Women are notorious for constantly putting themselves last in their own lives. It’s no surprise, really, because we’re constantly bombarded with movies and TV shows and even ads where women martyr themselves for their family and their work.
It’s time to change the storyline.
Ladies, your health is the most important thing in your life. Everyone you love wants you to be healthy and well, but no one is going to drop everything and make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. It’s up to you.
When we talk about wellness and good health, we’re not just talking about getting all your shots or keeping away from people who are ill. Good health means more than just avoiding getting ill; it’s about feeling capable, strong, and able to focus on your daily life. Here are the 5 pillars to physical wellness that every woman needs to pay attention to, every day.
For a lot of women, exercise is strongly connected to losing weight. Although it’s important that you maintain a healthy weight for your height and body type, exercise goes way beyond getting skinny or losing your cellulite.
When you live an active lifestyle, you’ll feel better and move better. You’ll be able to concentrate better at work, sleep better at night, and pick up your child without feeling like you’re about to pass out. Regular exercise of any sort keeps your joints lubricated and your hormones in place.
You don’t have to be able to run a marathon or bench press your own body weight, but you do need to be able to keep up with your toddler, carry groceries, or play with your kids at the beach without getting puffed out.
#strongnotskinny is a very popular hashtag on Instagram, and if you head that way you’ll find a lot of inspiration from women who are focusing on their physical health instead of the way they look.
Once you’ve had a baby, you know that sleep deprivation really is torture! The thing is, a lot of women are still deprived of sleep long after their baby is sleeping through the night.
Your body needs sleep to recharge your mental and physical batteries. A lack of sleep can:
- Make you sluggish and slow to react
- Make it hard for you to focus properly at work or your studies
- Affect your appetite and your metabolism, encouraging weight gain
- Impact on your mental health, making you more prone to anxiety and depression
- Affect your mood, making you irritable and snappy with the people you love
We know that getting a good night’s sleep can be easier said than done, but there are some steps you can take to improve the odds that you’ll sleep well tonight:
- Don’t eat a heavy meal or drink too much alcohol within a couple of hours of going to bed
- Establish a regular sleep routine, where you go to bed at more or less the same time every night and carry out the same pre-sleep activities. This helps your body prepare melatonin, the sleep hormone, at the right time so you’ll fall asleep quickly instead of tossing and turning for hours.
- Try not to nap for too long during the day, even if you’re tired, because it’s make it harder for you to fall asleep at night
- Do what you can to make your bedroom a good place to sleep. Fit blackout-blinds or heavy curtains to make the room dark; adjust your heat or air conditioning so that the room is the right temperature; and invest in good quality pillows and bedding.
Watch What You Eat
Remember, you are what you eat! Fast food and meals that are high in salt, sugar, and saturated fats might taste good and give you an energy boost in the short term, but in the long term they are damaging for your body.
Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that you have to eat nothing but salad. It just means that you need to eat a balanced diet that includes:
- Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for vital minerals, vitamins, and nutrients
- Whole grains for the fiber that promotes heart health and a healthy digestive system
- Lean protein that your body needs to build muscle and heal injuries
Pay Attention to Your Drinks
It’s not just about what you eat; it’s also about what you drink. We know just how tempting it is to swig Coke or energy drinks when you feel like you need a buzz, but unless you’re running a marathon, you really don’t need them.
Soft drinks are full of ingredients that are poison for your body, like processed sugar. Instead, drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and flush out toxins. If you don’t like the taste you can drink some of the many flavored waters out there. Fruit drinks are good too, but they can contain a lot of hidden sugar so tread carefully.
While we’re talking about what you drink, you should also watch your alcohol consumption. A beer at the end of the day or a couple of whiskies at the weekend is totally fine, but don’t overdo it. Alcohol is a toxin that can affect your metabolism, ruin your sleep, and impact your judgement.
Cut Down On Stress
Yeah, we do know that life is stressful and that telling you to cut down on stress is a lot easier said than done. If you can do anything to remove areas of stress from your life, like changing jobs to somewhere closer to home so that your commute is shorter, or cutting a harmful relationship out of your life, you should do so.
Stress can have a physical effect on your health, causing headaches, muscle cramps, an upset stomach, insomnia, and more.
If you can’t remove stressful events from your life, you can improve the way that you react to them. If you’re like most women, you probably tend to obsess over stressful events and talk them over and over, trying to find a way that you could have done better. This only raises your stress levels because you keep on thinking about the stressful event. It’s better to try to move on and place it behind you.
Take some time to think about what helps you to relax and get rid of stress. It might be a long bath and a glass of wine, or a 5-mile run, or some time to sit and read your favorite magazine. Then build it into your daily schedule so that you have some stress-relief time every day.
This self-care time is vital for your mental and physical health, so don’t let anyone tell you that it’s a waste of time, not even your inner critic!
Now you know what you need to do to maintain your physical wellness, it’s time for the really hard part: putting it into practice. Let us know below what your secret tips are for physical wellness!