Many women put the health and welfare of others before their own, so forming a healthy lifestyle allows them to care for everyone without personal sacrifice. Taking care of your personal needs also sets a good example for family members and creates opportunities to share in positive pursuits. Mealtimes, physical activities, rest and relaxation all offer chances for women to make healthy choices.
Weight Management and Diet
Women tend to store fat more readily than men. The Office of the Surgeon General reports that staying at a healthy weight reduces your risk for illnesses such as depression, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer. Instead of getting caught in a risky cycle of weight gain and crash dieting, follow a balanced diet daily. Eat more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, lean meats, seafood and fewer foods with high levels of cholesterol, saturated fat and trans fat.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that you can increase the health benefits to your heart, lungs, bones and muscles with more exercise. Exercise also contributes to weight management. Find a walking partner, take an aerobics class or indulge your interest in sports. A good maintenance program includes 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity daily, plus weight training or working out with elastic bands twice a week.
Women who stay busy with work and family matters may skip relaxation time, allowing stress hormones to take over and create health problems. Unrelieved stress can cause depression, overeating, skin irritation and menstrual disorders. Stress control can be as simple as taking regular quiet time alone. A daily routine of stretching, yoga, Pilates or a weekly phone date with a friend represent healthy ways to blow off steam.
Sleep is another area where many women get short-changed, especially those with young children. If you find yourself becoming forgetful or binging on snacks, you might need more sleep. The National Sleep Foundation notes that unbroken sleep lasting seven to nine hours aids in memory processes and appetite control, as well as replenishes the body's energy stores for the next day's activity.