Here’s a question for today’s woman: Do you say “lean in” or “leave me alone”? Whether you’re a CEO, caregiver or college student, chances are you’re juggling more these days than ever before. And it’s likely that a jammed schedule and heavy obligations mean that your own needs often fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Here’s a handy mantra: You can’t take care of your loved ones if you don’t take care of yourself. Or try this one: If mama isn’t happy, no one’s happy. Fortunately, it’s not hard to do the right thing. No matter how packed your life, these five tips will help you fit health in.
1. Manage Your Stress: Yes, this may sometimes seem like an impossible task – but there are easy, effective ways to whittle away at your worries (and those damaging physiological reactions to them). This 12-Step Stress Management Plan shows you how. Need some motivation to get started? Internal medicine specialist Keri Peterson, MD, paints a vivid picture of the problems chronic stress can buy you.
2. Trade Supersized for Superfoods: Empty calories do nothing but add pounds (and health problems). Foods that are fiber-rich and nutrient-dense keep your blood sugar steady, says Robin Miller, MD, helping you control your appetite and your weight. They also help protect you against heart disease, cancer and even memory loss (among many other disorders). According to Penn Medicine, superfoods include kale, blueberries, flax seed and apples, among others. To find out more about superfoods that are particularly important for women, check out this quiz.
3. Get Up and Get Going: One of the most striking discoveries of recent years is just how dangerous it is to sit. Who knew that setting your tush in a chair qualifies as a high-risk behavior? In fact, says fitness expert Mike Clark, DPT, inactivity increases your risk for heart disease regardless of your waist size or weight. You can find all the tools you need to get active in Sharecare’s Transform You2 fitness program. And don’t turn up your nose at the easiest way to add activity to your day, either. To learn just how beneficial walking can be, take this quiz or check out the Walking Topic Page.
4. Learn Your RealAge: Age is just a number, so don’t sweat it and don’t fret about it. What really matters is your RealAge – your physiological age, or the age your body believes it is. Take the RealAge assessment here. Once you answer the questions, you’ll get a set of personalized recommendations that can help you peel years off your biological age and make a liar out of your driver’s license.
5. Get Connected: Your emotional health is just as important as your physical health – indeed, the two are inextricably intertwined. If the daily hustle and bustle of life sometimes leaves you feeling like you’re all alone, it’s time to reach out. Through our partners at DailyStrength, you can connect to women who face life challenges similar to yours, and find tips and insights in online support groups. And don’t miss Sharecare’s Women’s Health Topic page, which offers checklists, answers to questions, ways to connect to our experts and many other tools for healthy living.