Womens Health


It's a way of life

We don't really need too much more authoritative documentation to prove we are a nation under stress.  We are not only aware of the fact, most of us are living testimonies to it.  While there is a theory that a little stress is good for us and is a great motivator, stress can easily escalate to unsafe levels very quickly, and it can do serious damage to our health - both mental and physical.  Two of the easiest and best ways to cope with stress are through diet and exercise.  With a healthy diet and adequate exercise, the need for medication to cope may be avoided.

People under stress, particularly women, have a tendency to turn to comfort foods - often high in fat and sugar - to lighten the load of stress.  In fact, the load gets heavier when these kinds of foods are used as medication.  They add pounds to the body, which adds stress to the heart.

Eat a nutritious diet

A healthy, nutritious diet will not only aid in keeping your body a normal size, it also helps to manage stress. By having breakfast and eating several small, healthy meals during the day, blood sugar remains stable and the highs and lows that come from sugar spikes are avoided.  Energy stays relatively consistent and mood swings are easily handled.  A diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean proteins, like fish and tofu, and lots of water,  promotes health through nutrients gained in the food.  By eating this way, the urge to overeat on unhealthy foods when stress hits is easier to resist.

Limit foods high in saturated fats, which can cause blood cholesterol to rise - a risk factor in heart disease.  High sodium and caffeine are also contributors to both stress and heart disease.  A glass of red wine is fine, but if overdoing it is likely, it's best to either limit alcohol or eliminate it.

Get moving

The other side of the equation is exercise.  It is proven that people who exercise tend to have a much lower physical response to stress than those who don't exercise.  Just 30 minutes of exercise at moderate intensity will strengthen your heart, aid in weight control, improve blood fats and blood pressure, and combat stress - all at the same time!  Try to give yourself a 30 minute life-break every day, by taking a brisk walk, riding a bike, swimming or by playing an active sport. 

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