Weight-bearing training is also excellent for maintaining bone strength, which is vital as the risk of osteoporosis increases dramatically as estrogen levels fall.
Don’t worry — I’m not talking about building mega-muscles with heavy weight lifting, just incorporate exercises using small dumbbells, free weights or resistance bands into your workout at home or in the gym.
Hormones are renowned for affecting women’s eating habits. I don’t care what the studies say, most women I know admit that hormone fluctuations make them crave carbs, chocolate and other comfort foods, even after the end of regular menstruation.
When you are feeling well, stock your cupboards with healthy snacks and limit the amount of junk food you buy. Don’t use your children or partner as an excuse for having them in the house — you will all feel healthier (and your dentist will be poorer) if you limit carbonated drinks, cookies and candy.
Don’t go grocery shopping when you are tired or hungry — you will end up throwing convenience food and junk in your cart. Consider online shopping for food to prevent impulse buys and take away the stress of the parking lot and checkout.
Give yourself official permission to relax. Mood-swings, exhaustion, depression and sleep issues can all be exacerbated by a failure to take time for yourself.
You may still be very busy with children, elderly parents or work, and think you have no time for yourself. It might seem selfish to take time out for yourself but your family and colleagues will benefit if you are calmer and happier.
If necessary schedule in “me time” or sign up for a yoga, meditation, Pilates or tai chi class, which can equip you with vital tools for staying relaxed no matter how hectic or stressful life gets.
You could combine your relaxation time with making it date night, or family time as long as you do something that is not too taxing for you, or creates more stress organizing than it’s worth.
Hang up Your Superwoman Cape
What I mean by this is learn to be more realistic about what you can achieve given the time and energy you have.
On one hand it’s important to be getting more exercise, eating healthier food, and keeping calm even when stress levels are high, but on the other hand it’s important to stay realistic about what you can achieve.
If your New Year’s resolutions are to last past January, you should maybe take it slowly and change one thing at a time.
Accept failure as a challenge not as a reason to berate yourself and give up. So you lost your temper, missed a yoga class and ate an entire pack of chocolate chip cookies. That’s fine — just renew your resolve and treat each day as a new opportunity to be a happier, healthier version of yourself.