As we age, health issues for men and women are similar. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis to name a few. As a matter of fact, heart disease now affects as many women as men. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for women around the globe. At the same time, reproductive health for American women is lower than that of nearly every other high-income country. Two to three women die of pregnancy complications every day in America. Being mindful of wellness measures is the best solution to maintaining good health.
Maintaining Health Habits
In a previous blog post, Women’s Health: The Cost of Wellness, I mention that the best solution to maintaining good health is to follow a few personal habits. That, along with regular appointments with your doctor, will allow you to feel and be well. There’s a consensus on those habits that are necessary for wellness and a long life.
The Women and Health Initiative of the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health has offered this suggestion for a healthy and long life. Studies reveal that it’s wise to follow these five habits.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Do not smoke.
The Harvard Healthy Eating Plate is an excellent resource to remind us of what healthy eating is really all about. I cannot include a link without getting written permission. However, it is easily found using Google, and I recommend it highly. After decades of unhealthy eating – too much salt, sugar, red meat, desserts and saturated fats – our society is returning to common sense good – and good for you – food. You really are what you eat.
- What do I actually eat? Your favorites go on your permanent shopping list. You don’t have to force-feed foods you hate.
- How much am I spending for groceries? Do you shop once a week? Every few days? Run to the store because “there’s nothing to eat”? Meaning nothing I like?
- Do I look and feel well? Item # 3 above fits right into this pattern. Maintaining a healthy weight is difficult. If you don’t like the way you look or feel, make some changes.
The best diet is the one that keeps you well. I don’t count calories or beat myself up if I have a gooey dessert once in a while. But I strive for balance. I eat more for breakfast and lunch, then keep dinner simple.
Where you take meals is also important. Eating at home, eating out, cooking for yourself or for others weighs in and usually changes what’s on your dinner plate and how much. Writing down what you eat is recommended by many. I don’t keep a food journal, but I give some thought to these facts.
Supplements have been a huge topic for decades, and it has pros and cons. I take a daily vitamin. Even though I eat well, sometimes I skip a meal, don’t feel well, or know my fuel is running low. My Reviews and Recommendations page has information about the vitamin I take. If you’re curious, take a look. The most important fact here is that you should get almost all of your nutrition from food.
I’m always open to ideas, questions,comments or stories from readers. Nutrition is a worthy topic for an open diaogue. Would love to hear from you.