Every day there seems to be new advice on how to live well. You end up chasing after the latest fads in nutrition and fitness, and then feel like you’re wasting time and money. We here at Therafit Shoe feel your pain!
To make it worse, the advice we receive can be conflicting. So what are the best ways to stay healthy, especially for us women? Here are ten tips to truly work towards a healthier lifestyle.
Put Down the Chips
We know we need to eat better, but what does that mean besides cutting down on snacks? Chester County Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and NHS Choices say to concentrate on getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet, and, sadly, consume less salt and saturated fat.
NHS Choices says, “eating at least 400g of fruit and vegetables a day can lower your risk of serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.” Getting enough is much easier when you follow this guide from Chester County Hospital:
- 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
- 1 cup leafy vegetables
- 3/4 cup 100% juice
- 1 medium-sized piece of fruit
- 1/2 cup fruit
- 1/4 cup dried fruit
Get Out There and MOVE!
Slaving away at the gym isn’t the only answer to being more active. What you think is fun might count, too, as long as it involves some sort of physical activity every day, like tennis, gardening, or walking your dog.
Being more active helps you lower your risks for heart disease, stroke, and some cancers, according to the Mayo Clinic. Even a small amount of activity “can cut the risk of premature death by 20-30%,” NHS Choices tells us.
Sleep More and Better
You may already know you should try to get more sleep every night. And some tips, such as developing a routine for getting to bed on time, just aren’t possible. We are well aware of what you have to accomplish in a day.
But you can avoid caffeine and alcohol in the last few hours of your day. Also, don’t schedule your physical activity for right before you go to bed: Chester County Hospital says you should finish your workout at least three hours before trying to go to sleep.
If you want to nap (because naps are glorious, aren’t they?), don’t sleep for longer than 30 minutes, says Jennifer Bright Reich of Women’s Health. You’ll go into a deeper sleep after 30 minutes, and that’s when you wake up with that groggy feeling.
Choose Well-Fitted Apparel
You may think comfort is everything, and in some ways it is, but the best way to choose clothing is by fit. Reich points out bra straps that are too thin or tight may cause pain in your upper body and tension headaches, so be willing to invest in a good bra and find a store where you can have it fitted.
While we’re talking fit and investment, don’t forget about your feet. The appropriate shoe will help alleviate any problems you have in your feet, such as flat or high arches. You can even find orthopedic flip flops or ballet flats with arch support. Don’t go for heels any taller than 2 inches; anything taller stresses joints.
Oh, and since we’re on the subject of fitness, find appropriate protective gear, too, such as a helmet. Make sure it is approved by a certifying organization in the sport you participate in.
Deal With Stress
Stress doesn’t just change your personality. It also depresses your immune system so you’re more likely to get sick. And when our lives are disrupted by a virus, we get even more stressed. Or, even worse, we refuse to rest at home and pass it on to others while making ourselves even sicker.
And you aren’t doing yourself any good long-term. NHS Choices says, “If left unchecked, stress can lead to further health problems such as high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.”
See Your Doctor
Any time you believe something may be wrong, go to your physician. It doesn’t matter if you just don’t feel like yourself or notice an unusual lump or mark in your skin, it’s best to find out what may be wrong as soon as possible. This gives you the most opportunity for a successful treatment. Take the time for routine screenings while you’re at it.
Do you already have a chronic health condition such as heart disease or diabetes? Be sure to follow the treatment plan your doctor gives you.
Limit Your Vices
The Mayo Clinic also tells us we shouldn’t drink more than one alcoholic beverage a day. If you do, you’re actually increasing your chances for breast, liver, and other cancers. Additionally, drinking affects your heart and gives you a higher likelihood of developing a stroke.
Quit smoking, too, and avoid situations where you’re exposed to secondhand smoke.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
Sunscreen is a necessity any time you go outside. We know you think, “It’s the middle of winter” or “I’ll only be out a few minutes,” but you still get a lot of UV exposure. Your skin isn’t the only part of your body affected, either. Find a pair of sunglasses with 100% UV protection built into the lenses to keep from burning your eyes.
This doesn’t mean you have to live with pasty skin. There are lots of great sunless tanning sprays and lotions, and even the most effective sunglasses come in fashionable designs.
Take Care of Your Skin and Hair
Take some time to pamper your skin and hair. Whether you choose to purchase creams and lotions from the store or create your own DIY versions, moisturizers help ward off UV rays and protect your skin from the cracks and dryness that allow viruses and bacteria to enter your body.
Another way to help your skin is by adding a filter to your showerhead. Reich says the chlorine in your tap water can remove moisture, which means the money you spent on skin moisturizers just literally went down the drain, and make skin conditions worse.
Change Your Outlook
While the world seems to go back and forth on the benefits of a “positive attitude,” Reich points out we do know people who always look for the worst tend to be more sickly and don’t live as long as those with sunnier dispositions.
One way to do so is by learning new practical skills. You’ll build self-esteem because you’re able to rely on yourself more than others.
A Healthier You
Don’t be overwhelmed by the “latest and greatest.” We want you to be a better you, so try these simple tips for a good base to a healthy lifestyle, mind, body and sole!