Top lifestyle tips for women to stay healthy all year

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Top lifestyle tips for women to stay healthy all year

Women are muti-taskers and studies have found that women are better at it than men. But thanks to all the multitasking and the demanding work and family lives, many women neglect their health. We spoke to consultant gynecologists, Dr Rishma Dhillon Pai, Dr Nandita Palshetkar and consultant nutritionist Dr Pooja Makhija to list a few lifestyle habits that women should always keep in mind.

Prioritise fitness
Exercising daily and working at a regime that provides a healthy mix of cardiovascular /aerobic and strength training, reduces risks of diseases like diabetes, heart problems and even certain cancers. When you exercise, happy hormones are secreted and act as stress busters, battling depression and anxiety. Maintain weight
A BMI around 19-25 is healthy. The key to maintaining your optimum weight is to balance the calories consumed with the calories burnt.

Eat right
Include iron, folic acid and calcium in your diet, as these are considered important nutrient components for a woman. Don’t forcibly starve yourself and avoid going on binge sprees. Take care of your digestive system

You should avoid having artificial sweeteners, additives, undercooked, contaminated foods and dairy (if lactose intolerant). Constipation, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, colorectal cancer are conditions that can be managed by lifestyle changes and OTC medications. But in some cases, medical advice is needed. Fluids and high-fibre diet is essential.

Check cholesterol
Too much of cholesterol can clog blood vessels and deposit plaque. Over the years this narrows and hardens the vessels (atherosclerosis). Having low fat, low cholesterol diet, avoiding smoking and exercising daily can help.

Quit smoking
Smoking is a leading cause of death in women. Lung cancer causes more deaths than cervical and ovarian cancer. Also, heart disease in women smokers strikes at an earlier age than in non-smokers.

Avoid alcohol
Men weigh more than women and have more water in their bodies, so, the alcohol they drink gets diluted faster in their bodies than in that of a woman’s. Also a chemical that breaks down alcohol in the stomach is more active in men than in women. Hence alcohol related problems may progress quickly in women despite less alcohol intake.

Tackle depression
Depression during pregnancy can have an adverse effect on both the mother and the child. It can be treated by psychotherapy, antidepressants or both.

UTI infections
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are common in all age groups. Prompt urine check, appropriate antibiotics and plenty of fluids can cure this problem.

Get a thyroid test
Thyroid problems should be diagnosed in time. Hypothyroidism can lead to menstrual problems, weight, skin hair and conception problems. Since the condition of hypothyroidism is common, and treatment with the thyroid hormone is effective, the condition should be checked for by a blood test every six months.

Sex education programs
These programs are informative for all age-groups because many aren’t aware of sexually transmitted infections, HIV prevention/ treatment issues. They talk of reproductive health risks, consequences of multiple partners, unhealthy sexual practices, contraceptives, unsafe abortions etc. Learn Kegel’s pelvic exercises. Get PAP smears done when you are in your 20-30s. Vaccines such as rubella and the new HPV prevents cervical cancer.

Reduce cancer risks
Women should examine their breasts, vulva and skin for irregularities — to detect cancer early. A periodic cancer screening tests like mammography, pap smear and colonoscopy should be done.

Regular Gynec checks
A woman in 20-30s, may face menstrual problems — heavy/irregular menses, painful periods, severe PMS, difficulties in becoming pregnant, unplanned pregnancies, miscarriages etc. Regular gynecological checks can prevent and treat these. A sonography can diagnose fibroids, endometriosis or polycystic ovaries and treatment can be offered accordingly. Problems like PMS which causes bloating, breast pain, mood changes etc can be relieved by simple measures like reducing intake of salt, refined floor and caffeine and increasing intake of vitamin E and primrose oil supplements. Hormonal pills can be used in severe cases.

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