Female Fitness 101
In today's busy and connected world, it’s difficult to find time to take care of yourself. However, your health matters, and putting it on the back burner could eventually lead to major issues. Feel your best and start paying attention to your health today. Here are some easy tips from Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group to keep your body in tip-top shape.
Step to It
Booking time to exercise can be a struggle. We need two and a half hours of exercise a week to stay healthy. Looking at your calendar, finding a free block of two and a half hours may seem impossible, but you can always split up your exercise into tiny bursts to make it more manageable. Scheduling 30 minutes each day for five days to exercise is one way to break it down, or you can make each portion even shorter. Park your car in the farthest parking spot and walk across the lot to your destination. Take the long way through the mall to your favorite shop. Rather than meet a friend for coffee, take a stroll through the park together. Ditch the elevator and take the stairs. Frequent short walks will add up before you know it!
We all know we should be eating well—plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean proteins, leafy greens—but putting it into practice can be hard. A simple test involves taking a look at your plate at every meal. At least half of the plate should be fruits and veggies, preferably fresh, instead of canned or dried. When faced with meals prepared by others—boxed lunches at a conference or a catered buffet at a board meeting—choose carefully. Is your boxed lunch sandwich stuffed with deli meat and condiments, both of which are high in sodium? Consider going for the vegetarian option. Does your buffet include sauces and gravies with its dishes? Stick to the vegetables and lean meats, and leave the cheesy sauce and creamy gravy behind.
Mind Your Mental Health
When it comes to mental health, women are at a disadvantage. While 18.1 percent of American adults across the board suffer a mental illness, the percentage is 21.8 for women. Women are 60 percent more likely than men to experience an anxiety disorder at some point during their lifetimes. For these reasons, women have to be vigilant about taking care of their mental health. Talk about any stress or sadness you experience with a friend or family member and brainstorm calming activities. Make relaxation a priority, and find time to practice a hobby you find calming. If your stress, sadness, or any other troubling emotion seems constant or overwhelming, visit your primary care physician and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist.
While staying fit through exercise and eating right reduces your risk for cancer, it’s still important to be tested regularly. The American Cancer Society recommends women receive a mammogram every year starting at age 40, then every two years after age 54 unless otherwise advised by a physician. If you have a family history of breast cancer or worrying symptoms, ask your doctor about when you should begin having mammograms. Between ages 21 and 65, women should receive a pap smear regularly to test for cervical cancer. Talk to your OB/GYN about how often you should be tested for cervical cancer, and if there are any other cancer screenings he or she recommends.
Implementing small changes every day can help you stay healthy. Empower yourself through overall wellness. Find the perfect OB/GYN at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group.