Women today face unique challenges related to their health and well-being. As they strive to live longer and healthier lives, they also face new daily risks that can affect their quality of life.
To combat these issues, women need a comprehensive approach to wellness that isn’t just about living longer but having a better and healthier life. Aside from seasonal changes in diet and exercise, many other lifestyle factors contribute to good health.
This article will help you understand how your lifestyle choices impact your health and longevity and how you can achieve your goals for optimal health through lifestyle changes, prevention, and education over the years. But before you achieve your best health, let’s first know what wellness is. Read on for the insight.
What Is Wellness?
Wellness is more than just being healthy. There are many definitions of what constitutes wellness. For example, some people define wellness as good mental health, while others consider physical fitness and overall happiness. Whatever you choose, wellness is an important part of your life. But the World Health Organization (WHO) defines wellness as ‘the process of achieving optimum physical, mental, spiritual, social and personal development in harmony with nature.’ That said, it means holistic. But how can you achieve that?
The first step toward achieving wellness is understanding where you stand now. Women’s healthcare services like those at https://www.leavittwomenshealthcare.com will inform you about your health and assist in improving your overall health by addressing the aspects of your life that may be affecting your current state of wellness.
How Can I Improve My Overall Wellness?
As a woman, you already know how important it is to eat right and exercise. However, you also need to be sure you’re doing everything possible to improve your overall well-being. Here are nine ways to increase your level of wellness:
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential to maintain a healthy body. The National Sleep Foundation mentions that adults should sleep at least seven hours each night. If you don’t get enough night’s sleep, you could suffer fatigue, depression, weight gain, memory loss, and even heart disease.
Getting adequate sleep will give you energy throughout the day, keep you alert, and allow you to function better. It’s also vital for women to get enough rest, especially during pregnancy. Lack of sleep can lead to premature labor, miscarriage, and low birth weight in babies.
If you find that you’re not sleeping well, try these tips to improve your quality of sleep:
- Keep your room cool and dark.
- Avoid caffeine after noon.
- Try going to bed earlier than usual.
- Create a relaxing environment before bedtime.
- Use relaxation techniques to calm your nerves before falling asleep.
2. Eat Right
Eating right is one of the essential steps to improving your overall wellness. Eating nutritious foods strengthens your immune system, prevents cancer, boosts energy, and helps you lose weight.
Here are simple tips to follow when eating right:
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables: These foods contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients that help fight diseases like cancer.
- Drink lots of water: Water flushes toxins out of your body, helping you look and feel healthier.
- Limit saturated fats: Saturated fat increases cholesterol levels, which can cause clogged arteries and cardiovascular problems. To combat this, choose unsaturated fats such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, and fish.
3. Stay Active
Exercise is another crucial step toward improving overall wellness as you age because it strengthens your bones, muscles, joints, and heart. Regular physical activity also lowers your blood pressure and improves your mood.
You don’t have to join a gym class or spend thousands of dollars on expensive equipment to start exercising. Start with something small, like walking around the block once or twice weekly. As you become fitter, you’ll want to add strength training exercises to your routine. So, take it one step at a time and start engaging in more strenuous workouts if you can.
4. Manage Stress
As you age, you get exposed to many roles and responsibilities that could bring problems and stress you out. Stress affects everyone differently, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed, stress management may be just what you need to improve your overall wellness.
Stress causes your body to release hormones that affect your brain and nervous system. When stressed, your body releases adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine, chemicals that can cause headaches, insomnia, anxiety, and more.
To manage stress effectively, try these strategies:
- Practice deep breathing. Deep breaths relax your mind and body, reducing stress and allowing you to focus on the present moment.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity reduces stress by releasing endorphins in your brain, making you happier and calmer.
5. Get Help From A Doctor
Another secret to maintaining good health is to visit your doctor regularly. Your doctor can check your vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, pulse), examine your skin, listen to your lungs, and test your reflexes. Your doctor can also diagnose illnesses and prescribe medications for early prevention.
In addition, your doctor can recommend tests to monitor your progress. For example, they might suggest having an ultrasound to detect fetal abnormalities or a mammogram to screen for breast cancer.
6. Take Time To Pamper Yourself
Taking time to pamper yourself is essential for maintaining your overall wellness. Treatments such as massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and hair styling can make you feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally.
You can treat yourself well in many ways without spending money. Try taking a warm bath, reading a book, listening to music, or meditating. You could even take up new classes or hobbies like painting, sculpture, or knitting.
7. Beware Of Your Environment
Another factor affecting your overall wellness is how you live in your environment. If the nature of your work requires long hours at a desk, you may suffer back pain, neck strain, and other aches and pains. Spending most of your day sitting may develop obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more.
To avoid environmental factors that negatively impact your health, consider moving to a healthier place to live. Or, if you must remain in your current location, try changing your habits.
For instance, if you sit all day, get up every hour to stretch and walk around. Avoid eating unhealthy snacks while watching TV or using a computer; instead, eat when you’re hungry and stand up frequently throughout the day.
8. Connect With Others
You’re not alone. Many people struggle with their weight, depression, and other issues. Connecting with others who share similar struggles, you can learn about healthy living and find support.
Join a local organization that offers free counseling services. Also, talk to friends and family members about your concerns. They can help you identify unhealthy behaviors and provide advice on improving your lifestyle.
Every once in a while, go out for dinner with a friend. It’s fun to catch up and enjoy each other’s company. Doing so will give you something to look forward to and help you stay motivated.
Studies mention that having close relationships leads to better health and well-being. So, connect with someone you care about.
9. Educate Yourself About Healthy Living
Lastly, it’s never too late to start learning about healthy living. Read books, magazines, and websites to educate yourself about nutrition, fitness, and disease prevention.
If you want to lose weight, read articles about dieting and exercise. Find information on how to prepare nutritious meals and snacks. Learn what foods and diets are good for your health and which ones aren’t. In the long run, educating yourself about healthy living will benefit you in countless ways.
Why Is Wellness Important?
There are several reasons why wellness is so important for women of all ages, including the following:
1. Prevents Diseases
It helps prevent disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading cause of death in the United States is caused by chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. The report shows that six out of every 10 Americans have these conditions, but they can be prevented or delayed if you take steps to maintain your health. So, caring for your health is crucial to avoid these chronic diseases and continuing to enjoy life.
2. Gives More Independence
First, it helps you maintain your independence as you age. You may have heard stories about older adults who become depressed or lonely because they can’t do things like walk upstairs or get out of bed without help. These problems often result from poor health. You can avoid becoming dependent on other people by taking care of yourself.
3. Leads To A Fuller Life
Second, wellness allows you to enjoy life fully. When you’re feeling healthy, you can participate in activities such as playing sports, hiking, swimming, gardening, dancing, volunteering, spending time with family and friends, or doing crafts. If you feel bad physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, you won’t be able to take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities available to you.
4. Equates To Peace Of Mind
Third, wellness gives you peace of mind. Many people worry about getting sick or dying. They fear losing control over their bodies and minds. But you can reduce your risk of illness and injury by staying fit and active. And if something does happen, you’ll recover faster.
5. Results To Happiness
Wellness makes you happier. Studies show that people exercising regularly tend to be less stressed, calmer, and more optimistic. Exercise improves mood by increasing your brain’s serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine levels. Plus, it reduces stress hormones and increases oxygen flow to your muscles. All of this means that you’re more likely to experience positive emotions.
6. Makes A Happy Spirit
Finally, wellness has a direct impact on your spirit. When you feel good physically, mentally, and emotionally, you’re more likely to develop a positive outlook on life. You’re more likely to appreciate the little things in life, which leads to greater contentment.
Healthy living doesn’t happen overnight. But by following these nine essential tips, you’ll be on your way to feeling great. Start early and continue working toward achieving optimal wellness. You may not experience immediate results, but you’ll notice positive changes in your life over time.