, start with 15 minutes. Adding more physical activity can help prevent excess weight gain, combat health conditions and diseases, improve mood, and boost energy.
2. Eat Healthy
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the information on healthy eating. A simple rule of thumb for any healthy diet is balancing your intake of protein, fats and carbohydrates.
• Protein is important for the growth and repair of the bodies’ cells and for building muscle. Daily intake for an average adult is about 50 grams. Foods such as chicken, fish, legumes, beans, chickpeas, lentils, nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein.
• Healthy fat is vital. Fat contributes to energy intake and helps the body absorb essential vitamins. An average adult should take in 70 grams per day. The best sources of healthy fats are fish, nuts and seeds and avocados because these foods contain the least amount of saturated fat, which can raise blood pressure.
• Carbohydrates are another important nutrient for the body. They are the main source of energy for fueling our bodies and the average adult should consume approximately 310 grams of carbohydrates a day. Skip the breads, cakes and cookies and go for the good carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains.
3. Reduce stress
Stress and anxiety can have detrimental effects on your health and mental well-being. When daily life and problems are overwhelming it can result in loss of sleep, feelings of depression, increased anxiety and can even be a contributing factor to serious health issues like heart disease, cancer and stroke. It is extremely important to find ways to reduce stress and combat its symptoms. Here are a few tips that you can do anywhere at any time:
• Try meditation, simply sit straight up with both feet on the ground, close your eyes and recite a mantra such as “I feel at peace”. Doing this can help ease anxiety and make you more resilient to stress. If this is difficult, there are guided meditations online that you can use.
• Take deep breaths. This is one simple way to relieve stress and lower your heart rate. When you contract the diaphragm (muscle in the middle of your chest) it activates our body’s relaxation response.
As you age, chances are likely that you will face some health issues, but when you commit to adopting healthy habits, these issues can be minimal. In honor of Mom and Women’s Health Week, we encourage you to take steps to make healthier lifestyle choices. At Paradise Living Centers we understand the challenges of staying on track and we are here to our residents maintain healthy practices and to address their changing needs. To learn more about our services or tour our Central Phoenix or Paradise Valley homes, contact (480) 878 – 4112.