By: Mindy Longhurst
May 13-19 is National Women’s Health Week. Along with Mother’s Day, this week celebrates all the women in your life. National Women’s Health Week also recognizes how females of all ages are healthy and what they can do to become healthier.
As a woman, I know how difficult it can be to be healthy. I always thought that being fit meant doing major life-changing things like running a marathon. This all changed when I talked with Cara Wiley.
Cara is the advisement center supervisor for the College of Nursing at Brigham Young University. She has always been active in her life. But, about seven months ago, Cara did not like the way she was feeling. After some contemplation, Cara realized that she wanted to improve her health one simple step at a time. Her focus included four simple steps to improve the way she felt about herself.
1. Drink more water
The first thing she wanted to do was very simple to keep her motivated; she decided to drink more water each day. This simple change does not take much time. She says, “I started by drinking more water. I know that it is recommended to drink half of your weight in ounces in water daily, so I started doing that.” This little change helped her to have more energy. Water is also very good for your skin. As time went on, she realized that her skin was feeling more nourished and overall healthier too.
Staying hydrated helps Cara to have more energy.
2. Cut the unnecessary sugars out
After a few weeks when she felt that she had mastered drinking more water, she decided to cut back on major sugar consumption. She decided to eat less dessert and eat more vegetables. Cara still treats herself with desserts on the weekends, but tries to eliminate the extra sugars during the week. This goal can sometimes be very difficult, especially when someone is giving out desserts, but it is worth it. Less processed sugars and more vegetables offered Cara more energy and helped her to lose inches off her waist.
3. Lifting weights
Cara has always loved cardio and has been active throughout her life. She enjoys hiking, biking, basketball and dance. Throughout this process of making simple changes, she decided to start lifting weights. She understood that lifting weights is better for boosting metabolism. Cara says, “I started seeing more results as I lifted weights two to three days a week while still keeping my cardio going.”
4. Taking the stairs
When available, Cara also now takes the stairs instead of the elevator. Taking the stairs has helped her to continue moving and has become a habit over time.
Taking the stairs is now a habit for Cara.
Overall, Cara loves that she now feels good about herself. She loves feeling like she has more energy and is less stressed because she has a better outlook on things. Cara is now a size smaller and is a great example of how the little decisions each day can make a huge impact in overall health.