If you aren’t living life in the fast lane, what are you doing? Modern day women are expected to hit the gym, work overtime, take care of the family and maintain an amazing social life, all the while tweeting about how wonderfully busy they are. It’s tiring just thinking about it.
As a result, good health is put on the backburner. Exhausting every last minute of the day until you’re dead on your feet is seemingly far more important than making your general wellbeing number one priority. Put yourself first by avoiding these common mistakes.
1. Emotional Eating
We’ve all had one of those days that only a tub of chocolate ice-cream can save. But if you’re constantly turning to food as a means of comfort and stress-relief, things need to change.
Emotional eating is a quick-fix that can have serious repercussions on your health. It may help control your feelings in the moment, but it won’t resolve the underlying issue, and will only leave you feeling guilty. Worse still, emotional eating can lead to further unhealthy diet habits and even obesity if you’ve an inability to stop bingeing. Pin down what your emotional triggers are and break the cycle. Using a diary, or switching to a healthier means of stress-relief like exercise or yoga can help too.
2. Ignoring Stress
Even the most impressive multi-tasking superwomen need some ‘me-time.’ If you’re experiencing symptoms of stress – headaches, lethargy, insomnia – nip them in the bud before they spiral out of control. Tensions can easily mount-up and take their toll on your health which, when ignored, can lead to long term issues, such as anxiety and depression.
Take steps to alleviate the pressure. Identify triggers, list your problems and organise your time in a way that makes overwhelming tasks seem more manageable. In some cases, you just need to accept that certain things can’t and won’t change, and move forward. Above everything, your mental and physical health come first.
3. Skipping Screenings And Check-Ups
Powering through the pain is never an option. Even if you aren’t experiencing physical symptoms of a condition and feel like you’re in perfect health; if you’re scheduled for a screening or due for a check-up, always make the appointment. In the US alone, ‘8 million adult women who should be screened for cervical cancer haven’t had a check-up in the past five years’ reports federal health officials. Screenings aren’t pointless – in this instance, it enables doctors to detect any changes in the cervix and if caught early enough, can prevent cancer. You won’t regret it.
4. Not Lifting Heavy
Many women steer clear of heavy weights in the fear that they’ll transform into a 280 lbs bodybuilder with muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger. But the truth is, if that isn’t your goal and you aren’t doing the specific training/taking the supplements to achieve this, then that will never happen.
Strength training should be an essential part of every woman’s workout, and we’re not talking dinky 8lbs barbells. The best way to tone-up, burn fat and sculpt your figure into amazing shape is by braving the ‘big boy weights’ and getting strong. Embrace compound movements: barbell squats, dumbbell lunges and seated cable rows, and look forward to lots of lovely compliments about your gorgeous new physique.
5. Saving SPF For The Beach
Whilst it’s great that you’re applying factor 30 on the beach, spare a thought for those super-sunny days when your skin goes unprotected. Not only does too much exposure to the sun leave your complexion dry, wrinkled and leathery; it also puts you at a higher risk of developing melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Staying safe in a SPF-based moisturiser day-to-day is far more important than sun-kissed skin. Youthful, healthy skin is far better than a tan.
6. Neglecting Your Pearly Whites
Unfortunately, your teeth aren’t indestructible, and it’s only with age, as aches/pains and a little yellowing starts to appear, that you wish you’d been more careful. Take preventive action and look after your pearly whites while they’re in tiptop condition.
In Britain alone, a recent study revealed that “one quarter of adults don’t brush the recommended two times a day” reports The Guardian; despite the continued warnings that the inflammation caused by gum disease can potentially influence the behaviour of other tissues/organs, and in turn lead to other serious illnesses (like heart disease or diabetes). Ladies: brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, scrap the constant stream of sugary snacks/drinks, and remember to book regular check-ups at your dentist.
7. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Who needs sleep when you can rely on coffee to get you through the day? One too many late nights/early mornings can have a serious impact on your body, more than you may realise. It leaves you unmotivated, lethargic, and at a higher risk of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
If you struggle to clock-up the recommended 7-9 hours a night, you need to readdress your sleep hygiene, new mums included. It may seem impossible, but a good night’s rest should be treated as a priority, not an afterthought. Avoid stimulants in the evening, cosy up in a quiet, dark, cool bedroom, and try to go to bed/get up at the same time each day.
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