Thursday, January 20, 2011

Younger Women: Take a little time to nurture yourself physically, mentally and spiritually.

By Claudia Owens

Today's younger women have to find greater life balance than our mothers and grandmothers had to do because we are in the work force and we are responsible for making a living for ourselves and our families.  We wear many hats and play multiple roles-- and we are also have a greater tendency to be nurturers to others than men ( often time not nurturing ourselves in the process of helping others or putting others first).

Women bring compassion, love, and gentleness to any situation and life itself.  Although these statements may not not apply to all women, I think that most of society would agree most women do have the above characteristics.

Due to the complexity of the human body, especially the female body, women’s health issues cover a wide range of issues and topics.

From our diets, heart health, breast and cervical cancers  to the female reproductive health ( including menstruation and menopause), younger women in particular should  stay abreast of all the health complications they may  face if we do not take the time to nurture themselves.

Did you know that your simple annual physical may not examine all of the important health areas and risk factors? Subsequently, you should be sure to ask your doctor the appropriate questions to get the best care possible.

Furthermore, we need to take action ourselves and do the research ourselves to stay educated on the latest health technology, medicines/medical tests and even statistics regarding diseases primarily affected by women, ie., a self-breast exam should not be the only self-checkup we do as women.

Learn to monitor and track your weight. Weight loss and gain is a very sensitive issue however we must get past that sensitivity and have open honest discussions on weight gain.

Though incessant weight loss such as anorexia, is still a problem in America, our society’s biggest and most precedent problem is obesity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  approximately 72.5 million U.S. adults are overweight or obese which includes an estimate of 23.4 % of women ages 20 and older with college degrees and around 40% of women ages 20 and older with less than high school education (
 <SOURCES: CDC/NCHS, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994 and 2005-2008>

Some known factors of weight loss and weight gain are diet, heredity and genetic makeup and the most underrated factor, stress. Stress can deteriorate your appearance, physical and mental health if you let it.

Aim to eat healthy foods and snacks every day.   Learn to count calories and pay closer attention to what you put into your body. 

Get moving!  This year, identify creative ways to work out and stay health while having fun and giving back to yourself !   

Join that Yoga or Zumba class you have been putting off (even if none of your friends want to join).
Host spa days with your friends to promote wellness holistically. 

Make 2011 the year that you get it right and take better care of yourself
Focus on the possibilities instead of the current situation and know that you can control your well-being

Eliminate unnecessary stress in your life. As nurturers of life itself,  we must learn to love yourselves back and  take a little time to nurture OUR bodies by living healthy lifestyles physically, mentally and spiritually.

Here are a few web links to get you started on your quest for a healthier stress free lifestyle!

Claudia Owens in a member of YWTF-ATL chapter and lives and works in Atlanta.

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