National Women’s Health Week is May 8th to 15th. Ladies, this is the time to make some plans on how you will celebrate YOU and take better care of yourself. In my role as a personal trainer for women, I see time and again that women put themselves last on the priority list.
We are typically the caregivers, seeing to it that our family is well-fed, dressed impeccably, signed up for the ballet or soccer classes, taken to the doctor, etc. Working inside and outside the home puts additional demands on us as we wear many hats, answering to many different people all day. We don’t think twice about paying for the fun extracurricular class for our little ones, but we don’t often treat ourselves the same way.
And, sure, this is what makes you a great mom! But if mama’s bucket ain’t full, everyone will feel the effects. It’s not selfish to take care of you.
Here are some ideas for treating yourself like the queen you are during National Women’s Health Week:
- Lunch with friends – Setting up a time to hang with the girls is always great for a mental health boost. This time of year in Austin is perfect to dine al fresco and soak up some vitamin D while you’re at it. Send the text now to get it on everyone’s calendar! Try a new spot like Josephine House or The Little Darlin’.
- Schedule your annual mammogram – Show the girls some love! Don’t put off scheduling your mammogram as they correctly identify about 87 percent of women who truly have breast cancer. ARA Diagnostic Imaging makes it super easy to schedule online.
- Commit to a new workout plan – There are so many reasons to exercise! In my opinion, if you were going to choose the one exercise form that has the most benefits, it would definitely be strength training. Did you know that with strength training: 1) you’ll lose body fat 2) you decrease your risk of osteoporosis 3) you reduce your risk of injury, back pain and arthritis 4) you reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes 5) you can potentially improve depression. Pick up a barbell, ladies!
- Try some new, healthy recipes – Food is our fuel and our bodies deserve premium! I love a super simple breakfast and just mix a scoop of Muscle Milk 100 Calorie Chocolate Protein Powder into a bowl of plain Greek yogurt. You could easily add granola and berries for a parfait. For lunch, try Fiesta Chicken Salad or Mushroom Onion Quiche Bites. For dinner, try Tomato Basil Turkey Meatloaf or Coconut Shrimp with Orange Sauce.
- Take care of your mental health – We know by now that mental health is vitally important to our overall well-being and is nothing to be ashamed of. A good therapist is a critical member of the team of wellness professionals you entrust with your health. Reaching out to schedule an appointment is a great way to show yourself some love during National Women’s Health Week.
- Practice good sleep hygiene – Sleep is so important to your overall health and wellness. Did you know that not getting enough sleep leads to memory and concentration issues, a lowered immune system, higher blood pressure, increased risk of diabetes, and more. Make sure that you don’t have caffeine past noon, go to bed at the same time each night and wake in the morning at the same time, and spend some time before bed doing relaxing activities, such as reading, meditating, or taking a bath.
- Drink enough H2O – Water is your friend and we all need to flush out the toxins in our bodies. If plain water isn’t your thing, try adding fruit like cucumber or lime. Fill a water bottle first thing in the morning and leave it out where you can see it. Or even better, carry it with you throughout the day.
I’ve recently been talking to my personal training clients about behavior-based goals versus outcome-based goals. We’re more familiar with outcome-based goals which are focused on, obviously, the outcome. These may include “lose five pounds” or “deadlift 100 pounds”. The downside to outcome-based goals is that they often take a while to achieve and you may miss all of the incremental progress you’re making. That’s where behavior-based goals come in. They allow you to set goals related to the progress you make and celebrate your hard work along the way to the outcome-based goal. If you were to make a few behavior-based goals related to National Women’s Health Week, they might be:
- Try one new workout and go on two 30-minute walks
- Make an appointment with a therapist
- Drink four big glasses of water each day
- Try a new recipe for dinner one night
Ultimately, how you choose to celebrate your health during National Women’s Health Week is up to you and you should do what you love most! Just remember, you’re worth taking care of so make sure you’re not last on the priority list.