Good health should never be taken for granted. It doesn’t matter if you are already very healthy or already have serious health conditions as there is always room for improvement. It’s the little things we can do each day to nurture our health as best we can.
Women are doers – always doing things for others often forgoing or neglecting their own health in the process. That needs to stop. Women are natural nurturers but nurturing is a two-way street. They can keep caring for others but should also care for themselves. Even if some health factors are out of their control – such as genetic conditions – there are still many healthy habits women can embrace that will have a dramatic impact on their body and mind. Here are 10 healthy habits all women should practice starting today:
1. Regular screenings and checkups
Usually, most women are good about seeing their doctor for annual checkups and screenings such as mammograms and pap smears. Every day pay attention to your body. If there is a mole you’ve noticed that wasn’t there a year ago, get it checked out. If your energy levels have noticeably diminished, see your physician to figure out why. Catching potential problems early can be a literal life-saver.
2. Exercise with a purpose
If exercise is seen more as drudgery instead of energy enhancing and invigorating, you may need to switch to a different mindset as to why exercise is important. Exercise is an important tool to get and keep you in shape. Discover what form of exercise you are passionate about – hot yoga, running, spin class – and practice it with a purpose of getting healthier all around.
3. Sufficient sleep
Sleep is the necessary glue to improving energy, immune health, stress levels, and cognitive function among other things. This is why women who make a point of getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night are much healthier in the long run.
4. Eat well to be well
The foundation of good health begins with what you feed your body. Feed it too much fat, sugar or sodium, and it will suffer the consequences. Women, who choose at least 80% of the time nutrient-rich foods, will be rewarded with better health, stamina, immunity, and vitality.
5. Develop close friendships
Many studies have shown women who have close friendships with other women have better health and live a longer life. Social isolation is not good for humans. Women who take the time to develop strong bonds with others also have better cognitive functioning and lead more vibrant lives.
6. Be careful on alcohol intake
You may want to rethink that alcoholic drink. Alcohol has a greater negative effect on women than it does on men. Women are more likely to suffer liver damage, cardiovascular issues, and hypertension worse than male counterparts. They are also more prone to suffering serious injuries from collisions and falls due to regular rounds of over-consumption.
7. Religiously use sunscreen
The single best thing a woman can do for her skin is to wear sunscreen daily, year round. Regular daily sunscreen application not only prevents wrinkles but also has a greater potential to prevent deadly melanoma, the most common form of cancer in young women.
8. Have a daily moment of meditation
Linking the mind with the body can result in many benefits, which is why meditation can be such an important part of each and every day. Meditation is not necessarily sitting cross-legged in a darkened room with candles burning and repeatedly saying “oohmm” – unless you enjoy that. Rather, meditation can be as simple as taking a walk in the park focusing on the beauty surrounding you or lying on a beach listening to the waves crash on the beach. Whatever helps to clear your mind of stress or worry is meditation. When it is practiced regularly, it can have long-term benefits for your heart, blood pressure and brain function.
9. Keep sex safe
The number of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the U.S. has been rising each year. This is why any woman who is not in a long-term monogamous relationship and yet is sexually active, needs to take precautions to stay healthy by using condoms. By not taking such precautions, a woman will only be taking an unnecessary risk placing her in a position for more serious health problems associated with STD infections.
10. Learn to have fun and laugh a lot
There comes a point in most women’s lives of the realization of how precious life is. Years of stress, worry, anxiety or fear take their toll and each day that goes by is one less day you have to make the most of it. Now is the time to stress less and enjoy the moment. Practice being more carefree, finding fun adventures to do and to learn to laugh a lot along the way.