Staying fit and healthy seems like a full time job. It doesn’t help that the news media paints an impossible picture of the “perfect” female body. But, none of that matters now because research in this area has progressed to a point where most of the science shows that you only need to make a few smart changes to see dramatic results.
Walk As Much As You Can
Walking as much as you can during the day may not burn a lot of calories, but it mobilizes the joints, gets blood moving, lubricates joints, keeps your muscles active during the day, and it helps with mobility.
When you sit all day, you’re engaging in constant hip flexion (bending at the hips to sit down). But, you’re sacrificing hip extension when you do this. This creates tight hamstrings, back pain, knee pain, and a host of other problems which make it difficult to move and live a normal life.
So, when you have the option, walk. Park at the back of the parking lot and walk. Take the steps instead of the escalator or elevator, and just go out on walks randomly instead of zoning out in front of the T.V.
Change Your Diet
Change your diet so that you’re eating more whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, lean meats, and nuts. If you tolerate dairy, opt for full-fat versions (which contain high amounts of fat-soluble vitamins), and if you don’t, then don’t eat dairy.
The important thing is to crowd out junk food with healthy food. Yes, that means you’ll be eating a lot less bread, and bread-based products, corn chips, fast food, and packaged meals. But, give it 30 days. You’ll feel so much better. And, if you need a support group to help you through it, join the Whole 30 club.
This slow-cooker spinach artichoke chicken is a great place to start
Start Strength Training
If you’re like most women, you don’t want to even look at weights in the gym for fear that you’ll get big and bulky. Here’s the thing: that’s never going to happen.
Why? Because you don’t have enough testosterone coursing through your veins to have big, bulky muscles. Follow this guide for women to get strong, and don’t be afraid of the squat rack. The only think that it will do is make you lean, sexy, and strong.
Get Plastic Surgery (If You Really Have To)
For some women, age has taken its toll. But, that’s why there’s KRPlasticSurgery.com. When diet and exercise won’t work, a refresh under the knife can be appropriate.
Get Better Sleep
Sleep is a tough one, especially if you have kids. It’s easy to say you should get a good 8 hours. It’s an entirely different matter getting it. But, there is hope. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you can get better sleep by:
- Avoiding napping during the day.
- Avoiding stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, and depressants like alcohol too close to bedtime.
- Alcohol is the only one on this list that’s not intuitive. But alcohol temporarily makes you sleepy but hours later can raise cortisol levels, signaling to your body that it’s time to wake up, creating insomnia if you’re a heavy drinker.
- Don’t eat right before bed.
- Get good exposure to natural light first thing in the morning.
- Establish a routine for bed that you follow rigidly - especially in the beginning.
- Associate your bed with sleep. Keep the T.V., radio, and books out of the bedroom.
Improving your sleep can make a dramatic difference in your weight loss efforts, and it will generally make you a more pleasant person to be around. You’ll be less stressed, less tired during the day, and you’ll feel more productive and energetic when you’re awake.
Dr. Kevin Ruhge is a member of the surgical staff at Huntington Hospital, Huntington Outpatient Surgery Center, and the Arcadia Outpatient Surgery Center. A member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, he specializes in cosmetic surgery of the face, body and breasts. His enlightening and helpful articles appear mostly on medical and health and wellness websites and blogs.