For every woman, understanding basic facts about your body is crucial. It is how you keep yourself both happy and healthy.
After all, many health problems become serious only after passing unknown for a large amount of time.
There is no singular issue which stands out as the most important, but rather a spectrum of issues that you should stay abreast of.
Here are some of them.
Weight gain is sort of a double edged sword, cutting deep no matter how you approach it. From an emotional level, weight gain is damaging because it affects the way that you see yourself.
Extra pounds on the scale quickly and easily transition into problems of low self-esteem. On a physical level, you are also disadvantaged, as heavy women are more likely to suffer problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Even the simple, basic task of breathing can be complicated by weight problems. The answer, of course, is weight loss – not always an easy goal, but definitely a positive one. Achieving your weight loss goals usually means mastering two important components: fitness and healthy dieting.
A high level of fitness is not easy to achieve, but it is not impossible. The best way to get fit is to create a routine for it, so that it becomes a habit. But be wary: one of the mistakes that women make, early on in establishing such a routine, is to assume that they are interchangeable between people.
However, this is not really the case; instead, it is the personalized fitness schedules that yield the greatest results. For example, just because your friend likes to run a few miles in the morning before work does not mean that you should too.
You should create a routine that fits your skill level and your availability. You should question yourself thoroughly when deciding the times and activities included, keeping in mind the pros and cons in each option. For instance: one question you might ask yourself is whether or not you want to exercise at home or in a gym.
The advantage of home is the low cost and the fact that no one can see you when you tire out after five minutes of running. The disadvantage is that it is easy to stop and plop down onto your couch when you get tired, instead of fighting the fatigue. The advantage of the gym is that you have access to a variety of tools and machinery (such as an expensive treadmill) and once you are there, it is easier to keep going than to leave, so you might end up working out much later. The disadvantage is everyone can see you and you have to share the machinery with the rest of the members.
There is no best answer to choose when it comes to working out; instead, you have to think about what will fit you best. Of course, if that starts to seem overwhelming, take a step back and relax. Remember that nothing is written in stone. If you don’t like your fitness regimen, you can always change it later.
Healthy Eating Habits
Eating well is also important to weight loss. No matter how hard you are working in the gym, you won’t lose a significant amount of pounds unless you are matching the ferocity of your workouts with incredible will power in the kitchen.
Some people make the mistake of snacking extra because they assume that – having worked out – they do not need to worry about counting calories. Nevertheless, weight loss continues to hinge on an important fact: you must burn more calories than your body consumes.
One good habit to pick up is green tea consumption. A whole slew of studies have documented how green tea can reduce your waistline. It does this by purging toxins from your body which might have otherwise encouraged you to retain water weight, boosting your energy levels with caffeine, so you are more likely to be up and moving around, and helping with fat oxidation, so that your body burns fat more efficiently.
Antioxidant-rich foods should also be a top priority. These foods keep you healthy and full. So what can antioxidants do for you? According to studies, they reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, vision loss, and mitigate the effects of age. And, significantly, they help speed up the weight loss process by assisting with fat oxidation. Good sources of antioxidants include common fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, blueberries, artichokes, spinach, kale, tomatoes and asparagus. Green Tea is an excellent anioxidant as well.
Many women will, at some point in their lives, become pregnant and nothing sends the body for a loop like carrying another living being inside of you. Sometimes it seems like everything you’ve ever known about your body changes. The best way to deal with it is to stay on top of everything. Have a doctor follow your health closely to ensure that everything is going well.
Be prepared for the nausea (which is known frequently as morning sickness but can actually occur at any time of the day or night), swelling breasts (you might need to invest in a new bra), and episodes of heartburn (which can be cured safely with a bottle of Tums or something like it). Some effects – such as mood swings and stretch marks – cannot be cured or prevented, but can be mitigated and addressed with things like patience, kindness from the people around you and by getting plenty of rest.
Exercise is also important; it can help you maintain your energy level against the onslaught of bodily changes.
One common problem with pregnancy is hemorrhoids. Why these engorged anal veins have always plagued pregnant women isn’t known completely, but the general consensus is that it is the result of weight gain, hormone fluctuations and the increased strain which the process places on the body in general.
The advantage is that these hemorrhoids are usually temporary, however uncomfortable they may be. Symptoms include pain and bleeding. The best way for most women to treat them is to take it easy. Sitz baths (wherein you only soak your lower body in hot water) can alleviate somewhat both the swelling and itching associated with hemorrhoids. However, if the problem is sufficiently bothersome, a doctor can also prescribe a cream or ointment to help with the problem.
Skin Care and Fighting Acne
Your skin is a reflection of your overall health. It is the biggest organ in your body, after all. When you are fit, clean, healthy and happy, it shows in your skin. And, when you slack off – that shows too.
There are a few important steps which can keep your skin (especially the skin on your face) looking bright and clear.
First, find a good daily cleanser. Whether it is a bar or a cream-based cleanser, it should match your skin type (oily, dry or combination). Follow this up with a good moisturizer that leaves your skin feeling soft, supple and non-greasy.
Exfoliating is also a good idea; once a week, you can scrub your face with an exfoliator that strips away the dead layers of skin, taking with it days of built-up grime and gunk. Don’t overdo it with the exfoliation. This may be a temptation because many women love the way skin feels, post-exfoliation: clean, soft and new.
However, frequent exfoliating (which strips away all the natural oil from your face) actually encourages your pores to create more oil, in order to make up for the loss. That in turn leads to enlarged pores and more frequent breakouts.
You can also clear up your skin by attacking acne from another angle: diet. The old adage, you are what you eat, is true. When you consume large quantities of greasy foods (think hamburgers, French fries, etc.) it shows in your skin. Substitute bad foods with new good ones to help reduce occurrences of blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. Vegetables and lean proteins are a good place to start.
Teeth and Gum Care
Keeping your teeth and gums in good shape is just as important as keeping your waistline under control. It is a good idea to brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride-based toothpaste. This helps remove plaque build-up around your teeth (important because plaque is a layer of bacteria that contributes significantly to cavities).
You should also floss, to remove particles of food that can sink under the gum line and lead gum disease such as gingivitis. And make sure to have regular check-ups with a dentist. Generally, it is recommended that you see a dentist at least once every six months for a thoroughly cleaning.
Eating an apple (or other fibrous foods) does not hurt either. It can help to clear plaque build-up in between brushings. Finishing up with an oral rinse containing fluoride can also kill bacteria located in hard to reach places and prevent cavities.