Best Practices for Maintaining Women’s Health
September 6, 2021
In this Healthy Insight:
Women are devoted caregivers to their children, husbands and other loved ones, but when it comes to taking care of themselves, they often fall to the bottom of the list. That needs to change! With so many depending on you, it’s time to prioritize yourself. Here are some ways to get started.
Maintaining Hair, Skin, and Nails
- Drink plenty of water
- Regular hair trimming
- Go easy on the blow dryers, curling irons and rollers
- Eat a balanced diet with fresh fruits, vegetables and fatty fish
- Use sunscreen
- Invest in a silk pillowcase to minimize hair loss
Some women sail through menopause with nary a hot flash while others endure years of sweating, insomnia and irritability. If the latter sounds like you, there are things you can do to combat the effects of menopause on your well-being.
First, learn to say no. Women are people-pleasers and it’s hard to decline offers for activities you “should” do vs. what you really want to do. Being choosy means less stress and more time to focus on what you actually enjoy.
Along with fiber for weight management and healthy digestion, try adding phytoestrogenic foods to your diet like wheat, lentils, rice bran, soybeans and yams to help counteract hormonal changes. Many women find taking a supplement like maca, red clover, evening primrose or black cohosh can help ease some of the symptoms of menopause but be sure to speak with your doctor first. Finally, stay connected with your circle of friends. They can be a great source for comparing menopause notes and staying engaged in the lives of others.
You don’t need a gym membership or fancy workout wear. Getting daily exercise can be something as simple as brisk walks around the neighborhood 3-5 times a week. Grab a friend and burn even more calories as you chat.
Be sure to add stretching exercises to keep muscles flexible and bones strong. Not only does exercise help manage weight it also supports heart health and blood pressure, not to mention improved self-esteem. Since exercise releases endorphins, the feel-good hormone, you’ll feel more positive about yourself and life in general. Exercising is a must!
Eat a healthy diet
We’ve all heard it before, a balanced diet is key to good health. And that’s especially true during menopause. For most of us, it’s harder to put this into practice as we often feel too busy to eat right. It’s easier to pick up something at the drive-thru than prepare a meal at home. But you can start slowly. Try incorporating a few healthy foods like a piece of fruit or vegetable with each meal, keeping healthy snacks handy instead of sugary ones, and planning your meals ahead of time.
Get plenty of sleep
It’s important to get at least 7-8 hours every night. Not only does sleep rejuvenate the body, but it plays an important role in reinforcing what we learned during the day too. You may not realize it, but you receive a lot of information every day. Sleep helps our brains organize and store the data for future retrieval. Start by practicing good sleep hygiene. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help.
- Establish a consistent bedtime routine such as listening to relaxing music or reading a book.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, cool and pleasant.
- Take a warm bath or shower to relax muscles.
- Turn off digital devices at least an hour before bedtime.
- Eat a big meal before bedtime.
- Watch the ticking clock as you lie in bed. Get up and do something relaxing.
- Drink caffeine in the afternoon or have a nightcap before bedtime.
- Nap during the day.
Schedule regular doctor appointments
Men and women alike need to know and monitor their numbers for blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Mammograms and colonoscopies are recommended for women over 45. Follow your doctor’s advice on what’s right for you.
Adding a few of these simple tips can significantly help improve your health. For more information click here.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.