I try my best to read most of what comes across my desk in the health and wellness area as I truly believe that this is one of the major keys to helping all of us in the way of medical expenses and keeping costs down. Many times people are unhealthy by their own hands and many times a simple adjustment to eating and exercise could be worth pounds and pounds of cures for the body. How many times have we heard of someone contracting cancer and not wanting to go through the usual chemo and radiation "poisoning" process. They drastically adjust their diet to only be fresh foods and weeks later the cancer seems to be gone. The person successfully eliminated agents from their body that the cancer fed on to spread and by eliminating the agents eliminated the cancer. The real question is, why would we wait until the clock strikes twelve to do something when there are little, non-life altering things we can do each day to give us at least a better chance at a healthier lifestyle.
Here are a few things to think on for the ladies (guys, you might be able to pick up on some things here too):
1 - Women who exercise regularly have a lower risk of dementia. Nothing earth-shattering here. We all know exercise is good for our bodies but as the obesity levels rise in our country we just throw our hands up and catch the remote and grab a bag of chips. The NFL had it right when they started their "Move 60" program. Just an hour a day of some type of movement can have a huge effect on our lives and health. I even talked to a lady awhile back who taught a basic exercise class and she called movement "wiggling" just to make it fun. She said we all needed "wiggle time" each day. PLEASE NOTE...it does not say if you exercise regularly you will be a super model. We are talking about our brains and one of the scariest and most unsettling things that can happen as we age...dementia. Get that blood pumping and "stay with it" for years to come.
2 - SEVENTY percent of those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis are women. Many things could attribute to this fact. To better understand, do some research on what causes arthritis as age increases. Fighting this off revolves around eating right and staying active. If your joints stay well lubricated and you feed the Ferrari the right fuel, you can help keep this at bay.
3 - Menopausal hot flashes and night sweats could lead to greater risk of osteoporosis. Fight this back with exercise (do you see a theme here yet?) and a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D (do some research on what foods are rich in these...it just might surprise you).
4 - Women are more likely than men to experience lesser known heart attack symptoms, like shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain. In my meetings I have, I often kid that the reason I believe women have a larger propensity to heart conditions is because we men drive you nuts. While that may be part of it, don't take these minor symptoms lightly. I feel the reason God may have given women the lesser symptoms is because they pay attention to when their body tells them something is not right. Guys need the full on stabbing pain to the chest to get the point (cue awkward laughter).
5 - The risk of breast cancer is 30 percent higher in smokers than nonsmokers. Wait, smoking is bad for your overall health? Who knew? I'm being sarcastic of course but come on ladies...it's a no-brainer. Also, a little side note here...if you would like people to find you more attractive then drop the smoking. You don't look any cooler or prettier.
6 - Fiber helps reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol. It also helps you feel full on fewer calories. FIBER IS SOMETHING WE ALL NEED DAILY! There, I said it. Growing up, I thought fiber was that stuff old people needed to keep their bodily functions steady as they aged. I could not have been more wrong. Look at any good eating program and it's usually loaded down with good and healthy fiber options throughout your day. Don't ignore this important part of your daily food regime. You might make a few more trips to the bathroom but if the result is better blood flow, increased metabolism and weight loss then I say grab an extra magazine or two for your restroom breaks.
7 - Migraines happen to three times as many women as men. So ladies, guess what...saying "I've got a headache is a VERY legitimate reason (more awkward laughter). If you have them, start keeping track. Journal them. When you have them, there may be a pattern that starts to emerge. Guess what the best way to fights migraine is...start handling it before it starts. Reasons could be food, stress, odors, too much or too little sleep, smoking, or good old hormonal fluctuations.
8 - Fighting fatigue. Fatigue strikes twice as many women as men. So while many women wear MANY hats and fill many roles this can lead to fatigue. Want to have a better chance of lasting out the day?
- Try rising with the sun. While many of you may not be "morning people", getting up with the sun and avoiding that nasty snooze bar can set in better sleep patterns and gives your body a chance to get in sync with your busy life. Remember, Ferraris are finely tuned and require constant maintenance.
- Snack attack. Get healthy snacks to much on through the day. Keeping that metabolism up all day is a good way to be sure you make it.
- Exercise. Shocking right? Not really. Getting the heart pumping can make your metabolism crank way up and get you through some serious time where you might really want to slow down. Instead of giving in to that, take a short walk and see what happens.
- Breathing. No, not the run of the mill stuff. Deep breathing. Deep cleansing breaths can go a long way to regain some vigor and also help you clear your head. It should be done for a few minutes when you feel fatigue coming on, but it may just help you make it over the slump hump.
- Get OUT. Being outside for some fresh air might be exactly what the internal body ordered. Remember the Ferrari? You can't just let it sit in the garage. Sometimes you have to get it out and let it breathe.
Finally, I can't talk about women and their health without addressing one of the biggest fears most women have and that's about breast cancer. Every week people hear about a friend or relative who was just diagnosed. Maybe you went for a yearly exam and the doctor saw something "not quite right" (which always takes 2-6 weeks to get an answer...kill me now!). I am going to mention some basic myths and facts about breast cancer:
FACT - 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
MYTH - If you find a lump, it's probably cancer. (CUE LOUD BUZZER NOISE). While a lump or thick spot on your breast or near your armpit is one possible sign of breast cancer, many times these lumps are non-cancerous. Worried about something you haven't seen or felt before? Go to the doctor and get it checked. Again, more often than not it's something non-cancerous.
MYTH - Most women who get breast cancer have a family history of it. This myth kind of set me back because it seems that often times in my insurance business I have talked to women who are worried about breast cancer because their grandmother had it and then their mom and even their older sister. They just knew their time was coming around. Truth is one one-fifth to one-third of women with breast cancer have a close relative with it. We can't change our genetic makeup but we can control some other factors that can be attributed to cancer. Things as simple as decreasing your weight drinking less alcohol could help prevent breast cancer. In fact, women who have 2-5 drinks daily have one-and-a-half times the risk for breast cancer as those who stay alcohol free.
MYTH - Breast cancer rates are increasing. Good news ladies, it's down to like 2 percent. Why the decrease? Interestingly it seems that it's because menopausal women are taking fewer hormones during this time. A 2002 study showed hormonal therapy increased the risk for breast cancer, and women in general listened and acted.
I have done my best with this and I hope you might find some of this information helpful. Most of the basic information came from goodneighborpharmacy.com. I added my own twist on it for you but there is a ton of good info on that site and many others.
As always, I try to add a video that goes along with my topic. Nike helped me out with this "Make Yourself" video. Sure, the ladies on here are athletes but they have to push themselves to do something just like we all do. I hope it inspires you in some small way.
Please remember that I'm always a phone call (205-370-8453) or an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) away. If you feel i can help your business or someone individually, I am here.