Carrie Ann Terrell, M.D., is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist, specializing in women’s health at the University of Minnesota. Terrell sees patients at the Fibroid Clinic, Women’s Health Specialists Clinic and Leo Fung Center for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) and Disorders of Sex Development (DSD).
With women’s health week wrapping up, Health Talk wants to remind you that it is never too late to start reaching your health and fitness goals. I’ve compiled 5 tips to help you reach those goals.
Build your health care team.
Create a team with whom you feel safe, comfortable and well cared for. That could include a primary care doctor, a pharmacist, a psychologist, or more. Find health professionals you trust to contact for health questions, advice and consultation.
Move your body, preferably outside.
Regardless of your physical stamina, the research is clear: we all benefit from movement. The results vary from multiple studies about what kind of exercise and for how long but it is undeniable that maintaining movement benefits not only our bodies (better health, fewer diseases, better agility and fewer falls, longer life spans) but our minds as well (lower risks of Alzheimer’s disease, better mental health). Recent research indicates performing exercise outside heightens many of the beneficial effects. It can be as simple as walking.
We often eat without thinking, feeling or tasting. Rather than adopt extreme eating plans simply look at what you are picking up to put in your mouth. Do you want it? Does your body want it? Will it fuel you for what you need to do in the next few minutes or hours? Can you afford a better option? If you forget, don’t worry about it, just try it next time.
Set reasonable goals.
Pick the better of two things. Choose the ‘healthier’ option. This may be a food or snack choice but it may be choosing to drive your son to soccer practice without the phone or radio on in the car. It may mean exploring having water instead of soda or beer with dinner, or practicing meditation instead of watching TV for hours on end. Don’t aim to be perfect. Seek out options which best support you.
Recognize all that you do.
Over 70 percent of women work outside the home, but there are relationships, housework, family occupying their time, too. It’s important to take pride and solace in all that you do. Love yourself and your body, and give credit where credit is due.