The information highway on health and wellness has never been busier with tips on eating more fruits and vegetables. And, of course we all know the importance of physical exercise. The fact of the matter is information does not necessarily translate into behavior change for us to be healthy and fit.
There is also the pressure influenced by the fashion and movie world of glitz, glamour and beauty, which is not realistic for many to achieve. Luckily for those of us who remain conservative, the Health and Wellness Industry is presenting us with a menu of choices which include healthful eating, physical activities, and therapies to overcome tobacco and alcohol addiction, tips for good oral and mental health.
We salute the cosmetic industry and the scientists who work tirelessly to formulate skin products which promise to banish the wrinkles, tone the skin and give eyes and lip a rejuvenated appearance. The quest to try so many anti-aging products may be costing some of us a lot of our hard earned cash.
It is important for health and wellness practitioners to use the life course and gender approach in addressing health and fitness programs, one size does not fit all.
Changes in the female body as she matures
These changes affect:
2. Bone density
3. Increased risk for cardiovascular diseases
4. Increased risk for certain cancers
Mental Health and Wellbeing
The hormonal changes also affect a woman’s psychological and emotional well-being. Many women describe a roller-coaster experience with their emotions around the time of her menses.
Professional women are trying to balance taking care of their families and working to earn a living. Oftentimes she is neglecting her own health and wellbeing. The healthcare system offers women specific services to respond to her health issues.
The key risk factors that contribute to the chronic diseases (heart disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases and cancers) actually start in our youthful year:
• Unhealthy eating
• Physical inactivity
• Harmful use of alcohol
Effective public policies have helped to reduce the exposure of women to social and environmental risk that have been shown to increase the risk of diseases. The policy on smoke-free spaces reduces the risk of exposure to second hand smoking. The HPV vaccine is reducing the risk of developing cervical cancer from the human papilloma virus.
Early detection of the following diseases improves the outcome and longevity of women:
o Breast cancer
o Cardiovascular diseases
o Cervical cancer
o Colon cancer
Tips for achieving and maintaining Health and Fitness
It is never too late to start a Health and Fitness program. The benefits will
boost the health and wellness of the entire body systems and mental well-being.
1. If you are healthy and fit consider reviewing your program with a health and fitness instructor.
2. Consult your physician about being screened for chronic non-communicable diseases including cancers. Risks you may have and family history of disease will help to determine how often you should be screened especially for breast, cervical, colon and skin cancers.
3. Women diagnosed with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases must discuss with the doctor whether they are well enough to engage in certain types of physical activity.
4. The physical therapist can assess the condition of your limbs and joints and prescribe the exercises that are helpful and safe.
5. Consult a nutritionist for advice on a healthy eating plan. Like exercise, the healthy eating plan should be individualized taking into consideration whether there is a need for weight loss.
Be patient with your efforts and do have a buddy system to support you for every small step you make towards achieving your goal of an optimal health and fitness.