TomorrowMakers

As vital as it is to take care of your family, it is important to take time out to look after yourself too. Here are some tips to lead a healthy life.

New age health tricks and tips every woman needs to know

Along with juggling multiple responsibilities, the urban Indian woman has to make time for healthy habits as well. If you’re a woman trying to strike a balance between the two, here are some contemporary health tips to help you out. 

Healthy food choices

  • Avoid processed food as much as possible. If you do have to consume processed foods, make it a habit to read the nutritional content to see what you are consuming. Terms like added sugar, saturated fats, trans fats, added MSG etc. are absolute red flags.
  • Commercially baked whole wheat bread is not healthy. Homemade rotis, made from multigrain flour is a much better choice.
  • You don’t need to spend a ton of money on exotic superfoods such as quinoa or avocado. It is much more feasible to eat fresh local produce. 
  • Indian superfoods such as desi ghee, moringa, jackfruit, makhana etc. can be easily sourced from the local market. Make sure to include them in your diet.
  • Indian women do not consume enough proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are essential for muscle development, bone health and organ functions. Lean sources of protein, nuts and seeds such as walnuts, flaxseed, kidney beans and edamame need to be added to your shopping basket.

Related: Nutrition essentials for women at different life stages

Smart workouts

  • Thirty minutes of moderate to high-intensity workout done 5 times a week is adequate to stay fit.
  • Try fun workouts like Zumba, swimming, hiking or playing with the kids to stay healthy.
  • Most Indian women who have a workout schedule need to cut back on the hours they spend on the treadmill. Excessive cardio eats into muscle mass. Women must also incorporate a strength training programme actively. Weight training is a great way to get strong and counter the effects of muscle loss and early onset of osteoporosis. 
  • Opt for compound exercises that target multiple large muscle groups. 
  • Take advantage of the 60-minute post-workout window by fueling up with fast-absorbing foods high in protein. 
  • Consult a physician before you start an exercise program, especially if you have any health concerns.

Apps to assist

  • If you have a target weight in mind, calorie counting apps like MyFitnessPal allow you to keep a close watch on your dietary habits and design a custom consumption programme.
  • If you cannot dedicate 30 minutes for a workout, you could try the 7-minute workout app that gives you a high intensity, quick-fix workout. This is a much better option than skipping a workout altogether. 
  • If you are bored with the repetitive training, there are tonnes of workout apps that offer different exercises with progressive levels of difficulty to keep you engaged over the long term. The easy to follow, video-based interactive workout plans allow you to maximise a home workout if going to a gym is difficult.
  • Other than fitness, there are many other apps that can assist with overall health monitoring. A Blood Pressure Monitor helps track your vital signs and creates a medication record for you. Pulse Point Respond can automatically connect to the closest medical responders via GPS in case you encounter an emergency. 
  • Many other apps such as Flo, Cue, Eve, etc. help to not only track your periods but also track ovulation, monitor general sexual health and get advice from experts via the app.
  • Read the terms and conditions/ privacy policy carefully before you share any personal data.

Related: Simple ways to keep your brain active as you grow older

Health check-ups

  • To monitor the risk of breast cancer, women above the age of 40 should get a mammogram once a year. Those who are above 55 should get a bi-annual examination done. If you have a family history of the disease, you may want to start annual screenings as soon as possible.
  • You should also get a pap smear done once every three years starting from the age of 21 to screen and detect the risk of cervical cancer.
  • Indian women are highly deficient in iron and calcium and should go in for a bone density or DEXA scan to monitor the risk for osteoporosis.
  • Carefully inspect the skin all over the body, once a month at home. Keep an eye out for any changes to the skin, new moles or changes to existing moles to catch early signs of skin cancer.

The key to staying healthy is to develop the right habits. Making the right changes may not always be easy, but it is crucial for a healthy and happy life. As important as physical health is, it is equally vital to focus on women’s mental health. This article will help you understand the various coping strategies that women employ and the way in which this affects their mental health.

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