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10 Tips for Feeling Better Now: Women’s Health Week

Friday, May 18, 2012

 

Take advantage of National Women's Health Week to use these easy tips to take better care of yourself. Photo: 666isMONEY/flickr.

Women frequently leave their own health and well-being at the end of a long list of daily priorities and obligations. In honor of National Women's Health Week this week (and this year's theme, "It's Your Time"), Dr. Peg Miller, director of the Women’s Medicine Collaborative, has ten tips to help women put their own health on the top of their “to-do” lists.  Greg Salgueiro, MS, RD, LDN, Lifestyle Medicine Program Manager at the Women’s Medicine Collaborative assisted Dr. Miller.

Ten tips for better health

1. Know your numbers – it’s important to identify your starting point.  What is your current state of health and well-being?

2. Identify your stressors – anxiety and stress are major factors in a woman’s overall health.  Take some time to recognize where and what increases your stress.

3. Keep a food journal – the foods we put into our body have a significant impact on how we feel, how we handle stress, and our total well-being.  By writing down everything you eat, you become more aware and have a higher likelihood of making changes that stick.

4. Find ways to increase movement – the human body is designed to move.  Most of us spend large periods of time sitting or standing.  Make a conscious effort to use your muscles in new ways.  Taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking further away in parking lots really does make a difference.

5. Make it fun! Create a list of things you enjoy that are health enhancing…maybe going for a walk, dancing, taking a bath, reading a good book, relaxing in a comfortable chair while you eat a piece of fruit.  If it’s fun, you’re more likely to stick with it.

6. Simplify your thinking – get away from all or nothing concepts.  Everyone has slip-ups; that’s just part of life.  Focus on small daily steps.  Something is better than nothing.  In some cases it’s best to just focus on doing one new healthy thing every day…we can all do that.

7. Clearly define your goals – it’s hard to feel good about your new direction if you are not clear on where you are going.  What exactly is it that you want? Once you solidify your goal and are passionate about getting there, the motivation will come.

8.  Establish new health habits or rituals – now that your goal is clear and you’ve identified fun, health enhancing actions, it’s time to build them into your daily routine.  None of us needs another job or another chore, this needs to be a health enhancing habit that fits into your new healthy lifestyle.

9. Reward yourself!  As you create a new healthy lifestyle reward yourself for the steps you’ve taken.  Most woman don’t take the time to celebrate their success.  Find something to be proud of every day and design a health enhancing reward.  For example if your goal is to start a walking program, then after you’ve walked every day for 30-minutes for 2 weeks, get a massage or reward yourself with a warm bath and a good book.

10. Stay positive – too many woman quit before they even start.  We tend to let our negative thoughts talk us out of ever taking action.  Stay positive and remember, Every Woman Deserves To Be Well!

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