As you may have noticed, there are lots of things that you need to consider when trying to stay fit and healthy. More often than not this mass of information becomes overwhelming and most people start off with good intentions but give up in the long run, slipping back to old ways and habits. To help you maintain that healthy lifestyle, below are the top ten things you should be doing to keep yourself healthy and happy.
1) When trying to keep to a healthy lifestyle, the first thing you need to consider is your diet. A good balanced diet is essential in maintaining a healthy body. Remember, 'rubbish in = rubbish out'. Eating junk food, fatty food and other convenience foods will result in a feeling of lethargy, tiredness, depression and bad complexion just to name a few. Simple changes to make would be avoiding too much red meat, high fat foods and high calorie foods instead substituting this with high fiber low fat food, mixed with a regular intake of fruit and vegetables. Fiber is great for digestion whilst fruit and vegetables will help keep vitamin and mineral levels up.
2) Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. One of the risks of not drinking enough water is the onset of kidney stones. If you know anybody who has had kidney stones, you'll know this is to be avoided! Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated which in the long run will help you cleanse your body of impurities. You will start to feel more alert and less tired; you may notice your skin improves with a new radiance. If you are lactating, it is vital that you keep well hydrated to ensure your milk is at its best. Most research suggests that eight glasses of water per day is a minimum.
3) Consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements, especially at the beginning of your new healthy schedule. Some of the more important ones specific to women are Calcium and Iron. Calcium is essential for women of all ages but especially menopausal women to ensure good bone strength and minimize problems from onset of Osteoporosis. Iron supplements are especially important for menstruating women and women who suffer heavier blood loss during that time of the month. Vitamin E400 is worth taking as this has been shown to reduce flushes and sweating at night. For the skin, consider Vitamin E as a dietary supplement.
4) If you smoke, reduce the amount that you smoke or quit all together. If you find the idea of giving up a step too far why not try cutting down? A great way to cut down is to try and extend the time between your cigarettes. If you can maintain this, you will gradually start to smoke less without feeling the withdrawals as much. If you are pregnant, then smoking is a big 'NO-No'. The toxins in a cigarette can cross from the mother’s bloodstream and into the baby. Also your chance of breast cancer is much higher if you are a smoker. Overall reducing alcohol and smoking less are great ways to a healthier happier life.
5) Try and introduce a regular exercise into your daily routine. There are simple ways to get exercise without really trying. You could try walking home from work if it's not too far, don't take the elevator all the time - try using the stairs. When your kids are outside playing, take a few minutes to go and play with them. Not only will you be getting fit but you'll be spending more time with your children. Everyone wins! Yoga is also a great way to stay toned and supple. This can be done in the home with a minimal investment in equipment. Hate the gym? Just use your own body weight and do some simple calisthenics (jump (imaginary) rope, run in place, jumping jacks, sit-ups, squats, etc,…)
6) Try and avoid sources of stress. Stressful situations whether at home or at work can leave you with excess amounts of adrenaline and other 'fight or flight' by-products. These can affect heart muscle, upset sleep patterns causing insomnia and much more. Exercise can help to burn off some of these stress by-products but any high stress situations should be avoided.
7) A lot of women are a sucker for a good suntan but there are hidden dangers. Recent research has indicated that over exposure to sunlight and sun tanning beds could increase your chances of skin cancer by up to 30%. A lot of the damage is done in younger life and may not show for years. Simple ways to avoid danger would be to use high factor sun creams, don't lie out in direct sunlight, consider using a tanning cream and avoid those nasty UV rays altogether.
8) Make sure you attend regular smear tests and ensure you visit your Gynecologist on a regular basis. A lot of 'women’s' problems' can be detected in the early stages and treated accordingly. Cervical cancer, Chlamydia and Warts are just a few of them. Avoiding your Gynecologist is akin to playing Russian roulette!!
9) Make sure you practice safe sex. STD's can be easily transmitted and even a long term partner could be harboring some unknown stowaways. Sexually transmitted diseases can lie dormant for years. Until you are 100% sure you and you're partner are free from STD's practicing safe sex is the best way to stay healthy.
10) An often overlooked area of personal health is dental hygiene. Not looking after your oral hygiene may result in gum disease, tooth loss, halitosis to name but a few. Keep regular appointments with your dental hygienist and make sure you floss regularly to keep a beautiful bright smile.