With so many responsibilities, much less amid a global pandemic, it is all too easy for women to put their health on the back burner. Despite the many responsibilities that women juggle, health professionals at Cancer Treatment Centers of America recommend taking steps to protect their health.
First, check your weight. The number on the scale alone is not always a good indicator. The goal is to find a healthy weight to help you live free of disease, according to Katherine Anderson, a naturopathic provider at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa.
She believes women need to know if their weight is healthy and can find out in multiple ways. Search for a Body Mass Index Calculator online to determine your BMI. Consider measuring your body fat with a high tech scale. Studies show 20-32% body fat is best for women's health. Or simply pull out a measuring tape and measure your waist and hip. Search for "waist to hip ratio" online to see how yours compares.
"In keeping to your best body weight, you are well on your way to preventing cancer, diabetes, orthopedic or mobility concerns, in having a healthier and happier lifestyle," Anderson said.
Next on the checklist is good nutrition:
- eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies
- drink plenty of water
- avoid processed, sugary foods
- make time to get moving
"But really, 16 minutes of exercise every day has been shown to be really helpful in achieving a healthy body weight and when we look at mood and managing stress levels, exercise can be so helpful for that as well," Anderson said.
Joining a gym is not necessary, according to Anderson. She recommends:
- playtime with kids or grandkids
- park farther away
- take the stairs instead of the elevator
"Really looking at micro-minutes, we can sometimes fit in during the day that collectively add up to more steps or movement and add up to more burning of calories than we might normally have," Anderson explained.
Finally, manage your stress by doing whatever you find relaxing. Some suggestions:
- deep breathing
- time alone in nature
"We know with stress cortisol levels go high, heart rate increases and that alone in itself over chronic periods of time can be very detrimental," Anderson added.
Finally, during the high stress of the pandemic, beware of bad choices such as overeating.
"Just think to yourself what am I hungry for? What's bothering me? What's sort of a healthy action I can take right now as well," Anderson suggested. "So, just be mindful of the different thoughts your having right now and how those lead to different actions and try to make very positive choices especially when you're under a lot of stress, which I think a lot of women have been in the last couple of months, for sure."
She advised women to make a more positive, healthy choice in the interest of better health.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.