Health Notes: A Healthier You!
By Dr. Erinn Olivier
It seems every year around this time there are tons of articles written about diet, exercise and weight loss. It is the hope and promise of a new year upon us isn’t it? Most of us know that this commitment involves more than just joining a new health club in January with the promise of three months free.
As an Obstetrician/Gynecologist, I listen to women voice their concerns about their health and weight all the time. We have a good discussion about ways to incorporate small changes in their life. As a wife and mother I know that when that women walk out of my office life takes over. Work, children, school activities, husbands, parents and a whole host of other things can seem to make it impossible for her to take better care of herself.
As women, female health problems can be directly tied to what we eat. Irregular periods and difficulty getting pregnant, earlier onset diabetes, high blood pressure, uterine and other cancers can all be tied to being outside our “ideal body weight”. The good thing is that for some women just a ten to fifteen pound loss can help periods become more regular and improve chances of getting pregnant. It can help avoid needing daily medicines for control of blood pressure and diabetes.
Where do I start one might ask. First, a commitment is necessary. Don’t let anyone deter you from this commitment. Look at what you eat during the week. Try to be as strict as possible Monday through Friday with your choices. Remember one serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards. Cut back on rice, pasta and bread. Instead of two scoops just one is enough. If you want to cheat, reward yourself on the weekend.
Diet is only one part of the equation. Increasing your level of activity is the other component. If medically possible, start with short 15-20 minute exercise regimens most days of the week. This will help get you in the habit of exercising. Check with your physician first. You may not be successful every day in your diet and exercise goals, consistency leads to success.
Resources for help: Your physician. American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists website www.acog.org. Click on the tab “For Patients.” This will lead you to reliable information on women’s health. Scroll down to the Women’s Health section for information on Exercise and Fitness.