Staying a fit and healthy woman can seem like a daunting task. With so many people saying “do this” or “don’t do that,” how do you know what advice is right and what is completely off track? Regardless of what the current health trend is, there are some basic rules you should follow every day to keep yourself fit, healthy and happy.
Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, which help combat chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Fruits and vegetables also provide a lot of fiber, which can keep you full longer, while only offering a small amount of calories.
Increase fiber intake. Fiber helps keep your bowels regular, lowers your cholesterol and helps manage your blood sugar levels. Aim to consume 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you eat.
Exercise regularly. Moderate-intensity exercises, such as jogging and swimming, that raise your heart rate can help combat heart disease and lower your blood pressure. Cardiovascular exercise also helps you manage your weight, boosts your energy and improves your mood. Exercise for 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week.
Do strength-training exercises. Cardiovascular exercise is great for your heart, but strength training helps build lean muscle mass that will allow your body to burn more calories while at rest. Aim to strength train two to three times per week.
Explore yoga. Yoga exercises your body and your mind by incorporating five types of exercise: strength training, flexibility, balance, aerobic and core. Yoga may also decrease your blood pressure, reduce stress and lead to a better mood and better sleep, according to MayoClinic.com. Practice yoga once or twice a week in addition to your regular workout routine.
Get plenty of sleep. The exact amount of sleep you need depends on several factors, but most adults require between seven and nine hours per night. Getting sleep is vital to staying fit and healthy. It improves performance and mental clarity during daily tasks. MayoClinic.com notes that getting less than seven hours of sleep per night is associated with a higher mortality rate.
Stay positive. Try to see the good in every situation and don’t focus on the negative. Positive thinkers feel better and tend to live longer, according to MayoClinic.com.
Reduce stress in your life for the health of your mind, spirit and body. Stress causes many of us to overeat, eat for comfort, avoid exercise and generally sink into depression. Meet with friends or family once a week or join community groups for interaction with others. Volunteer or help others in some way, which offers many of us rewards beyond our expectations. De-stress at the end of the day by engaging in quiet meditation for at least 20 to 30 minutes, or find a quiet place where you can soak in a tub, read or listen to music. Exercise helps relieve stress, so add it to your daily routine.