By Khushboo Motihar Last Updated:
Women are selfless creatures, who always think about their families, work, friends, and home, but never take out time for themselves. Well, dear superwomen, don’t forget that even a well-oiled machine breaks down when not treated with care.
That is why, we have put together fitness advice and health lessons that older women wished that they could have given to their younger selves. Since we don't want you to feel the same, we have here for you six advices that you need to start following now when you still have time, before it is too late. So, read and adapt these amazing tips in your daily life to make sure that you stay healthy, fit and fab, even as you grow older!
In your early 20s you will be able to hit the gym and complete all sorts of fancy workouts quite easily, but as you grow older, your age will catch up with you. Soon, you will be making excuses for not going to the gym, and would end up putting on weight in the process.
That is why, it is essential that you have a simple but effective exercise routine that you enjoy, and don’t give up easily! It could be dancing, zumba, cycling or simply jogging. Continue going to the gym, but try out some fun activities along with it as well.
As Anuja Sharma, a 55-year-old grandmother of two, puts it, “I have realised that ‘you truly are what you eat’. When I was in my 20s, I always thought I could burn off calories easily, so I enjoyed indulging in high-calorie, unhealthy foods regularly. I relished everything from samosas to burgers almost every other day. Given my present health and weight issues, I wished someone had told me this, back then.”
Just because you go to the gym, or have a healthy metabolism in your 20s and 30s, it does not mean you can eat whatever you want. High-calorie food does not have adequate nutrients, it fills your stomach temporarily, thus making you feel more hungry later on. What's more? It becomes more difficult for your body to burn off that weight easily after a certain age. Also, overindulging in fried, junk or sweet foods will have an unhealthy effect on your skin, in the longer run. So, indulge in your favourite junk food once in a while, but stay away from them on a daily basis. What you feed your body today, will determine your body’s health tomorrow!
Most diet sodas, low-calorie sweeteners, low-calorie sweets, etc. are a fad that is actually a fraud! They may contain lesser calories, but they also contain sweeteners that may spike your insulin levels, thus making you crave for something sweet. Some of the artificial sweeteners can also cause neurological damage, gastrointestinal and endocrine dysfunctions. Even the non-organic soy products that you blindly trust, might be genetically modified, using a chemical toxin called hexane, which can lead to reproductive problems and birth defects in your children.
So, stay away from these, and focus on natural or organic items only. Also do a thorough research on the ingredients that are added in these products, to see how good or bad they can be for your body. Always read the ingredient list on the label carefully. If possible, talk to a doctor or nutritionist about what products you should purchase.
The size-zero fad is here to stay, and there are many women who starve themselves just to fit into those stylish outfits. It is essential to be fit and healthy, but do not equate fitness with being thin. In order to get a slim figure many women eliminate entire food groups like carbohydrates and fats from their diet. This is extremely unhealthy, and if it continues for a long period of time, your body can become deficient in some essential nutrients.
Add a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. Remember, every woman needs to take in a certain amount of folic acid (vitamin B9) daily to ensure that they are healthy and, in future, have no complications during pregnancy. You can lower your chances of osteoporosis by including dairy products in your diet, to get adequate calcium. Apart from these, every woman needs to add omega-3 fats and iron in her diet, to ensure that her body gets its essential nutrients to work properly.
With all the running around that you have to do, whether at home or at work, you need to make sure that you have strong bones. This is one thing that most of you ignore when at a younger age. You might feel that calcium is the only nutrient you need, to make sure that you have strong bones. But, you also need vitamin D that helps in the absorption of calcium in the body. And, lack of this can lead to weak bones, thus putting you at a greater risk of osteoporosis and fractures, at an older age.
Every once in a while, ditch the gym and go to the nearest park for some fun and a healthy dose of vitamin D. So, jog, play around or just meditate for a while in the sun. You will also feel rejuvenated and fresh.
Shilpa Dhawan, who is in her late 40s, confesses, “After my marriage, I was always under a lot of stress. I realised that not just my professional life, but even the personal life deserves my equal (at times, much more) attention. All this stress, made me indulge in overeating, and disturbed my sleep pattern. Even today, I suffer from sleep issues, apart from my weight issues.”
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In today’s fast-paced world, stress is something that you have to deal with on a day to day basis, so much so that it can have an adverse effect on your health. It won’t show now, but once you hit the wrong side of 30s and early 40s, the symptoms will manifest in the form of anxiety, fatigue, and sometimes even sleeplessness, which lead to bigger problems when you turn older.
So, learn to balance your work and personal life, and take some time off to relax. The best way to unwind is to shut off all your gadgets once you reach home. It may seem difficult at first, but avoid the temptation of reaching for your mobile phone. Soon you will realise that you are a calmer and more composed person.
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So, these were some things women wished to share with their younger selves. If there are more health and fitness tips you wished you would have given to your younger self, then do share them with other readers in the comments section below.
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