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Women's Health Tips for Heart, Mind, and Body


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From the time we are in our early teens, women are experiencing many health “issues”that we don't even understand. All through our lives, we are in this unspoken fight to feel good. Even our early hormones can cause so many varying feelings and moods. Our minds tell us our bodies are ugly, other people don't like us or we are in some way not enough. Women's health struggles don't all look the same, and they do change to a degree depending on the season of life we are in. But one thing is certain, we are all facing something and sometimes more than one thing at a time. Being a woman is such a gift and something I am actually so thankful for! I love being female and the privilege that comes with that. We get to bear life in our bodies, we get to be mothers, daughters and sisters, we get to be and create beauty in the world around us. We get to be the conduits of nurturing love and nourishment. We are creative beings and we have the gift of making things happen. We are fierce in our love for those we care about and we are fighters and warriors when things get tough. We are amazing beings but let's be real, our bodies and our brains can be complicated and we have to spend a lot of time, energy, effort, and even money to figure out what ails us and what to do about it. Thankfully, there is ever emerging information and help in the world of female health, and I have hope that we will continue to gain more and more insight and hope for women to feel great and live their best life. Here are 4 components I have found to be helpful both through my studies as a health coach and as a student of life in my own quest to find answers for my own body and mind, and the women I have been called on in life to help. This can help things like hormone imbalance, PCOS, Menopause or perimenopause, and stress or anxiety. Let's dive into health tips for heart, mind, and body!


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First let's talk about the life giving power of MOTION, or movement. Think of a body of water, specifically a river. Imagine a stagnant river that is low in water, hot and not flowing. Now imagine a healthy river. It's full, swiftly flowing and it's clean and fresh and cold. Our bodies also need this type of motion for good health. We are made up of so much water, lymph, and blood, that is healthiest when it is not stagnant. Pushing the good nutrients through and filtering out the toxins. This is why physical movement is so important. We must keep the healthy flow going, which consequently also affects our mood through the release of dopamine to our brain when we move our body. The best types of movement for women? Well number one I always say the best exercise is the one you will do. It doesn't matter what it looks like on paper if it's not something you will apply, it will never help you. So a big key here is finding movement that you enjoy to some degree and that you will actually do. The second part of this is that there are actually movements that are most beneficial to a woman's body. One, weight bearing exercise. You must build and maintain muscle mass for both strength and longevity for your aging body as it supports healthy bones, tendons, and ligaments. Two, walking at just a moderate pace will increase blood flow and cardiovascular fitness. This will improve muscle and bone strength, and aid in maintaining a healthy weight. The third type of movement that is so beneficial is the combination of stretching for flexibility and balancing movements. Yoga and pilates are both great ways to incorporate this. Balance is one of the first things to go as we age so it's vital that we keep working on it. Bonus for balance movements, it is yet another movement that connects the body to the brain and can be helpful in keeping your mind sharp and focused. My advice would be to find a way to incorporate some of these movements into your lifestyle daily. Find what you like and what works with your routine and stick with it. A little bit everyday is always better than doing too much once in a while. One other caveat for this is for aging women especially, too much high intensity movement can have a negative effect on weight loss/gain by keeping cortisol levels too high too often. High intensity is not all bad and has its benefits, however it may be something to consider if you are struggling to lose or maintain weight.


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Now onto two and one of my biggest passions, and that is the power of NUTRITION. Let's start by talking about what nutrition is and is not. Nutrition is the FUEL you give your body to live and function. It nourishes your cells, organs, muscles and bones, and even your brain. Nutrition is not just a list of things you cannot have or a to do list of what you must have. Nutrition is not based on deprivation but the exact opposite, the abundance of what your body wants and needs to be whole and healthy. Our food should be made up of vitamins and minerals and nutrients that give our body life. Never chemicals or man made modifications that leave us feeling empty and full of toxins. Food should come from a life source and in turn it will give life back. We should neither deprive nor starve ourselves of what we need to function nor over indulge and feed our bodies things that hurt us and leave us emotionally and physically worse off. There are some very specific things you can do to combat weight gain, hormones, and even all of the other issues I listed above. I start by telling my clients to think in the simplest terms of whole foods. If you do nothing else with your diet, eat whole foods. More specifically there are combinations of greens, proteins and healthy fats, and alkalizing foods that will help the female body optimize glucose levels, fat storage, hormone balance, and even moods. If you are struggling to figure this out on your own it can be very helpful to work with a holistic practitioner/professional to really help you dial in on this and get you to the next level with your nutrition. One last thing I will add regarding nutrition is that it is also the fuel you give your mind. If you want to be truly healthy, it's imperative that you also fuel your mind with positive thoughts with everything you allow in. In summary of nutrition, be very mindful and protective of everything you allow your body or mind to absorb.


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If you have followed me for long, or know me personally you know that I will often talk about this third component and that is the importance of positive CONNECTION. There are multiple aspects of this that are very vital to the connection piece of women's health. First and foremost, we must make time for connection with God, our maker, our soul caregiver. Taking the time each day or even throughout the day for prayer, reading, meditating etc., to connect is life giving and life changing. Once you begin to incorporate this habit you will wonder how you ever lived without it. In this same space, it's also important to connect with yourself. To listen to and acknowledge how you are feeling, what you are thinking about often, and what worries you. What are your goals, dreams, and desires? What do you need to work on and what are you happy with? What are you grateful for and what are you hopeful for? It's so important to tune out the voices of the world and check in with you. With your heart. Lastly, connection with people. Making time for the most valued people in your life. Your family and treasured friends(only healthy friendships though). You don't have to create pressure to connect with a million people, only a few quality relationships are more important than many half hearted or superficial connections. That said, I believe it's transformative to open yourself up to opportunities to get close to new people, learn new things and discover life outside your four walls. You just don't want to over commit where connections become something that tire you rather than refresh you. Also, remember that as much as you want to follow a healthy lifestyle majority of the time, remember that celebratory food and friendship are just as important to feeling healthy and happy. Don't be that person that refuses to ever eat the birthday cake when it's appropriate! These are the fun moments of life we were made to enjoy and that will always keep our hearts and minds in a good place.


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One final note to leave you with in consideration of your health as a female and that is RESTORATION. Like I said earlier, women can get things done!! We often pride ourselves in the ability to run the world or at least the world we live in. But doing too much for too many people can leave you exhausted, sick, grumpy, and overwhelmed which can lead to anger and resentment. These things have no room in the life of a healthy woman. We were created to bring order, peace, beauty, love, creativity, and nourishment to the world around us. This is the best version of us and we can not even begin to do all that when we are so tired or stretched thin that we don't even feel good ourselves. Restoration starts with our actual rest or sleep and it's so important to carve out and protect your schedule of sleep. Prepare early to be sure you can get to sleep at a good time and allow for an optimal 8 hours. Create good hygiene habits and self care routines that leave you feeling clean, fresh, relaxed, and nurtured. Watch your caffeine levels through the day so that your cortisol levels are not spiking at the wrong times leaving you more exhausted. Allow for moments alone even if they are short and most definitely allow for plenty of media free time in your day so that your brain can rest and digest also. Take deep cleansing breaths throughout the day and remember that as a woman you are so valued, loved, needed, and capable. But you are also human and deserving of time off, time away, and the gift of restoration for your mind, body, and soul. You can do many things but you were not made to carry the world on your shoulders. This is your permission slip to go ahead and set it down.


Woman to woman, I hope this was helpful and I hope you know I both empathize with the struggles and celebrate all that it means to be female. Together I believe we can help each other grow, learn, and feel. My hope is to always be of encouragement to you in this beautiful, but sometimes challenging experience of life on earth.


XO

Keri

 

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