7 best health habits for women of any age

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7 best health habits for women of any age

The average life expectancy of American women is 81.1 years according to the National Center for Health Statistics.  This is a significant improvement over the decades but there has been a concerning trend for the past two years of a drop in life expectancy for women.  Part of this has been blamed on dangerous diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke.  There is also the concerning rise in opioid use among women and Alzheimer’s disease which is more common among females.

However, there are many ways in which women can keep their mind and body healthy no matter what their age.  Here are the best tips any woman of any age should practice in order to live a long, disease-free, healthy life:

1.     Never smoke

No matter whether female or male, half of all people who pick up the habit of smoking will die from tobacco use. Cancer, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, each have strong links of the negative effects smoking can have.  Many women worry about breast cancer yet lung cancer kills more women of all cancers. The best thing is to never start smoking but if you already do, kicking the habit will greatly reduce your risk of developing a life-threatening disease. 

2.     Eat a healthy diet

There is no doubt feeding your body nutritious, healthful food is one of your best allies in guarding good health. Developing a daily habit of eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, including more beans, lentils, whole grains, healthy fats, dairy, fish, and lean meats, will provide you with optimal nutrients, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber helping nourish your body with what it needs to maintain health.

3.     Get your body moving

It cannot be stressed enough but exercise is another key factor in keeping not only in shape but having great health.  When practiced consistently, physical activity will reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, depression, and Alzheimer’s. It is recommended to get in at least 150 minutes each week of moderate to vigorous exercise which could include brisk walking, riding a stationary bike, jogging, or swimming.

4.     Have regular health checkups and screenings

In order to know how healthy you really are, yearly checkups and screenings are a must.  Having such tests can help women with the following:

·      Spot signs of serious disease and conditions early, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease giving you a better chance of successfully curing or treating them

·      Find problems before they cause painful or bothersome symptoms

·      Live a longer and more active life free from disability

5.     Get adequate sleep 

Women tend to be bothered more by sleep issues such as insomnia.  If these issues extend into years, this can lead to obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes which have been linked to not getting enough sleep. Seven to eight hours per night can improve your mood, your memory, your stress levels, your safety, and your body’s ability to fight disease.

6.     Practice yoga, Pilates, or meditation

Stress relieving practices such as yoga, Pilates or meditation can each have significant health benefits including weight loss, reduced blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.  Each can also help improve immune functioning and joint pain relief. Mental and emotional health benefits include reduced levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

7.     Maintain close relationships

Studies show that social connections increase your likelihood of surviving physical health problems, increase your level of happiness, and may even help you live longer.  Strengthen the relationships you have and make it a goal to be involved with various social or volunteer activities to meet and make new friends.