Being and staying healthy can be a challenge for anyone in today’s hectic and demanding world. But a woman who’s working outside the home is often facing an even greater challenge: she needs to stay healthy while also juggling a career, meeting the needs of her family, and managing everyday chores like grocery shopping and maintaining the home.
And she has to do all of it with minimal or no help. What’s a working woman to do? First, let’s talk about what ingredients in life are vital for good health:
|Include more and more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet|
Sounds simple enough. But there’s more than what you see on the surface.
We all have to eat to live. But what we eat is important, too, or we compromise the quality of our health. The foods we choose to eat should be nourishing and provide the energy we need to function without excessive calories, sugar, or sodium. And it should taste good and look good, too, or we won’t want to eat it.
Tip: Keep healthy, tasty foods handy for quick breakfasts on the run or energy-renewing snacks during the day. Stock up on fresh fruit, single-sized servings of low-fat yoghurt and packets of nuts and dried fruit.
Tip: Make the evening meal as simple and nutritious as possible. Plan ahead so you can have fresh ingredients on hand at home during the work week. For instance, a good—and quick—supper could be broiled, lightly seasoned salmon fillet, a baked potato and a salad.
Getting a good night’s sleep is more important than most people realize. It’s while we sleep that the body—and the brain—repair and re-energize themselves. We can’t be healthy without enough rest.
Tip: Get up each morning and go to bed each night at the same time, even on weekends. Shoot for 7-8 hours of lights-out. Your body will get used to the routine and you’ll almost always get adequate sleep.
Tip: Sleep in a cool, dark room without distractions. Leave the television, computer, tablets and phone in the other room so that when you go to bed, there’s nothing stimulating your brain when what it really needs is to relax into sleep.
This is a tough one. It’s hard to make time for exercise when your day is already bursting at the seams. But to be healthy enough to handle everything you have to do with flair, exercising your body and keeping it strong is vital. Try for at least a half-hour of some sort of exercise every day.
Tip: Use 15 minutes of your lunch hour for a brisk walk. Breathe deep and walk with purpose. Exercise your facial muscles while you’re at it, too: smile! You’ll be amazed at how combining walking with smiling can lift your spirits.
Tip: Use five minutes two or three times a day to do some gentle stretching exercises at your desk. If you spend your day gazing at a computer, use these small breaks to look into the distance to rest your eyes.
Tip: Look into taking a yoga, tai chi, or other type of exercise class two or three times a week after work. Take another 15-minute walk. Or purchase an exercise DVD and use it at home.
All human beings, whether they’re children, adults or in between, need time each day to stop working, relax and have a little fun. It’s as vital for mental health as it is for physical health. Watch a good movie, play a video game, do crossword puzzles or crochet, but do something that just for you—and that you can do with joy.
For more information about a healthy lifestyle, click here.
Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer. Under the pen-name “Wren,” she also writes a blog about living well with rheumatoid arthritis called RheumaBlog. In her spare time, Vandever enjoys cooking, reading and working on the Great American Novel.
· Fitness and Nutrition. (2008, June 17) WomensHealth.gov. Office on Women’s Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved February 27, 2014 from http://womenshealth.gov/fitness-nutrition/index.html
· Women’s Health. (n.d.) Academy of Nutrition and Diatetics. Retrieved on February 27, 2014 from http://www.eatright.org/Public/landing.aspx?TaxID=6442451995
By Leslie Vandever