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This Mother's Day, give the gift of health

AIESHA BANKS • May 7, 2020 at 11:15 PM

On Mother's Day, it's time to celebrate mom with a special meal or a fun family outing. It's also an opportunity to embrace and encourage everyday healthy choices for all women.

Feeling your best at every age, it's essential to make smart lifestyle and health choices. There are a few simple things that women can do every day (or with regularity) to ensure good health.

Eat a healthy diet

Your metabolism reduces 2% each decade, so eating healthy every day is essential. Why? Because eating at the start of the day works together with your metabolism, which is at its highest in the morning and fuels activity.

Breakfast is a great way to start. Studies have shown that women who eat breakfast lose more weight and sustain their loss more effectively than those on a low-carb diet who make breakfast their smallest meal and who have a tendency to put the weight back on after just four months.

Exercise

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in America, but plenty of activities can help keep your heart healthy. Just 30 minutes a day gives your metabolism the jump start it needs. Simple squats for the thighs and stomach crunches will help shore up your bones. Aerobic exercises (walking, swimming, jogging, bicycling, dancing) are suitable for women's health in general and especially for your heart.

Avoid risky habits

Stay away from cigarettes, and people who smoke. Don't use drugs. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Most women's health studies show that women can safely consume one drink a day. A drink is considered to be about 12 to 14 grams of alcohol, which is equal to 12 ounces of beer (4.5 percent alcohol), 5 ounces of wine (12.9 percent alcohol); or 1.5 ounces of spirits (hard liquor such as gin or whiskey, 80-proof).

Manage stress no matter what stage of your life. Daughter, mother, grandmother — a woman often wears many hats and deals with a lot of pressure and stress. Let's add if you are holding down a job as well as looking after a family; stress can trigger unhealthy changes in the body, such as increased blood pressure. Take a few minutes every day to relax and get your perspective back again. It doesn't take long, and mental health is vital to your physical well-being. Make sure you keep up with friends (in person, not just on Facebook!) Not only does relaxing with them reduce stress and boost self-esteem, but a good social life can also mean less risk of diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.

And always take time to schedule vital health checks.

· Blood Pressure Screening

· Cholesterol Check

· Pap Smears

· Mammograms

· Bone Density Screening

So, during this Mother's Day and every day, encourage your mother and other women to live a healthy and productive lifestyle.

Check out our new and improved website for more women's health: www.healthykingsport.org. Stay Healthy Kingsport.

Healthy Kingsport is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a community that actively embraces healthy living by promoting wellness, enhancing infrastructure, and influencing policy.

Aiesha Banks is the Executive Director of Healthy Kingsport. She can be reached at abanks@healthykingsport.org

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