Diversity Woman Magazine

WIN 2019

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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46 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N W i n t e r 2 0 1 9 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m Strength training—Lifting light weights keeps muscles strong without bulking them up. You should be able to start by lifting one or two pounds, 10 times, with ease, before increasing after a few weeks. Walking—Adults should start by walking 10 to 15 minutes, then over time, walk farther and faster, up to 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week. Walking is simple and has many benefits. Kegel exercises—ese will help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder. No. 2: Strengthen your immune system According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, adults have two or three colds per year. Millions of Americans suffer annually from the common cold—the main reason adults miss work. While there is no way to avoid catching a cold, you can lessen your susceptibility to it. ere is also no way to cure a cold once you have one— over-the-counter medicines temporarily suppress symptoms. But you can ward off a cold before it develops into something worse and avoid getting sick as often. Harvard Health recommends the fol- lowing for strengthening your immune system: • Don't smoke. • Eat a diet high in fruits and veg- etables. • Exercise regularly. • Maintain a healthy weight. • If you consume alcohol, drink only in moderation. • Get adequate sleep. • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly. • Try to minimize stress. e medical establishment's assessment on vitamins and minerals has been inconclusive. As a result, many medical professionals recommend that you get your vitamins and minerals from food. Citrus fruits and dark leafy greens are high in vitamin C, while vitamin D can be found in salmon and egg yolks from chickens raised outside or labeled as high in vitamin D. No. 3: Live your best life Our everyday habits have a big impact on our mental and, in turn, physical health. Rewiring our brains can help us become positive and healthy. Kate Hanley, a personal development coach and author of How to Be a Better Person, recommends the following: • Start your day right. How you begin anything sets the tone for everything that comes after. Develop a healthy morning routine to set the right tone for your day. (at means don't roll over and immediately check your email on your phone.) Your routine doesn't have to be elaborate. Do a couple of stretches, jot down five things you're grateful for, or visualize the day. Start the day with a clear head and you'll make better decisions all day. • Embrace boredom. Boredom might seem like a bad thing, but it's a much- needed counterpoint to information overload and is vital to your long-term health, happiness, and productivity. To get more comfortable with boredom, build your ability to resist meaning- less distraction. Whenever you think you're bored, stay with that feeling instead of instinctively reaching for the nearest gadget. Look around you. Find someone else with a free moment and talk. Wonder about something in your immediate environment, then return to the next item on your to-do list with more focus. • Change your default reaction to stress. We all have an automatic reac- tion to stress. You may respond with anger, or dive into self-criticism, or feel overwhelmed and anxious. Or maybe you reach for cookies or start skimping on sleep. What does your stress pattern look like? Figure it out, then write it down and make a list of things you could do instead of those old standbys. What- ever it may be, you'll have interrupted your knee-jerk response. No. 4: Listen to your body There is really only one, simple way to improve your health in 2019—or in any year for that matter—and that is to listen to your body. Our body speaks to us, and it is up to us to listen to what it is saying or to put it in the back of our mind. If we eat too much junk food, our body craves a healthy detox. If we don't eat enough food, our body becomes weak and tired. If we work out too hard, our body asks for a rest day. If we are experiencing stress, our shoulders tense up and our bodies yearn for a massage. If you're tired, sleep. If you're thirsty, drink water. We instinctively know how to improve our health. Let's take the time to listen and treat ourselves well. DW Julissa McClean's health-focused stories have been featured in Women's Health, Prevention, and Vice. She has also written for Cosmopolitan and Latina, as well as Diversity Woman. ISTOCKPHOTO We all have automatic reactions to stress. Make a list of things you could do instead of those old standbys. DW Life >

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