Top 7 Important Health Tips for Women Looking to Prevent Chronic Illnesses

October 26, 2021

woman wearing black sports bra

Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash

Longevity and good health are often associated with lifestyle choices and habits. Negative health habits typically lead to poor quality of life, while positive habits improve your chances of living longer and in much better health. 

Every woman deserves a long, healthy, and full life. But illness can get in the way of these things. For instance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths among adult women. 

Yet, if medical research has proven anything, it’s that chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other associated ailments, are often preventable. If you’re looking to prevent these illnesses, the tips in this article will help you do so. 

Pay Attention to Your Mental Health

Do you often feel anxious, depressed, stressed, or prone to panic attacks? If you do, you’re not alone. These are just a few of the various mental health issues that women deal with. 

Research has shown that 1 in 5 women experience mental health issues like depression and anxiety at some point in their lives. These can be situational, hormonal, or health-based. An example of anxiety triggered by a situation is not being able to pay your monthly bills because you do not have enough money. 

This is different from anxiety brought on by hormonal imbalance. Whatever the case, you need to pay serious attention to your state of mind. Adopt positive mental health habits that will cheer you up or make you feel better. If you have to, talk to your doctor about taking antidepressants or antianxiety medications. 

Eat Healthily

You’ve probably heard the saying that you are what you eat. This is an extremely valid statement in the sense that your food is made up of chemical compounds and nutrients. 

So if you eat foods that contain harmful chemicals like foods contaminated with pesticides, it could affect your health. There are numerous studies on the impact of pesticides on women’s health, with many leading to the development of terminal illnesses like cancer. 

Many pesticides contain known carcinogens, and can also affect your health in many other ways. If you can grow your food, by all means, do so. But, if you can’t, pay attention to the packaging of the foods you buy when you go grocery shopping. Also, always buy foods that are as close to their natural states as possible. If you can afford it, always buy organic produce from known farmers’ markets.

Eat more fruits, vegetables, lean meat, high fiber carbs, and healthy fats. Drink more water too, and cut out all soft drinks from your diet. 

Get More Exercise

You probably don’t know this, but movement is medicine. Frequent exercise will keep your heart healthy, melt off excess fat, improve insulin sensitivity, provide better brain health, regulate your hormones, and boost your energy levels. If you doubt it, pay attention to how your body feels when you start moving after sitting for longer than an hour. 

Whether you’re at work or home, endeavor to move more frequently. Exercise for at least 15-30 minutes daily. It doesn’t have to be anything grandiose. Just walking –which is a steady-state exercise- can provide good health benefits over some time. 

If you’re back at the office, you can make this easy by simply parking 15-20 minutes away from the office –that’s like 10 blocks- and walking the rest of the way to and from the office. Where you have the option of stairs, take them instead of riding the lift. Just find a simple way to incorporate more exercise into your life. 

Find Activities that Give You Joy

Do you have hobbies that make you happy and improve your emotional well-being? If you don’t, you need to find at least one hobby. This could be dancing, gardening, taking pictures, traveling, hanging out with friends, skydiving, hiking… just find something that will make you happy. 

If you don’t have any idea of what makes you happy yet, start by exploring. Pick and do one thing for a while, and see how it makes you feel. Some people find a lot of joy in helping people. If you’re like that, go and volunteer at a local group. You can also watch some comedies. 

These will make you laugh, causing your brain to flood your body with endorphins. Ultimately, women who laugh and smile more, tend to be happier, less prone to chronic ailments –partly because cortisol levels are low- and tend to live longer. 

Cut Out Bad Lifestyle Habits

Do you smoke, drink lots of alcohol, or do drugs? If you do, chances are you will soon develop one or more of the common chronic illnesses that plague women. For instance, although women generally smoke less than their male counterparts, the negative effects of that habit on women’s health are far more severe

The occasional alcohol consumption doesn’t hurt. But when consumed excessively, it can lead to liver and kidney-related ailments. As for drugs, not only do they cause some of the aforementioned conditions, but they can also cause heart attacks. 

Apart from this, they also cause addictions, as well as, an increased risk of dangerous infections like hepatitis –particularly when needles are involved.

Go for Routine Medical Checks

The average woman should go for a physical at least once a year. Health screenings for cervical and breast cancer should be done at least once a year. These general checkups will help ensure that you’re in good health. 

Even better, they’ll help spot possible illnesses earlier, thus giving you a fighting chance to start treatment on time and overcome the illness. 

Another thing to consider is seeing an eye doctor at least once a year. Doing so will ensure you can address any vision impairments sooner rather than later. But, eye tests will also detect issues such as glaucoma and diabetes.

Get Proper Sleep

Poor sleep has been linked to health conditions like high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. How much rest are you getting every night? Doctors recommend that you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. So, if you’re not, you need to do something about that. 

Stop watching TV late into the night, cut back on your caffeine consumption, take some sleep supplements, eliminate screens from your bedroom, make sure the room and bed and comfortable, eliminate exterior light sources from the bedroom and have a sleep routine.

*contributed post*

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