Women are often the first line of defense when protecting their family’s health, but in doing so tend to put their concerns on the back burner. While ageing is a topic of concern for most women, few take the time to focus on themselves. Studies have proven that following these top health tips will extend and improve women’s lives expodentially, according to the National Council on Ageing (NCO).
1. Proper sleep has a LOT of benefits
Good sleep is essential for our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night. The CDC reports that fewer than two-thirds of women actually get that much sleep each night. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, but women are 40 percent more likely to suffer from it than men. Over time, sleep deficiency can lead to significant health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Regular sleep has many benefits, including increasing your immune system, boosting memory, lowering stress levels, and helping mood.
2. Exercise will improve overall health
Roughly 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate exercise a week could improve not only your physical but also mental health. Being active helps improve moods and reduce feelings of depression. It can also help manage diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
3. Get breast cancer screenings every 1 – 2 years
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and this risk increases with age. Mammograms are the best way to screen for breast cancer, especially during the early stages. The good news is that breast cancer can usually be treated successfully when found early.
4. Routine pap exams are the best way to detect cervical cancer
Known as the “silent killer”, cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer for women, but thanks to widespread use of the Pap test, early detection has significantly improved and boosted survival rates in most Western countries. Cervical cancer may not have any signs or symptoms, so women ages 21 to 65 are recommended to get routine testing every three years.
5. Focus on mental health
Approximately 15% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental illness, depression being one of the most common. Confusion around what depression is, especially since many older adults experience major changes in their life such as the death of loved ones or medical problems that could cause sadness. The difference is that feelings of grief are only temporary. If feelings of sadness begin to interfere with daily life and normal functioning, it may be depression. Depression is a common, treatable condition, so the NCO urges women to reach out to their doctor if they are feeling extreme sadness that doesn’t seem to lift.
6. Healthy eating can prevent serious health conditions
Proper nutrition is essential for the body. As you get older you lose muscle mass, bone density and burn fewer calories. It takes extra effort to make up for the natural changes of your body which is why eating high nutrient foods make a big difference. Decreased bone density can result in one of the major health concerns affecting about 8 million women, osteoporosis, due to calcium deficiencies in diet.
7. Stay hydrated for better digestion and fewer headaches
The World Health Organisation recommends that, people drink approximately 2 litres a day, depending on the amount of activity in your day. Human muscle tissue consists of 75% water and 10% fatty tissue, and during exercise the temperature of your body increases. Thus, your body uses more water to regulate its body temperature. Drinking more water will help to avoid dehydration will keep your digestion intact, as well as warding off headaches.
The points mentioned above are healthy aging tips every woman should know. Women may have many responsibilities, but their own health should be a top priority.