Mother and child shopping

by Down to Earth

Many women—especially moms--work harder than most anyone and get little acknowledgement for it, all while weathering stress that would cave most men. This article is to acknowledge all they do and suggest a few ideas they may consider to help guard their health.

Too often we take for granted everything women do in contributing to the family income by taking on a job or developing a professional career while taking care of their family, households, and raising children. Also taken for granted is the stress that results from all the expectations that come with it.

Women’s health is related to their roles as mothers, partners, and daughters. They provide care for their children’s health and well-being either directly or by connecting them with health services. Many women take care of an aging or chronically sick parent or relative. Often times the chores associated with all of these responsibilities are not shared clearly or equally amidst mounting pressures to contribute financially to their households. Under these difficult circumstances, many women find it difficult to balance these demands with the need to take care of their own health.

So let’s hear it for the women!  A big hug and thank you for all you do.

Here's a handy list of basic preventive health steps a typical woman can take to at least help weather the stress:

  • Healthy balanced diet. Cut out fast foods. They may fill you up, but they also fill you “out.” Rich in meat—and laden with saturated fat, cholesterol, and artificial chemicals—the greasy and salty food typical of fast foods causes people to get fat and sick. Instead, have at least:
    • Four servings of fruit per day (medium size fruit, or ½ cup chopped fresh fruit, not canned).
    • Five servings of vegetables per day (½ cup chopped or frozen).
  • Supplements. Have a multi-vitamin every day for good health, as they can support the immune and nerve systems. Supplements that help with stress management include adaptogenic herbs such as:
    • Rhodiaola. For more energy, less stress, and better moods.
    • Gensing. For more energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduced stress. Promotes relaxation and helps treat diabetes.
    • Kava Kava. Helps relieve anxiety, restlessness, sleeplessness, and stress-related symptoms such as muscle tension or spasm. Kava may also relieve pain.
  • Movement Exercises.
    • Yoga. The benefits of yoga are too many to describe here. The various poses and deep breaths help the heart do its job, increasing blood flow throughout the body, and improving the entire circulatory system. It can help improve cardiovascular health, reduce chronic neck and lower-back pain, and help control diabetes as well as reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
    • Tai Chi and Qi Gong. These are ancient Chinese practices consisting of simple healing energy exercises and techniques combined with thought and intention to become healthy, increase energy, get rid of toxins, and relax the mind and body.
      • Tai Chi. Tai Chi Is medically proven to be one of the most effective exercises to improve health, fitness and relaxation. Tai Chi consists of fluid, gentle and relaxed movements suitable for anyone and can be practiced almost anywhere.
      • Qi Gong. This holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used to support better health and spirituality.

In summary, one of the keys to better health is achieving “balance”—between a demanding lifestyle and the need for healthy practices that include a healthy diet, supplements, and exercise. As always, “Love Life! Eat Healthy, Be happy!”