Men’s and women’s bodies are programmed differently from conception and it is these differences that affect disease prevention, diagnoses and treatments but women’s health has been considered a niche market and a mere subset of healthcare. While the Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental and physical health, the new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues has affected women differently or disproportionately as they are often caretakers.
Since they add up to one half of the world’s population and account for 80 percent of consumer purchasing decisions in the healthcare industry, it is important to raise awareness that leads to better health outcomes for women. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Vijay Thakkar, Fitness Entrepreneur and Functional Medicine Coach, stressed that being a healthy woman doesn’t necessarily mean that you must weigh below 50 kgs every time you stand on a scale or must have a waist circumference below 30 inches.
He listed some amazing tips women can follow to keep up their game of fitness. These include:
1. Focus on building lean muscle tissues to be more strong, burn more calories even at rest, have a better immune system, more flexibility and improved metabolic rate that will ultimately result in better health.
2. Hormonal changes begin in your 20s. So, take vitamin D in the form of sunlight which is abundant in tropical regions.
3. A woman’s metabolism slows down during their middle-ages, generally the period when they reach menopause. So, make some real and sustainable changes in your diet such as including more protein, optimal intake of iron and working out regularly to keep up your metabolism.
4. Stay away from stress and social pressure. Though it is sometimes unavoidable, stress has been the reason for various hormonal diseases, autoimmune disorders and unhealthy weight gain in women. So it’s crucial to take some personal time off to detox yourself.
Dr Babina NM, Chief Medical Officer at Jindal Naturecure Institute, asserted that while alternative therapies promise to treat diseases or ameliorate disease processes in a natural way through different practices, diet remains a crucial component of all types of practices to maintain good health. She said, “Yoga is an activity that incorporates physical movement as well as greater self-awareness and mindfulness, which promotes healthy eating.”
She added, “Many people who practice Yoga on a daily basis are of the belief that Yoga increases their motivation to pick healthy foods, helps them to be more mindful while eating on the quality and quantity and reduces food cravings. Along with choosing the right food, we must also learn to develop good eating habits.”
While there are no set guidelines to follow, Dr Babina NM shared some tips for women for healthier eating:
1. Include Adequate Amounts of Protein – Proteins are crucial for the body and should definitely be included in the diet. Broccoli, lentils, soybeans, asparagus, Low-fat dairy and spinach are some protein-rich foods.
2. Opt for Green leafy Veggies – Add green leafy veggies to the diet. They are a rich source of iron, proteins, calcium and fibre.
3. Chew the Food Properly – One of the obvious and easiest ways to digest food is to chew it. A majority of people often eat their food in a hurry and skip chewing their food properly. While what you eat eventually gets digested, but barely chewed food takes more time and tires the digestive system. Besides, the more you chew food, the easier it becomes for the stomach to digest it, and you burn more calories moving your jaw, which will be an added advantage.
4. Focus on the Food – Most people gulp their food while texting or watching television and don’t really keep a count of how much they end up eating. Though the stomach might be full, the brain signals to eat more, and you eventually end up overeating. If you focus only on the food, then you’ll eat only as much as your body requires, and hence better not to have any other activity while eating food.