As women age, their health needs change. Staying active and tailoring food intake to keep up with your changing body can help minimize unwanted weight gain and energy loss and possibly keep chronic diseases in check.
Follow these helpful tips for women’s wellness in each stage of adulthood.
Lower your chances of getting osteoporosis later by consuming more calcium now. Keep your bones strong by eating two to three servings of calcium-rich foods each day. Great choices are nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. One serving of milk or yogurt is 8 ounces or 1 cup; one serving of cheese is 1½ ounces.
One of the most important things women can do at this stage is to consume the recommended daily 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid, especially if you are planning a pregnancy. Folic acid is an essential B vitamin that protects babies in the womb from serious birth defects. Good sources of folate include green, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, folic acid-fortified bread and cereal, and supplements.
A woman’s metabolism slows between 2 and 8 percent every decade, which means a 35-year-old woman needs 100 fewer calories a day than she did 10 years ago. To keep your weight steady, you will need to exercise more and eat less. It is important to remember that although you need to reduce your food intake, your body still needs nutrients. So, you may need to examine your diet and cut back on empty calories (soda, fast foods, fatty snacks) and eat more nutritious foods (fruits, vegetables and whole grains).
Your 40s and Beyond
As women age, muscle mass slowly begins to deteriorate and is replaced with fat. The best way to prevent age-related muscle loss is to make strength training and weight-bearing exercise a priority. Experts recommend that women over 40 do strength training exercises, including weight or resistance training, at least twice a week, and weight bearing aerobic exercises, including swimming, walking, and dancing, at least five times a week.
One of the best things for women’s health
At any age, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. The key to staying active is finding something you enjoy that fits into your daily schedule. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do – inline skating, running, walking, dancing, household chores, or gardening – as long as you do it regularly.
Experts recommend that you do 30 minutes or more of physical activity a day, at least five times a week. The benefits of exercise are manifold. Exercise promotes weight control, improves your strength and flexibility, lowers your risk of heart disease, helps control blood pressure and diabetes, relieves stress, and improves your mood and the way you feel about yourself. And what woman wouldn’t like more of that?