Important Health Tips for Women

We have all heard the saying, “If only I would have known then what I know now.”   While this popular phrase can be used for any given topic relating to life, it isn’t until someone makes a change in his or her own life that it is used most intently.

According to Sabrina, a 45-year old patient of Women’s Specialists of Plano, a group of gynecologists serving women’s health needs in the Plano, Frisco and Dallas, Texas area, “I have been heavier than most of my peers my whole life. For years, I didn’t eat right, I never exercised, I often stayed up late and slept in too long, and the effects of these poor living habits began to take their toll on me.”

Realizing that the youth of her 20s and 30s was long gone, Sabrina decided it was time to take control of her health, follow health tips for women and make some positive changes in her life so that the years that lie ahead could be marked with health and well-being.

“In one year, under the guidance of my gynecologist, I made small changes to my life; but these changes, as subtle as they were, made a huge impact on how I felt both physically and emotionally. By omitting salts and sugars from my diet, and implementing a regular exercise regime into my daily routine, I noticed these changes almost immediately. Aside from a 35-pound weight loss, there are so many other benefits to having a healthier lifestyle.  I never really paid attention to things like bone density, heart disease, or cancer, because when you are young, you think you are invincible. The good news is that it is never too late to change…and I’m living proof.”

Sabrina’s story is one that resonates with millions of women across America, and it is the reason why the most popular questions in a gynecologist’s office revolve around diet, exercise, and weight loss. Women’s Specialists of Plano offer the following health tips for women to help kick-start a new you:

Get a Full Physical Work-Up

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to go if you don’t know where you presently stand. Aside from the annual gynecological exam, women who are in their 40s often find that this is the time where their bodies tend to change the most. They have to work harder to fight the bulge and feel active.  This is often a good time to have a complete physical work-up from a women’s specialist physician so that any chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, or obesity can be discussed and managed.

Implement Daily Exercise

While exercise is important regardless of age, it is crucially important during the mid-life years, especially for a woman.  As the risk for certain health problems stack up, including cancers, heart disease, obesity and osteoporosis, incorporating a fitness routine that consists of aerobic activity, strengthening, stretching, and yoga can help balance life and keep the body physically fit. For women, exercise helps to regulate the menstrual cycle, and makes the transition into menopause easier to manage.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Maximum heart rate during aerobic activity is usually calculated as 225 minus your age (225 – 50 for a 50 year old = 175) and different percentages apply from that number. Women should strive to work up to 50-60% of their maximum heart rate for a warm-up activity; and attempt to reach 60-70% for a healthy, fat burning, fitness zone.

Strength training is equally important. As women age, and the estrogen in the body decreases, they naturally lose muscle mass. Strength training with simple dumbbells can be done at home, any time during the day to help build muscle and keep bones strong and healthy.

Change your Diet

It’s easy to get good diet tips by doing a simple Google search on the Internet.  Implementing a new, healthier diet, however, sometimes takes a stronger resolve.  It helps by writing down everything you eat in a day and keeping this journal close by. Eating smaller meals, 3-5 times per day, helps increase the natural metabolism.  Eating a plentiful supply of fruits and vegetables, and eating low-fat, lean meats, while avoiding salts and sugars whenever possible, will help kick start healthier eating habits. Avoiding alcohol, sugary drinks, and too much caffeine, while drinking plenty of water all day long, helps to regulate the body.

It’s important to note, that a diet that worked for you when you were 21, most likely will not work when you are 40. As you age, your metabolism naturally slows down, thus you need fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. An inactive 40-year-old woman with a normal body weight will require approx. 1,800 daily calories to maintain her weight. Any exercise that is added in will ultimately call for an increase in calories to maintain a healthy weight.

Get Your Full Daily Dose of Vitamin C and D

Vitamin C offers endless health benefits for women including common cold prevention, cancer prevention, cataract prevention for the eyes, and it is helpful in preventing heart disease and high cholesterol. Women 19 and over should be getting close to 75 mg of vitamin C a day; this can be a combination of supplements and foods such as fruits (strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwi) and vegetables (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green peppers) all of which are high in Vitamin C.

Vitamin D is also a crucial element of a healthy diet and is essential in order to maintain strong bones and muscles. Adults need to maintain approximately 600-800 IUs (International Units) of Vitamin D daily. Using supplements, those numbers could increase to 1,000 units per day. Vitamin D is found in such foods as salmon, tuna and mackerel; as well as cheeses, egg yolks, mushrooms and milk.

These health tips for women can make a huge impact on a female at any time during her life. At age 45, some women say they feel better than they did when they were 21.  You can feel great at any age, and live the best life possible by implementing these healthy tips into your everyday regime.

For additional resources on women’s health, or to learn more about health tips for women, please contact Women’s Specialists of Plano located in the Plano, Frisco and Dallas, Texas communities.

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