5 Ways Women Can Improve Their Health This Year
We’re well into the new year of 2021 by now, which means maybe you’ve been trying out some new resolutions. If one of your goals for this year is to improve your health, the new year is the perfect time to work to change habits, resolve to take better care of your health, and take action to build consistency that sets us up for success for the remainder of the year.
Let’s take a look at a few ways women can improve their health this year, plus a few insights into how to set reasonable goals for doing so!
Consider Your Goals
Even if we think we are super healthy, there is always room to improve, even if that is just tweaking minor aspects of our health. We want to keep all areas of our health in balance, so it is worth taking a serious look at where we’re doing well and where could use some improvement.
Consider your goals for the year. Do you want to reach some sort of exercise goal? Are you hoping to conceive this year? Do you want to improve hormone balance and just feel better in general? Consider what you want to achieve health-wise this year and outline specific steps that will help you get there.
A Few Ways to Improve Your Health This Year
The steps you take toward better health will largely depend on your goals, but here are a few ideas:
Make exercise a priority.
Maybe you love it or you hate it — regardless, exercise is a key part of any healthy lifestyle. In our modern world, it is much easier to sit than to be active throughout the day. But studies show that sitting too much is actually connected to many health issues, like depression, muscle imbalances, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and more.
The best way to fit more exercise into your life is to find something you love to do, or at least, an activity that you moderately enjoy. If you despise running, perhaps find some other activity that you’ll be more likely to do on a regular basis. Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity each day.
Find healthy ways to manage stress.
There is good stress and then there is bad stress. Good stress tells us to be alert when we need to be — to increase our focus when working hard to meet a deadline or reach a fitness goal. But stress can often be overwhelming and detrimental to our health when it is not properly managed. In fact, stress can manifest itself throughout your body in physical symptoms like insomnia, muscle tension, fatigue, headaches, and more.
This year, we encourage you to work toward finding stress management techniques that help you maintain balance and peace in your life. This may be exercise, regular massage, meditation and prayer, and not overworking yourself. Sometimes setting boundaries for work hours and social media can also contribute to less stress and overwhelm.
Learn a fertility awareness method or recommit to practicing one.
We write a lot about fertility awareness here (it’s one of our core service areas!) but for good reason. Learning to chart your cycle can give you valuable insight into your health. Your menstrual cycle is often called the “fifth vital sign” for what it can tell about hormone imbalance and stress levels, and for how it can give insight into the potential presence of diseases like endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome.
To help you get started, take a look at the post we wrote last month that introduces a number of fertility awareness methods with direction on how to get started.
Take steps to improve your nutrition.
Eating well and eating enough give us energy, help us balance hormones, and help support all our other biological functions. Strive for intuitive eating – which is essentially listening to your body’s hungry and full cues – instead of trying to restrict calories or force yourself to eat when you aren’t hungry.
Making sure your meals are balanced can also go a long way to improving your health. A balance of protein, good fats, and carbohydrates will keep your energy levels well-maintained throughout the day. Also, incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, will help you keep essential nutrients in your diet on a daily basis.
Don’t forget about mental/emotional health!
Just because mental/emotional health is last on this list does not mean it is the least of these! Your mental and emotional health have a close connection to the other areas of your health. Managing stress in healthy ways, as noted above, can help you maintain your mental health. And, it is important to seek out help and support if you feel you need it.
Make 2021 the year of better health!
Taking care of our health requires a bit of time and focus, but it is worth the effort. Steps such as those outlined above can help you think about what health goals and improvements you want to work toward this year. Make this the year you take concrete steps toward better health!
Note: This article should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before making any exercise, diet, or other health changes.