Wellness Wednesday: Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle

For our Wellness Wednesday blog I’ll be touching on nutrition and physical activity guidelines for women. Women’s bodies are capable of doing awesome things including but not limited to…full time advertising, sales, engineering, healthcare jobs, doing taxes, taking care of households, bearing and raising children, and amazing physical feats! We are bombarded with all this health information on what to include, what to avoid, and what we should NEVER eat. We see messages for fertility, longevity, healthy skin and nails, etc. With all the hype over all these diets how are we supposed to iron out the details and formulate a plan?

We turn to the research, of course! 

In regards to Nutrition, MOST moderately active women need between 1800 – 2200 calories/day. Having said that, each woman is different based on height, weight, age, and physical activity level. If you are recovering from injury or training for a half marathon or IRONMAN your needs will be very different. If you are struggling to know where to start, go back to the basics and focus on these nutrients:

Two cups of fruits, fresh or frozen per day.

Two and a half cups of vegetables, fresh or frozen per day.

Three servings of low fat dairy products (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese)

5-6 oz of protein such as beans, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, pork, or beef.

At least 3-4 servings of whole grains, such as breads, cereals, pasta, quinoa, or oats.

Want more Information? Check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Webpage and stay tuned to our blog!

 Moving onto Physical Activity…

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity exercise per week. We know that this level of activity can help manage weight, prevent or slow the progression of chronic disease, and improved cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness1. These guidelines are great, but you need to be able to translate this into a weekly game plan!

What 150 minutes/week could look like for a busy professional:

Monday: 60 Minute Yoga Class after Work

Tuesday: 10 minutes of brisk walking on your lunch break

Wednesday: Hump Day – Take a Rest

Thursday: Easy jog on the lakeshore trail before Work (20 minutes, 2 miles @ 10 minute/mile pace)

Friday: 30 minutes of resistance training (5-7 exercises using body weight or bands at home)

Saturday: Weekend Recovery

Sunday: WSC Soccer Game – 40 minutes

Notice that in this weekly plan there is a mixture of cardiovascular AND resistance training exercises. This is the key to success! Our metabolism is directly linked to our muscle mass – bumping up your muscle mass will help you maintain weight and lean out!

References: 1https://health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/adults.aspx

Christine Steinmetz