WOMEN AND HEALTHY LIVING
Upto modern times, a discourse of healthy living has developed tobecome one of the common in health policies and patterns togetherwith health promotion strategies across the globe. This has madeseveral nations adopt guidelines and benchmarks for healthy living asa response to the prevalent cardiovascular diseases such as diabetesand obesity that affects women. These conditions are associated withescalating healthcare cost when diagnosis and treatment measures areapplied. These conditions are predominantly experienced by women thathave negative health lifestyles. According to World HealthOrganization, healthy living originates from health promotion and itinvolves helping people to alter their lifestyles and proceed towardsa state of optimum wellness (Penderson et al., 2013). Through theOttawa Charter, WHO has outlined several strategies for improvingdiet, physical practices, and health explicitly for the protectionand control these cardiovascular diseases. Women are, therefore,required to adopt these healthy lifestyle strategies and guidelinesto increase the quality of their life. This paper, therefore,examines the understanding of women’s wellness, strategies towardshealthy living, and problems they encounter about healthy lifestyles.
The health of a lady is important not only to themselves but also tothe children they bear (WHO, 2009). Heart disease is a leading killerdisease specifically to women at the global perspective. Separately,pregnancy period is a significant stage in a woman’s life as notedby Bayrami et al. (2013). The wellness of a woman during this momentwill lead to a desirable result for both mother and the infant.During this point of time, health promotion strategies such asincreasing maternal knowledge on healthy lifestyles and access tohealthcare services will promote their wellness. Healthy lifestylerelies on several interventions and modifications, which comprehendsalmost all aspects of life (Penderson et al., 2013). In this case, afit lifestyle contributes to healthy living, however, unworthylifestyles adverse effects on the women’s wellness. On the otherhand, healthcare professionals and nurses should embark on stressingthe critical importance of adherence to the healthy lifestyle in theeffort to reduce premature morbidity and mortality (Matheson et al.,2012).
Contemporary, obesity and heart disease are prevailing among womenand avoiding these conditions women should acquire healthy diet andparticipate in physical activities. According to research conductedby Macera (2010), for centuries majority of the population consumefood that contains fatty acids, and calories with less essentialelements like calcium and iron. This is due to low fruit consumptionand too much fat intake that causes obesity and other related healthdiseases. Women should, therefore, consume many fruits and foods withless fat. At a certain level, the women`s diet should alter byincorporating other food rich in iron like red meat, chicken,spinach, beans, and berries. Similarly, women also require more folicacid, which can be found in leafy greens and citrus fruits. Among theprincipal recommended balance diet that women should consumption onroutine daily basis include fruits and vegetables, limited saltintake to reduces the chances of hypertension, and increasing dietaryfiber that is associated with decreased level cholesterol. Overall,women are less muscular and more fat compared to men. Therefore, theyrequire few calories to maintain their body weight.
On the other hand, regular physical exercise is necessary for healthylife. Recent research shows that physically inactive individuals arelikely to develop coronary heart diseases and obesity as compared tothose who participate in regular activity. Participation in dailyphysical activities assists women to remain independent even at theolder age and enhances the quality of their life. US Department ofHealth and Human Services (2014), suggest few steps for healthyphysical activities. Some of them include participating in anyactivity you love most. In addition, muscle press ups or gardening tostrengthen muscles. Physical activities do not only burn calories butalso lower the risk of breast cancer. Exercise fights obesity andreduces the estrogen level in women. Similarly, it boosts the immunesystem (Komen, 2016). Women are more efficient at burning glycogentherefore, nutrients rich in proteins and lower in carbohydrates areuseful in weight loss.
Physical exercise improves moods and reduces symptoms of depressions.It also lowers the pressure of the blood, cholesterol, and balancesthe healthy weight. Additionally, as noted by Yeats (201), physicalexercise is beneficial to older women because they remain physicallyactive. Regular exercise aids in muscle strength, reduction risks tofracture, maintains aerobic capacity, and the general eudemonia. Onthe other hand, physical activity supports healthy bones, therefore,prevents osteoporosis. This chronic disease is common among women,and it is associated with pain, loss of function, and emotionaldistress (Yeats, 2010).
Another way of getting healthy lifestyle is to limit alcohol intakeand avoiding habits of smoking, and skipping workouts. However, whenthese patterns are combined and not dealt with, they increase therisks of developing obesity and health deprivation. Komen (2016),lays that having a glass of red wine reduces the risk of heartdiseases. This might appear to be true however, many studiesindicate that alcohol consumption increases the risk of breastcancer. Healthy living exceeds maintaining your body free fromillness. Therefore, drinking and smoking should be reduced oravoided.
Stress management is another important aspect of a healthy lifestyleas asserted by Bayrami et al. (2013). Thy further noted that theprevalence of anxieties and mood disorders are very high among womenduring their reproductive years. Stress should, therefore, be managedduring this period before conception because it is significant inneonatal growth (Bayrami et al. 2013). Consequently, breastfeeding isanother strategy that lactating mothers should adopt. Breastfeedingprotects against acquiring of breast cancer (Komen, 2016). Otherguidelines and strategies include maintenance of emotional healththrough keeping a positive attitude, participate in things that makeyou happy, and maintain spiritual selfness (Komen. 2016).
Considering a different perspective, there are exist barriers tohealthy living. These aspects should be removed to allow for theimplementation of healthy lifestyle strategies. They include lowincome that affects many women hence, they cannot afford healthyfoods such as fresh vegetables and fruits. Other barriers includelimited access to affordable healthy foods, poor literacy and skillsin acquiring information on how to maintain a healthy diet, and foodlabeling (George, 2005).
Implementing the above lifestyle strategies are beneficial, forinstance, general fitness contributes directly to physical componentsof good health and wellbeing. It also reduces the chances of riskingcardiovascular diseases like diabetes and coronary heart diseasesthat are prevalent in women. Similarly, regular physical exercisereduces blood pressure, improves blood cholesterol levels, and lowersthe body mass index. Consequently, balanced diet promotes women`shealth through consumption of foods that are not fat saturated. Thishelp to reduce chances of developing obesity and other cardiovasculardiseases. Stress management is essential in the sense that itmaintains the overall wellness. Women who keep pressure boost theirimmune system, promote their longevity, and makes them moreresourceful. Smoke cessation and limited alcohol consumption preventlung cancer and breast cancer respectively.
Overall, these lifestyle techniques improve the moods, increased lungcapacity, lower blood pressure, weight loss, build strong muscles,enhances the high quality of living, and reduces the risks of cancersand high cholesterols. Healthcare professionals should coordinatecommunity-based resources and identify consistently, culturally andscientifically sound nutrition and physical exercise that womenshould adopt to live a healthy life (Macera, 2010).
In conclusion, women face a range of health problems that includesrisk to heart disease and obesity. The paper has contributed to thiseffort by investigating the association between women locus ofcontrol and their choices to eat well. These problems occur becauseof limited information on the healthy eating habits, balanced diet,and lack of enough income. To curb the widespread of heart diseaseand obesity, women should adopt healthy lifestyles that incorporateboth stress management, limited consumption of alcohol, regularphysical activities, and healthy diets (Macera, 2010)
Bayrami et al. (2013). Investigating Women’s Lifestyleduring the Preconception Period in Kalat County, Iran. Journal ofMidwifery and Reproductive Health, 2(2) p. 128-135.
George (2005). Food Poverty and Health: Working to Improve PublicHealth. Royal Colleges of Physicians, UK.
Komen, S. (2016). Facts for Life: Healthy Living. Available athttps://ww5.komen.org/uploadedFiles/_Komen/Content/About_Breast_Cancer/Tools_and_Resources/Fact_Sheets_and_Breast_Self_Awareness_Cards/Healthy%20Living.pdf(June 21, 2016).
Matheson et al. (2012). Healthy Lifestyle Habits and Mortalityin Overweight and Obese Individuals. Original Research.
Macera, C. (2010). Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activityfor a Healthier Nation. Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC).
Penderson et al. (2013). Rethinking in Canada. Internet resource.
US Department of Health and Human Services. (2014). Changing yourHabits: Steps to Better Health. NIH.
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Yeats, B. (2010). Women and Physical Health. Women’s HealthVictoria, Australia.