Women’s wellness tips read like an overachiever’s to-do list. Get up early. Work out. Drink more water. Eat more vegetables. Spend time outdoors. Wear sunscreen. Play with your kids. Schedule coffee with a friend. Volunteer. Go on a date night with your husband. Oh, and sleep eight hours a night because you have time for that in the midst of all the other stuff.
Just thinking about trying to live a healthy life can give you anxiety, so many of us just don’t do anything. For Women’s Health Month, we’re giving you a gift, permission not to do it all. The truth is that a few small changes in your life can have a big impact on your health. Here’s where to start when you’re ready.
- Stop smoking. If you don’t do anything else on this list (or any other list for that matter), do this one. It includes vaping and e-cigarettes too. Your body starts to heal just hours after your last cigarette. Smoking increases your risk for all the wrong things like heart attack, stroke, and cancer. If you’ve never smoked, don’t start now.
- Drink more water. Here’s a simple step that makes a big difference. Water improves digestion and circulation, aids in weight loss, increases energy, and prevents muscle cramps. Regardless of your age, drinking more water should top the list of your health goals.
- Eat Healthy. So this one’s a little harder. We’re not talking about crash diets or depriving yourself of treats. And some weeks you’re going to see the fast food drive through more times than you want. We get it. But what if you included one different vegetable into your regular schedule of meals every week? What if instead of chips with that sandwich you ate a simple caprese salad of tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella? A few other small changes like reducing the amount of salt, sugar, or processed foods in your meals can put you on the road to eating healthy. Make one change each week to add something more natural to your menu. Your body will thank you.
- Be physically active. Between work and driving kids to ball practice, who has time for a stroll around the neighborhood much less an hour in the gym? The ultimate goal would be to walk around the park while your child practices ball or swap an hour of night time television for a walk or bike ride through your neighborhood. If these feel like a stretch for you, start with something simple like exercises while you work. Set a timer to get up every hour and walk around your home or office. Find a few exercises you can do at your desk. Ten minutes three times a day gives you a full thirty-minute work out. You can do that.
- Schedule your yearly check-up. Hey, it’s another easy one. You can request an appointment with us through text, our website, or by calling the clinic. We’re open until 7 p..m. during the week, and we accept walk-ins. If you have insurance, your policy likely covers a yearly wellness check-up so no excuses.
- Find time for friends and family. Relationships add quality to our lives, and they don’t have to be another to-do on the list. In fact, you can add the people in your life to almost any of these ideas. Create a challenge with friends to see who can drink their allotted amount of water every day or meet a friend for a walk while your kids are at ball practice. Find the time and the people, your mental and physical health will thank you.
Staying on top of your health can feel like a full-time job. We won’t lie to you. It takes being intentional. You won’t get healthy eating chips in front of the television every night. But you can do this. One small step at a time.
And we’re here for you. Get your health on the right track with a wellness exam with one of our nurse practitioners today.