When it comes to our health, most of us already know the things we ought to do, because it’s largely a matter of common sense, but of course, sometimes we’re our own worst enemies when it comes to staying healthy. We stay up too late, we eat things we know are bad for us, and sometimes we lie on the couch watching TV for hours on end. There’s not much point in feeling guilty for little weaknesses – it’s far better to do something positive about it instead, and it’s never too late to start.
There are four main areas to concentrate on:
Eating right. A good, balanced diet is the key to healthy nutrition – ideally one that’s low on carbs and sugar and high in vegetables and fruit. Quantity counts here as well, and eating too little can be as bad for you as eating too much. A vegetarian diet is great, but if you do drop meat (or anything else) from your diet, you may find you need to add some supplements as well. Alcohol is also fine, provided it’s in moderation. As with all advice given here, consult your doctor if you have any doubts or questions.
Sleeping right. Most of us simply don’t get enough sleep. Recent studies suggest we should all be getting a full eight hours a night. It’s all too easy to take your phone or tablet device into the bedroom, but it’ll keep you awake longer, and light emanating from those electronic screens can badly affect your sleep if left on all night. That goes for television too! Try reading a book last thing at night instead – it will help send you off to sleep more easily. If your bed is giving you back trouble, it’s probably time to invest in a new, firm mattress.
Exercise. Taking regular light exercise is obviously important to stay fit, but that doesn’t mean you have to join a gym, or even do set exercises at a set time. Leave the car at home and do some walking, or jogging. Turn exercise into fun. Go for a swim, or take up aerobics, or Pilates, or dancercise, or yoga. Why not try them all?
Relaxation. In a stress-filled world, it’s important to set aside some time to unwind and let all your problems drop away for a while. Perhaps you enjoy meditation, or a trip to a spa, or perhaps you’d rather spend some quality social time chatting with your friends. Everybody needs a little ‘me’ time – as long as you don’t overdo it.
There are some aspects of health that affect only women, and it should go without saying that breast examination and regular trips to your gynecologist are things that should never be neglected. However, the biggest changes to a woman’s body undoubtedly come with the arrival of pregnancy.
At that point every aspect of your life will start to change, and most of that will be health-related. There will be foods you’re no longer allowed to eat, and forms of exercise that you’ll no longer be able to indulge in, while at the same time you’ll be encouraged to add new foods to your diet and discover new forms of gentle exercise. This is, of course, because everything you now eat or do affects your baby’s health as well as your own.
You’ll also be given so much information and advice about pregnancy that’ll you’ll probably feel overwhelmed by it. All your friends will share their stories of pregnancy and childbirth with you, but don’t let any of it bother you – though they undoubtedly mean well, their pregnancies are almost certainly different from your own, because each one is unique.
Here’s a handy guide on how to follow all the changes that are happening to your body and that of your growing baby in your pregnancy week by week. Of course, childbirth itself is a whole huge health area on its own, but by the time you get there you’ll have a far better idea of what you’re about to face.
After that you may find you’ve got your hands full for a few years as you deal with caring for a young child, but someday middle age and old age will eventually bring you their own health issues to be dealt with. These changes will come at their own pace, and it’s usually a slow one. Just take life one day at a time, and try to enjoy it.
Find a Treatment that Suits You
With any health issue, your doctor should always be the first person you consult, but there are other avenues that may help.
Evidence suggests that some alternative medical treatments can work well – but it’s also true that some don’t. For example, Homeopathy has been largely debunked by science in recent years, and there are claims that even Vitamin C is valueless when it comes to treating the common cold – although there are still many who swear that it does help.
That’s a common aspect of alternative medicines and therapies – some treatments work for some people, but not for others. This may be simply due to the placebo effect. That’s not to say that these treatments are worthless, because placebos do seem to be very effective on many occasions.
When it comes to massage and aromatherapy however, enjoy it, and reap the benefits: a good massage will nearly always make you feel better!
Maintain your health
It is, of course, important to have regular health and dentist check-ups to maintain your health, and if there’s anything health-related that’s causing you concern, get it checked out. It’s far better to know the truth – and have your mind put at rest – than keep on worrying. Most worry is needless, and can impact on your health through sleepless nights, or nervous exhaustion. Conversely, a positive mental attitude can make a massive difference to your general well being.
If you do have any kind of medical problem, it’s important to discuss it with others – not only your health professional, but also your husband and family, or a close friend that you can confide in. Don’t keep things to yourself.