Spring Clean your Body

Women doing pushups

Every spring presents the opportunity to start fresh with a new exercise routine or a healthy eating plan. If you do not start with a clear and organized plan, it is easy to lose steam once you get lost in the details of a new routine.Use our guide below to plan, organize, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What Being Healthy Means for Your Future

Caring for your health now will ensure benefits for years to come. In addition to keeping your body at an optimal operating level and prolonging your life expectancy, eating healthy and staying physically fit offer many other benefits. By reducing your consumption of processed sugars, sodium, and saturated fat, you can lower your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Eating healthy also increases your energy levels throughout the day so you can remain active and engaged.

Studies show people who regularly exercise reduce their chance of developing Alzheimer’s.  Being physically fit may expedite recovery time from illness and injury, as well as, protect you from an initial injury. Exercise also releases mood-enhancing chemicals, endorphins, and dopamine.   

Cleaning up Your Eating: Nutritional Wellness

Eating healthy does not mean only following a strict diet and never allowing yourself any treats. You can still eat healthy and enjoy yourself! The biggest component to healthy eating is eating the right portions from each food group.

  • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables – two to two and half cups of each. These can be fresh, frozen, or canned.
  • For protein, try to vary your sources; lean meats, seafood, legumes, eggs, and soy products are all good choices. Instead of refined grain, stick to whole grain choices when selecting bread, pasta, and rice.
  • Women should have three cups of dairy each day for the calcium content. If you cannot tolerate dairy, try other fortified options like cereal, soymilk, and some juices.

Eating a variety of foods from different food groups ensures you will receive an optimal amount of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients. Women, especially during pregnancy and after child birth, need more vitamins and minerals than men.

  • Folic acid is important for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant because it can help prevent birth defects. Citrus fruits, beans, peas, and leafy greens contain folic acid. If you prefer to limit these foods, you may need to take a supplement.
  • Calcium is also important for women in particular, because women run the risk of developing osteoporosis, a disease that makes bones weak and easily breakable. For calcium, try consuming low-fat yogurts, milks, and cheeses, as well as, other calcium-fortified foods like plant-based milks, low sugar juices, and cereals.
  • Prior to menopause, iron is another important mineral for women; women tend to lose a significant amount of iron during their monthly cycle. Foods high in iron include lean red meats, pork, turkey, chicken, fish, lentils and beans, spinach and kale, and dark chocolate.
  • Doctors recommend other nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids may reduce the risk of heart disease, support healthy brain function, and aid in prenatal growth and development. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include seafood, walnuts, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil. If you do not regularly eat enough of these foods to meet your omega-3 fatty acid requirement, your doctor may recommend taking a fish oil supplement.

Putting the Spring in Your Step: Physical Fitness

Any time you spend moving your body is time well spent! If you are having trouble starting or sticking to an exercise plan, try these simple steps to get back on track.

  • Do not let equipment stand in your way! You do not need to buy a fancy elliptical or weight rack to get in shape. You can repurpose other items from around the house in your workouts. Try using cans of food or bottles of water as weights. Brainstorm what other areas of the house allow you to safely incorporate exercise. Test out the front porch steps, the backyard, the basement, or the driveway.
  • Do you hate working out because your feet hurt? Comfortable workout shoes can make all the difference. Invest in a well-fitting pair of sneakers with a lot of arch support.
  • If you are the type of person who is inspired by a challenge, consider downloading a fitness tracker app. These apps can help you track your goals, workouts, calories, and personal bests. Many of them do not require additional hardware, allowing everything to be tracked directly on your smartphone.
  • Starting a new activity can be frightening but use the warm weather as your inspiration to try something new! Take comfort in knowing everyone always has to start as a beginner. Check with your local community center to see if they offer any group exercise classes or activities. If you have always been interested in something like bowling, hiking, or dancing, get involved! Join a club or see if there are beginners’ classes at a nearby facility. The first few classes or meetings may be difficult, but future you will be very thankful you chose to get active and pursue a new activity.

If you want to take a proactive stance and talk to a professional about building a healthy lifestyle, contact the team at Capital Women’s Care. We have the resources and the information to get you on track.

Our Mission

The providers of Capital Women's Care seek the highest quality medical and ethical standard in an environment that nurtures the spirit of caring for every woman.

 

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