With age comes many changes in the mind and body. You may find that your metabolism isn’t what it used to be, or your periods come more irregularly. As you grow older, taking care of your health becomes more important to stave off age-related diseases and live a healthy life for longer. For women who play multiple roles, healthy living becomes the least of their priorities in the face of work, household chores, and taking care of the kids.
But the fact is that you can look after your family better and perform well at your job if you take care of yourself. Your body will slow down with age, and you’ll be more prone to illnesses. If you want to be there for your family longer and achieve all your goals, you should prioritize your overall well-being. No matter what age, every woman should practice these good habits to live a long healthy life.
Get Your Body Moving
Regular exercise is vital to keep your body and immune system strong and healthy. People who stay active tend to enjoy better health than those who live sedentary lifestyles.
The average adult should fit “150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week,” according to Dr. Edward R. Laskowki at Mayo Clinic. Strength training also plays a vital role in building and strengthening muscles and bones.
With work and personal commitments, finding the time to exercise can be difficult for many women. The goods news is that you can exercise any time and anywhere, and you don’t necessarily have to go to the gym to work out.
Any form of physical activity can exercise as long as it gets your heart rate up. You can incorporate more physical activities into your daily routine to stay active. For example, you can take the stairs to your office instead of using the elevator, or you get down a couple of stops from your home and walk the rest of the way.
Women should also include pelvic floor exercises such as Kegels in their exercise routine. Kegel exercises can help improve overall pelvic health, help recovery after childbirth, and prevent bladder leakage. Kegels and vaginal dilation therapy with vaginal dilators can also help women who experience pelvic pain due to dyspareunia, vulvodynia, vaginal atrophy, vaginal stenosis, and cancer treatment or surgery.
Menopause is part of every woman’s life. With it comes many alterations in the body, including hormonal changes, which can cause incontinence. You may feel discouraged to exercise when you have to worry about bladder leakage. Luckily, there are incontinence protection pads and undergarments to prevent accidents from turning into embarrassments. While it may not completely cure incontinence, Kegel exercises and healthy lifestyle choices will help improve your condition and your overall well-being.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
The body needs fuel to keep going and stay healthy, but not just any fuel will do. The fuel that you feed your body should be well-balanced in terms of nutrition. Too much and too little of certain foods and beverages can lead to illness. Moderation is key for a healthy diet, but you should avoid unhealthy food as much as possible.
Good food provides vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that help the mind and body stay strong and healthy. Instead of eating overly processed food, you should be consuming more of the good stuff:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes
- Low-fat, low-sugar dairy
- Lean meat and poultry
- Whole grains
- Fresh fish
Too much of the good stuff can be bad for you too, so make sure to watch your portions.
Stay on Top of Your Annual Checks
Some diseases can crop up when you reach a certain age. That’s why you need to be vigilant and stay on top of your annual checkups and health screenings with your health-care provider. Getting an early diagnosis and treatment can make a world of difference for certain illnesses.
That said, these are the recommended health checks and screenings women should undergo at least once a year:
- Blood-pressure check
- Blood test for lipids
- Breast cancer check
- Bone density scan
- Diabetes test
- Eye exam
- Periodontal exam
- Skin check
- Pap smear and pelvic exam
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone screening
- Vitamin D test
Ask your health-care provider about the complete list of health screenings adult women should get every year.
Learn How to Manage Stress
People need a certain level of stress to stay motivated, but long-term stress can have detrimental effects on a person’s overall health. Chronic stress can increase the risk of certain mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. Long-term stress can also cause or worsen cardiovascular diseases, skin and hair problems, gastrointestinal problems, and menstrual problems.
Stress levels are at an all-time high because of the current pandemic, high unemployment rate, environmental crises, and other social issues. Many mothers who are working from home face dual pressure from their job and personal life. That’s why it’s important to take breaks and do activities that help you relieve stress.
Whether it’s meditation or arts and crafts, feel free to do what you need to do to cope with the stress. Spend quality time with yourself away from distractions and responsibilities. Talk to your family and friends if you’re having a hard time. You are not alone. Many people love you and care for you, and they are willing to lend a helping hand if you ask them.
Many women can get caught up in taking care of others that they neglect their own well-being. But you need to have a sound mind and body if you want to take care of your loved ones and excel in your career. Love yourself so that you can continue doing what you love and taking care of the people whom you love.