Exercise has many health benefits such as; preventing unhealthy weight gain and reducing your body weight, better heart and lung health, lower blood pressure, lower the risk of diabetes and ease depression, but importantly it can also make you feel better about yourself and your body. Yoga and pilates are considered great techniques in helping to improve posture, strengthen your body and improve your mental health and wellbeing too.
Taking regular exercise can also help us to relax and cope with the stresses of daily life and also help us to get a better night’s sleep.
Simple tips for fitting in exercise even in the busiest of days are; using the stairs instead of the lift, taking short ten minute walks, stand whilst you talk on the telephone. Finally, let’s not forget that housework is also a great form of exercise too even though it may not be our favourite!
Women can be overweight for many reasons such as genetics, lack of exercise, eating too much and poor food choices. Many of us are juggling bringing up a family while managing stressful full-time employment. This often leads to being tempted by convenience foods and ready meals. However with a few key changes and making the positive decision to manage your weight in a more proactive way, you will be amazed at what can be achieved!
Simple food and nutrition related techniques that can help to keep your weight under control are; eating smaller food portions and chewing your food for longer, eating more freshly prepared food and avoiding processed foods, eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, have more lean meats and choosing more whole grain foods.
For more information about weight management please visit the ‘lifestyle’ pages of our website.
Eating a nutritionally varied and balanced diet prior to and during pregnancy is crucial for the health of both mother and baby and will help you to get most of the vitamins and minerals you need. However there are some vitamins and minerals that are especially important when you are planning to have a baby or when you are pregnant. Doctors recommend 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day throughout your pregnancy and you should also carry on taking this after the birth if you breastfeed. Also recommended is 400 micrograms of folic acid each day and it is essential that you take this from before you are pregnant until you are 12 weeks pregnant. Ask your GP about these or I recommend a Nature’s Sunshine supplement called Nature’s Prenatal. This is especially formulated for pregnant and lactating women and contains a balanced combination of vitamins and minerals including folic acid and vitamin D to support the nutritional needs of both mother and baby.
Folic acid is essential during pregnancy, as it can help to prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, including Spina Bifida. If you discover you are pregnant start taking folic acid as soon as possible. You should eat foods that contain folate (the natural form of folic acid) such as green leafy vegetables and brown rice. It is difficult to get sufficient folate recommended from food alone which is why it is important to take a folic acid supplement.
Staying physically active and taking regular exercise is also considered to be an advantage during pregnancy for both mother and baby, although it is advisable to avoid strenuous exercise. Exercise is also great for achieving a sense of well being and vitality and can be great for easing any prenatal or postnatal depression that may occur.
All women will go through the menopause at some point in their life, for most it occurs in their late 40’s or 50’s. The length of the menopausal episode can vary from woman to woman and the symptoms and conditions they experience can vary enormously too. Common symptoms of people going through ‘the change’ or menopause are tiredness, hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings and irritability.
The level of oestrogen, a hormone in our body, falls during the menopause and this can often result in less frequent periods or them stopping altogether. Eating a nutritious and balanced diet and taking regular exercise can really help alleviate some of the symptoms and improve your general sense of well being during this sometimes challenging time.
Bone density can lower as a result of the menopause and so eating produce rich in calcium and vitamin D can help with this. Foods such as milk and yoghurts, preferably those that are low in fat, bread, nuts, pulses and fish such as sardines all good foods rich in calcium. Eggs, oily fish and some fortified breakfast cereals often contain vitamin D and of course you can always obtain a higher dose of calcium and vitamin D by taking food supplements. We all benefit from taking a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement, we recommend Super Supplemental.