As 2020 draws to a close and 2021 lies ahead, it is the perfect time to reflect on what changes we can make to stay physically and mentally fit. Women in particular face unique and varied pressures when it comes to their health and wellbeing that can often be overlooked. Here are 7 essential steps every woman should consider taking in the new year to improve their health:
1. Identify Habits
Identifying and understanding current habits is the first step towards creating lasting change. Women should take time to assess and understand their lifestyle and the associated risks to their health. Does your living environment facilitate healthy behavior, like exercise, sleep and nutrition? Do established routines lend them to feeling energised and fulfilled? Once women have a better understanding of their current lifestyle, it may be easier to identify healthier habits.
2. Exercise Regularly
One of the most important things a woman can do to look after her body is to exercise regularly. Exercise not only improves physical health, but also mental wellbeing, aiding in reducing stress, anxiety and improving sleep. Social exercise, or classes that involve others, can be a powerful way to make friends, build a support network and increase self-esteem.
3. Eat Healthily
The types and quantity of food we consume can have a huge impact on our mental and physical health. It is important to choose foods that provide nourishment and wellness, rather than relying on unhealthy options to ‘fill the gap’. Aim for a balanced diet filled with nutrient-rich foods, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Getting an adequate amount of sleep is essential for physical and emotional health. Women should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Regular restful sleep can help balance hormones, regulate appetite and reduce stress. Additionally, focusing on winding down at the end of the day with a few simple routines can be beneficial for establishing a regular sleep-wake cycle and promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.
5. Lower Stress Levels
Managing stress is often easier said than done. Women should make a conscious effort to limit stress and nourish the body to reduce the negative effects of stress on physical and mental health. Strategies such as mindfulness, yoga and relaxation techniques can help to lower stress levels and make women feel more balanced in their lives.
6. Connect with Others
Having strong social connections is an important factor for both physical and mental health. Women should make an effort to stay connected to family and friends, as social connection increases happiness and reduces the risk of depression and anxiety. Women should look for ways to build meaningful relationships and meaningful conversations.
7. Make Time For Self-Care
Women should make sure to take ‘me-time’ and dedicate some moments to relaxation and self-care. Schedule in weekly ‘me-time’ to spa, read, meditate, go to a movie or whatever else makes you feel calm and relaxed. When women take regular ‘me-time’, they may find greater balance in their life.
These seven essential steps are a great way for women to start the new year with improved health and wellbeing. Taking the time to look after oneself and make positive changes towards an overall healthier lifestyle can have a lasting and rewarding impact. We wish you all the best for a happy and healthy 2021!
What steps should women take to improve their physical and mental health in 2021?
1. Create a balanced and healthy diet: Eating a balanced and nourishing diet is an important part of maintaining good physical and mental health. Focus on eating lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.
2. Exercise regularly: Participate in some form of physical activity each week to improve your physical and mental health. Exercise can reduce stress, improve mood, boost brainpower and more.
3. Practice self-care: Take time to rest, relax and take care of yourself physically and mentally. This includes activities like yoga, meditation, hobbies, reading, or anything else that brings you joy.
4. Connect with nature: Being in nature has the power to reduce stress, improve mood, and provide calming feelings of connection and peace.
5. Foster meaningful relationships: Good relationships are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Spend time with friends, family, and loved ones.
6. Engage in positive self-talk: Reframe negative thinking and talk to yourself with kindness and understanding.
7. Get enough sleep: Make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night (at least 8 hours). This is essential for proper physical and mental health.
What types of exercises can women do to improve their physical and mental health in 2021?
1. Cardiovascular exercises such as running, swimming, cycling and aerobics
2. Weight training and strength exercises like squats, lunges and planks
3. Yoga and Pilates, which can help improve flexibility, balance, coordination and reduce stress
4. Hillwalking and hiking, which can improve stamina and muscle strength as well as lower stress levels
5. Tai chi and qigong, which can also help improve balance and flexibility
6. Meditation and mindfulness exercises to help reduce stress and clear the mind
7. Stretching and foam rolling for releasing muscle tension and restoring range of motion
8. Dancing, which is a great way to improve fitness, balance, coordination and even mood.