There are many things we can do to take care of ourselves – really the choices and ways are endless. Regardless of choice, it’s our responsibility to take care of our own health. When we do, we become happier and healthier and are able to do the things we want with vitality and energy.
But where should we start? Here are the top 7 things every woman should practice for her health and well-being each and every day!
- Listen to Your Body
Every women’s body has wisdom, and it needs to be trusted and followed. To have optimal health, you have to learn to respect your body and what SHE tells you. When you pay attention to your body, SHE will tell you when something is off or out of alignment. Noticing and sensing into your body is an essential indicator of health. When you notice you are stressed, overwhelmed, have a stomachache or generally don’t feel well, take the time to prioritize your health and listen to your body and give her what SHE needs.
- Move with Joy
You don’t have to become a gym rat to be healthy and fit. All you have to do is focus on fitting in movement throughout your day. Focus on getting 10,000 steps or 20 – 30 minutes of activity by going for a walk, tending to your garden or playing with your children. When we do, our body rewards us with a rush of feel-good endorphins which help us to balance our mood, while also us a chance to burn off excess energy and strengthen our muscles and heart. Need I say anymore? Just move your body in a way that gives you joy and doesn’t feel like a chore, and you’ll be more likely to stick with it!
- Hydrate Your Cells
In the healing tradition of Ayurveda, dehydration is highly associated with accelerated aging. Our body is made up of approximately 60% water and it’s critical that we get our cells and organs the proper amount of fluid each day. Some helpful tips are to steer away from store bought electrolyte drinks and bottled water whenever possible to avoid ingesting toxic chemicals that leach into the containers. Instead, stick with reverse osmosis water whenever possible and add some Himalayan salt or freshly squeezed juice to build your electrolyte balance.
- Get Some Shut Eye
Don’t undervalue the importance of sleep. Women are more likely to suffer from insomnia and sleep problems than men, especially as we enter into periods of our life when our hormones are in flux. Good sleep is linked to everything from weight management to improved concentration, as well as decreased risk for heart health problems and mood disorders like depression.
Aim for 7-8 hours a night and create a sleep routine that allows you to slowly decompress from your day and calms your nervous system. Refrain from eating before bed or drinking any stimulants or excessive amounts of water that may wake you up in the night.
- Eat Whole Foods
Let go of restrictive fad diets and nourish your body with whole foods instead of processed junk. If you only eat “real” foods, then you don’t have to worry about calories. Whole foods fill you up with important ingredients like fiber and micronutrients that help build and support your immune system and promote good gut health.
By sticking to whole foods, you’re also less likely to have sudden spikes in your insulin levels, keeping your hormones more level and balanced. When your hormones are working from a balanced place, you tend to have fewer food cravings which are often associated with nutrient deficiency. Eating nutrient-dense foods will leave you feeling fuller and you’re less likely to overeat or overindulge too!
- Practice Yoga & Meditation
Having a yoga and meditation practice has numerous physical benefits like decreased risk for heart disease, improved circulation and reduced inflammation, as well as mental and emotional gains. Yoga and meditation help to support you mentally by reducing your stress levels and feelings of anxiety and depression by keeping you present and focused on the NOW (the one place where stress doesn’t exist).
When you live in the present, you stay in touch with yourself instead of getting caught up in all of the motions of your day that stress you out. Staying present can also help you learn to embrace your imperfections, improve your sense of self, your body image and your connection with your spiritual side.
- Focus on Everyday Self-Care
We need to practice self-care daily to look after our physical, mental and spiritual needs. Regular self-care routines are preventative by nature, and prevention is key in terms of women’s wellness. Stay on top of your regular yearly exams and increase your knowledge on how to spot the signs and symptoms of conditions we as women are at increased risk for such as breast and uterine cancer, depression, autoimmune diseases or changes in hormones associated with our monthly cycles and menopause.