The other day as I was talking to a friend about some women health related issues and I had a bit of a minor epiphany. You see my friend asked me what things she could do that were simple to implement and didn’t require a major lifestyle change to try and stay healthy. I told her that it seemed like a strange question coming from her, since I’ve always known her to be a fit individual. But, she wanted my opinion. She later confessed that she was picking my brain to get ideas for a book that she wanted to write about fitness for women. Anyhow, this got me to thinking that she was right. There are probably many people who just overlook the simple things, not because they don’t know, but because we get so busy that we forget. And, sometimes we need to be reminded. So, I decided to write a brief article myself.So here are my basic health tips for women to remain fit and healthy in this busy age:1. Trying to remain fit and healthy begins with a balanced diet. You should, of course, be aware of and monitor the correct weight for your age. Consult with your doctor to learn what foods you ought to avoid and follow your eating discipline routines. If you are attempting to shed some pounds, then it goes without saying that those favorite foods that are high in calories must go, no matter how convenient. Be sure to include foods with high fiber and low fat. If it has been a while since you have eaten cereal in the morning because it is kids’ food, then be a kid again and eat cereal. Of course, not the high sugar variety, but a good quality whole grain cereal. I prefer the organic cereals myself.2. Another health tip that we sometimes need to be reminded of is to drink plenty of water. You should strive to drink at least eight glasses of water everyday. This could also be water obtained from sources like soup. If you can afford it, try some of the high quality filtered waters like Penta water. Drinking water cleanses the body from harmful impurities and keeps the keep the body hydrated. It also helps to keep your skin looking younger.3. If you smoke then STOP! Yes, everyone knows that smoking is a horrible habit that ages you faster and, of course, can kill you, so why are you still smoking? If you happen to be pregnant that do everything you can to stop smoking for the sake of your child. Smoking will affect the health of the baby. The harmful content of cigarettes may be passed on to the child to the baby through the bloodstream. Here is another interesting tidbit of information for you women smokers. Did you know that there is research that suggests that female smokers are more susceptible to diseases than male smokers? Female smokers have a elevated threat of getting breast cancer. In addition, you ought to limit your alcohol intake and quit drinking entirely if you are pregnant.4. Okay, here comes the one obvious health tip that so many people do not want to hear. You must include daily exercise of some kind. Try taking your dog for a walk. So many people have dogs and never walk them. It is a great way to get in some exercise for the both of you. Buy some kind of home gym and use it! For many of us that live in a big city it is sometimes a hassle to get to the gym everyday. Besides dealing with the traffic on the road, we have to deal with the traffic on the machines. And, for some, going to the gym becomes a social event more than a workout. Having a quality piece of fitness equipment in the home can save time. And, unless you must have the social activity at a gym, or need a spotter, you can get a great workout from home. You just have to be disciplined about it. Nowadays, there are even virtual personal trainers. You can get a customized workout plan and motivation via the virtual world.5. I’m often amazed by this one because we live in an age where vitamins are everywhere. However, so many people seem to not use them, or buy them only to never take them. Use high quality Vitamins and Supplements. If you are an athlete this is even more important. Women especially should take a quality Calcium supplement. Supplementing with Calcium may prevent having cramps and Pre-Menstrual Period (PMS) Symptoms. It may also help prevent Osteoporosis. Another valuable addition is Vitamin E. Vitamin E helps to boost the immune system. Moreover, Vitamin E is said to be help avoid wrinkles that are commonly associated with aging.
Is the fight to reach the top bringing women to their knees? Has the fairer sex really become the weaker sex? Are we depressed or are we just experiencing what men have always known concerning pressure, but because we are women we are a push over for analysis ultimately ending in medication that calms “what ails us”? We must remember that we are still living in a predominately male operated society. Men have the natural instinct to want to “fix it” when anything they perceive as a problem arises. If our reaction to a problem is not to handle it in the strict male fashion, we must be falling apart and need to be fixed by medication, counseling, or both. You are by now asking what do men and their view of our reactions to problems have to do with us being depressed. Well, I’ll tell you.Women are not men. No matter how short you cut your hair, Madam President, (sarcasm intended) or the fact that you wear pants will ever make you a man. But every day we are told that having the feelings and reactions associated with women is wrong. There are some popular theories going around that say women are making men gay by expecting them to have emotions that are prevalent to women, but these same men will deny that telling women to subdue their emotions, or natural reactions, will have any mental effect on them.Women are trying to fit into a society built and operated by men. We have certain attitudes about how things should be. For too long we have been told we are wrong and to do something about it. So what do we do? We put it in its place. Somewhere deep in our minds where we don’t dare go. Not knowing what to do with this unnatural act, our hearts and minds are bogged down. There’s no where for it to go. It has no outlet. This is labeled depression.I guess this sounds like a “let’s get men” attack, but it really isn’t meant to have a negative connotation to it. It is just the natural order of things. Women are smart humans and will learn to adapt in this harsher world in order to survive and one day to thrive again. I am not saying that we will not bring our own form of problem solving to this dilemma, eventually. But for now we must find a way of coping. Fortunately society has given us a way out by giving the monster a name, depression. And because it has a socially acceptable name, it’s okay to have this reaction called depression. I don’t think so!Women must start to realize that just because we may not be able to have it all right now (emphasis on the may) does not make us any less “of a man” then our hairy counterparts. The female sector must never stop fighting for what is rightfully theirs in equal pay and other rights. But at the same time, we must stop beating ourselves up over the fact that we haven’t arrived yet in the eyes of a society that doesn’t know any better (at least for the moment) then to react in the status quo fashion.Females have always been overachievers. You know our labels: perfect wife, great cook, and super mom. And now, let us place the added burden of breadwinner to our long list of “must dos”. Unfortunately being an overachiever means that we have to “out do” to be called successful. And we will “out do”, won’t we? What will we get if we aren’t at the top? We get to face that beast that goes by the name of depression. I am the world’s worst for this one. In everything I do I must be the award winner, the highest paid, the fastest runner, whatever. Talk about major self-appointed stresses! But seriously, does this not sound familiar to you?But we need to find a way to shrug off some of the anxiety and self-appointed stress. Slay the beast by means other than anger or mood altering antidepressants. Why must I now add anger to our problems of emotional out cries? Now more than ever, women are venting their frustration through the use of anger. Road rage by women! Ever seen that one? Ever been on the receiving end of one of those fingers? I am not even coming close to suggesting that women own this one exclusively or even as a higher degree than men. But ask your mom how many times she was cut off, cussed out, and all those other glamorous actions we have come to see all too often, being initiated by a female when she was young. Perhaps you would use the explanation of more female drivers. Could be, but doubt it. We are programming ourselves to push, push, and push to get ahead. Our natural instinct is to react emotionally and unfortunately this is coming out as anger in a lot of situations.The women I talked with stated they truly believed that women are angrier than they were in the past. The media has put so much pressure on us to be thinner, always look our best, and many times with unreasonable expectations to what is called excepted. Anorexia is at an all time high among women. Health issues are not at the heart of the attack, (no pun intended) on women to be skinny. You are unattractive and not appropriate for a career, marrying, or any other number of outside the home social activities. If you have any excess weight on you, you had better do something about it. But when you can’t reach, for one reason or another, these unreasonable goals, you become depressed.Career goals, physical appearance, and respect are but a few of the reasons women become depressed. My main concern is for women to find a healthier, more positive way to handle these socially inflicted stresses then becoming depressed, angry, and ultimately becoming addicted to antidepressants. We know that historically men have used alcohol as a means to cope. We see how that faired, don’t we? Let’s not follow their lead but learn from their mistakes. I’ll let you in on a little secret if you don’t tell men. We are actually stronger than they are, as a whole. Men may find this funny and hard to prove, but I am 51 and have seen my share of tragedy. I have watched a lot of men go down the tubes when life smacks them down once or twice but at the same time have seen many women still standing after life has punched them in the stomach many times. Don’t let them tell you that because they are willing to go to war and die for a great cause makes them the stronger sex, either. There ain’t no such thing as a good war as a reason to die. Yes, I know that men start these wars, but you can’t use that against them. Crazy men are the ones starting wars. I just don’t think they should use their patriotic duty as a cause to say they are stronger, but if you ask them why they think they are stronger this seems to be their answer. That’s all I’m saying.I was on antidepressants for 5 years and I smoke 1 ½ packs of cigarettes a day. I can say I was on them because I, not my doctors, took myself off them. I want to handle life through my own thoughts and strengths. As for the cigarettes, I have currently cut out ½ pack with the hope of quitting. Neither one of these actions has been easy. I will still “slap you into tomorrow” if I am aggravated enough, so I started my own home based business to keep me calmer during my transition. Whatever it takes. But my point is that I have become aware that I am stronger then this and want to be me, just me, and all the good or bad that comes with it.Come on ladies, do a self-inventory. Are your reactions to situations over the top or are you coping in a positive manner? Pay attention to how you react and don’t excuse it if it’s not exactly lady like. It is not good for your health or your own self-image. When you screamed and yelled at that driver, did it do you any good? Bet not. Bet your blood pressure went through the roof. Why do you think more women are dying from heart attack and stroke then men are now? As we always have in the past, we must come up with a constructive way to stop “the madness”. Our society is mean to each other. You see it and you know it’s true. We are on a path to self-destruction. Take a deep breath, exercise more, try some natural products, become more spiritually involved, or go slower in your climb to the top, whatever it takes. Slow down and smell the roses! You can do it if you will just put a little effort into it. We are overachievers but we are also over comers, go for it with all that makes you a woman!(Just a little P.S.) If we are depressed, medicated, angry, and fighting amongst ourselves, who is minding the store and winning the race? (And that ain’t no B.S.)