Have you ever noticed a woman, regardless of age, who lights up the room with energy as soon as she enters? You might wonder why she’s so vibrant, how she manages to glow like that, or wish you moved with such purpose, but seemingly with no effort at all.
Even though a few health factors are largely out of our control—such as genetic conditions—there are many healthy habits that you can adopt that have a direct and measurable impact on your body and mind. Here are ten healthy habits for women to embrace…
Be Proactive With Your Health
As women age it seems we are expected to undergo annual screenings for just about everything—cervical cancer, breast cancer, etc. However, while some screenings are definitely worth your time, women who take the time to research their health and get to know their own bodies are able to make more informed calls and decisions when it comes to health. For instance, being pro-active with self breast and mole examinations will often catch a problem early and in the interim if it arises.
Exercise With Passion
We all know that it’s important to exercise. However, it turns out begrudgingly going to the gym vs. attending your favorite fitness class with fervor makes a big difference when it comes to women’s health. For instance, women who discover an exercise regime that they love—for me that’s hot yoga, running, and spin class—and approach it positively and regularly are healthier all around.
Monitor Alcohol Consumption
Did you know that alcohol affects women more extremely than it does men? Not only are women more likely to suffer liver damage, cardiovascular issues, and hypertension worse than their male counterparts and even if they imbibe only 3 drinks per day or 7 per week—women are also more prone to suffering serious injuries, i.e., collisions and falls, due to regular rounds of over-consumption.
Friendships With Other Women
Multiple women’s studies tie close friendships among women with better health and longer life. In fact, when researchers studied the social ties and survival rates of women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer (the study appeared in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, March 2006); they noted that those who were socially isolated were more likely to succumb to the disease. Additional studies credit women with stronger bonds to better cognitive ability and longevity.
Make Time For Sleep
Sleep is detrimental to so many factors for women—energy, immune health, stress levels, cognitive function, etc.—which is why women who make a point to get 8 hours of sleep per night are healthier in the long run. And a 2007 National Sleep Foundation study backs up this claim, showing that the 3 out of 10 women who get adequate sleep each night have higher-quality waking hours.
Go Chemical Free
While men are affected by chemicals in hygiene and beauty products, women tend to use more of them, more frequently. Unfortunately, if you don’t opt for chemical free, non-toxic products, you could be slathering your body with a mixture of artificial colors, chemical ingredients, and endocrine disruptors (i.e., pthlatates and BPA) that can cause cancer and other health conditions with long-term use. On the other hand, healthier women read labels and opt for non-chemical products.
Eat With Purpose
While eating a balanced diet at any stage of life—child, teen, adult, senior—is a good rule to live by, what you eat at different stages of life does matter. For instance, a healthy woman in her 20s requires different levels of nutrients than one in her 70s because nutritional needs change with time. Women who eat with purpose as they age do nutritional research, talk to their doctors and nutritionists about dietary needs, and change their eating habits in different stages of their lives, i.e., pregnancy and menopause.
Safe Sex is a Must
With a prevalence of new sexually transmitted diseases growing in the U.S. each year (the number is up to 19 million infected annually) sex, women know that staying healthy means using precautions by using condoms when engaging in sexual activity. Women who don’t take precautions are at risk for more serious health problems associated with STD infections.
Take a Meditative Moment
Women, often more so than men, realize the mind and body are closely linked. This is why meditation is largely practiced by women. Now, you don’t have to undergo traditional meditation with the lights low and candles burning—your daily moment of meditation can be a walk in the park or lying on the beach to clear your mind of stress. However you choose to meditate will largely benefit your heart, lower your blood pressure, and improve your brain function.
Always Apply Sunscreen
There are dual benefits of applying sunscreen at the beach and before going out for a run. While dermatologists recommend daily sunscreen application to prevent wrinkles, age-concerned women who wear a powerful SPF sun block are potentially preventing melanoma, the most common form of cancer in young women.