For many women, looking after others is a way of life. Whether it's tending to children, caregiving for aging parents, maintaining a household or enduring a grueling work schedule - women tend to have a lot on their plates. Often, busy schedules result in a lack of self-care, which can compromise women's health.
At Concorde, we know how important health care training is because it's our passion. We not only teach it, but we also try to live it. Some days were better than others, but we know that we can't do it alone!
With National Womens Health & Fitness Day being in September, it's a great time to celebrate women and take a look at their different routines and plug the holes that can compromise health.
Women's Health & Fitness Day is the country's largest event promoting women's health. The day falls each year on the last Wednesday of September, the 25th this year, and promotes health awareness and physical activity for women.
Secrets for Success
Make a conscious effort
Many fitness resolutions failed because they aren't smart? Jami Frazier, Senior Vice President of Operations, makes sure that doesn't happen. She makes sure her goals are strategic, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
"I set a weekday goal and a weekend goal and increase each week by 500 steps, if possible. Knowing that the majority of my day is going to be sitting in meetings, I start early. I try to get at least 5,000-6,000 steps in my morning workout, so by the time I leave the house, I'm halfway to my step goal!"
"I really just try to walk to places I might normally drive," she said, "I will walk the kids to or from school depending on my schedule... In the grocery store, I walk up and down every aisle, whether or not I need something from it. When I do drive, I park far away. At dinner time, I set the table one item at a time. This adds a lot of steps walking back and forth to the table."
Make time in your day
There's an old proverb that says no matter how hard you look there will always only be 24 hours in the day. For our steppers, that means they can't find the time - they make time!
Linda Given, Campus Administrative Assistant at Concorde Kansas City campus said her secret is "walking at lunch every day for 20 - 30 minutes."
"I also have two dogs, so when I get home, they get walked, which is another 20 minutes," she said.
Rolfe also uses part of her lunch to walk. "I set a timer to get up and take a walk every hour," she said. "I always take the stairs, too."
Make it fun
Shane Sykes moved from Mississippi to join Concorde - Aurora as their Program Director of Surgical Technology. "It was always too cold or way too hot to make it outside to do anything fun," said Sykes.
So now, he's taking advantage of the weather to get his exercise when he gets home, whether it is walking the dogs or riding his bicycle 30 miles a week. On the weekends, he finds groups to play volleyball with or go biking or skiing.
Similarly, when Cindy Navarro is not acting as Concorde - Garden Grove's Dental Assisting Program Director, you can find her at spin class, demoing her backyard, boating, kayaking or hiking. (Aren't you exhausted just by reading that list?!)
She also has a ranch in Mexico that she and her fiance quail hunt." Running after those little guys is a lot of work!"
Tips for your health and fitness routine
Consider incorporating the following tips into your routine to give your own health and fitness a boost:
Fuel your body properly
To lose weight, women often focus on eating less. For better overall health and fitness, focus instead on losing fat and building muscle. To accomplish this goal, avoid junk food and fuel your body with plenty of healthy choices like high-quality protein, fruits, and vegetables.
Buy quality shoes
You're unlikely to step up your exercise if your feet are killing you. From the first step you take, your shoes should feel good. To get the right fit, make sure your shoes have enough room for comfortably wiggling your toes.
Drink more water
You've heard it before, but getting enough water is critical for your overall health. With 75 percent of the population not getting enough water on a daily basis, it's clear that the message isn't getting through. Medical experts recommend 10 cups of water per day. Failing to get enough can result in health problems, including high blood pressure, kidney disease, headaches, and weight gain.
Get some support
The importance of the right sports bra cannot be overstated. It can mean the difference between successful workouts or suffering and ultimately giving up exercise altogether. Make sure your bra is form-fitting but gives you room to expand your ribs. Look for soft compression fabrics for comfort.
Break out the sunscreen
Moving outdoors gets you much-needed fresh air and exercise. Unfortunately, it also exposes you to the sun's damaging rays. The Skin Cancer Foundation advises the use of a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher during outdoor activities.
Sleep deprivation can damage your health in a number of ways. In the short term, it can decrease memory and alertness, harm relationships and increase the risk of accidents. In the long term, problems can include heart attack and stroke, obesity and mental impairment. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night, experts say.
Find a satisfying career
Research suggests a link between health and job satisfaction. If your career needs a boost, consider additional education that can assist you with moving into a fulfilling line of work that supports your health and allows you to help others.
Celebrate Women's Health & Fitness Day
Find a meaningful way to celebrate Women's Health & Fitness Day- for yourself or the ones you love. Become a member of the larger health care community in which you live through a possible education at Concorde.