Broward College Wellness Manager Brenda Bordogna Offers Tips for Women’s Health Month
During National Women’s Health Month, observed in May, we encourage women to make their health a priority. Research shows when women are empowered to focus and care for themselves, the health of their families improves as well. Physical activity and healthy eating can sometimes be put at the bottom of our priority lists when family and work pull us in other directions. But, you have to understand that by taking care of yourself you are better able to help others. Here are a few helpful tips on your path to wellness:
Plan ahead. Have a schedule for when to exercise and what to eat so you can stay on track. Prepare meals ahead of time so they can be properly portioned, and easy to heat up for dinner and lunch.
Make smart food choices by checking labels. Eat foods lower in fat, higher in fiber, and lower in sodium and sugar to maintain good health. An easy way to remember what to look for in your foods is the rule of 3. Review the food label and try to pick foods that are 3 grams or less in fat, 3 grams or more in fiber and 3 grams or less in sugar, or as close as possible. This is a good rule of thumb when choosing prepackaged foods. Sodium should be limited to 2,300 mg per day for adults without other health risks.
Eat a nutritious diet to maintain a healthy weight. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and antioxidants, and low in fat and calories. Make sure you are getting at least five fruits and five vegetables every day. Planning your meals around getting enough of these can be helpful in cutting calories. Remember to try to eat fruits and vegetables from all the different color groups so you are getting a variety of nutrients.
Find a place for fitness in your everyday life. You should always be ready to move, whether that is going for a walk on your lunch break or squeezing in a 30-minute workout at the gym before work. Keep sneakers and socks in your car or office drawer, carry a resistance band in your bag, and learn simple stretches or exercises you can do at your desk or workplace every hour to make sure you keep moving throughout your day.
Manage stress. The human body was not meant to be in long-term states of stress. Take time for yourself, whether it’s time to exercise, enjoy a hobby or take a few deep breaths in a quiet space. Activities like yoga, tai chi and meditation help you to slow down and focus on your breathing, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure and stress levels.
Schedule regular appointments and screenings. Finding diseases early and when they are the easiest to treat is crucial. Screenings and routine care help lower the risks of many health concerns, including heart disease.