Nothing has made us more conscious of our responsibility to take care of our bodies – and their immune systems – like the 2020 pandemic.
To that end, we’re dedicating our 2021 Healthy Woman Resolutions to the steps most linked to keeping your body and immune system as strong and resilient as possible.
Boost Your Health & Immunity with These 5 2021 Resolutions
Here are five sure ways you can optimize your overall health and wellbeing. We also recommend visiting our post, Our Favorite Health Apps, all of which can support the following five suggestions.
1. Observe annual wellness visits
Understandably, people have shied away from many of the wellness visits that were routine in years past as a way of avoiding potential exposure from COVID. However, many of the comorbidity factors linked to severe COVID cases are exactly what need to be caught, noticed, addressed, and monitored by primary care physicians.
Things like weight management, diabetes, heart disease, and reproductive issues – all require early detection to be treated as successfully as possible. If you are wary of coming to the office in person, contact your doctor to speak about TeleHealth visit options.
Did you know Women’s Health Associates has an all-female team of physicians? We excel at providing compassionate, expert care where patients feel comfortable being 100% themselves. Honesty is everything when it comes to proactive, personalized healthcare.
2. Make stress management a regular part of your daily practice
While we absolutely prioritize healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices, this year we’re putting stress management toward the top of the list. Research and our own experience as healthcare professionals show the direct correlation between high stress levels and compromised health.
Under stress, the body operates in a state of fight/flight/freeze – and that releases floods of cortisol and other stress hormones. These are helpful for running away from a large predator or life threatening situations, but chronic fight/flight responses are harmful when they’re unregulated. It’s like a slow, internal overdose from your own hormones, which contribute to a hyperinflammatory response and reduced immunity.
Using mindfulness practices, which include breathing exercises, meditation, tech-free time in nature, keeping a gratitude journal, etc., all work to retrain your brain.
3. Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine
It turns out that ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates (B.C. 460 to 375), didn’t actually say, “let thy food be the medicine…,” but he did write frequently about the link between lifestyle choices and patient health.
We’re so tired of the word “diet;” aren’t you? As women, it’s all too often related to body image and shame rather than health. That said, like Hippocrates, we easily see the connection between what our patients put in their bodies and their health history.
Inflammation is an important correlation between food and health. Those who focus more on anti-inflammatory food choices fare better, even if they already have existing health conditions. Focusing on anti-inflammatory foods and avoiding processed or highly refined foods also support female reproductive health.
As long as you’re focusing on anti-inflammatory foods, check out this article from the Women’s Health Network, 7 Steps to an Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle.
4. Establish a health sleep pattern
Losing sleep, experiencing interrupted sleep, or trouble getting to sleep can all compromise your body’s natural biochemical processes – many of which are regulated during deep sleep cycles.
Read, Are You Getting Enough Sleep, to learn more about weather focusing on healthy sleep habits and re-establishing a normal sleep cycle sounds like just the ticket for your 2021 health goals.
5. Spend more time outside
How much time are you getting outdoors these days? For some, 2020’s shelter-in-place mandates accelerated their walking, hiking, and outdoor lives. For others, it has meant far more time spent indoors – simultaneously working while facilitating distance learning for children.
Try to find ways to get outside, whether that means investing in better all-weather gear so you can get out there rain, wind, or shine – or designating “outdoor work times” at picnic benches or patio tables when the weather is nice. Anytime spent out in Mother Nature is a balm for the body, mind and spirit. You can also use outdoor time as a way to find easy exercise moments.
Women’s Health Associates is dedicated to helping your body, mind, and spirit feel its best. Schedule a New Year’s appointment with us to get your 2021-woman health resolutions on track.