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Are U.S. Women Really the Unhealthiest in the World?

I read an article on ABC.com today that really surprised me. Middle aged women in the United States are among the unhealthiest people in the world.

As I read the article, it made perfect sense. Women in midlife have the most stressful lives. Women sleep less to have more hours in the day. Lack of sleep causes many health issues and increases stress levels.

Generally they work full-time, have kids at home and aging parents. Women tend to be “givers” and do for others before themselves. I personally have a teenager and a mother and mother-in-law turning 80 this year. There is already a pull in both directions to be there for parents and children and I can only assume that pull will grow stronger in the next few years.

We eat on the run or make “quick” foods that aren’t always the healthiest choices. Between carpooling for sports, school, homework and being caregivers to aging parents there are not enough hours in the day. Exercise is a luxury that many women in midlife don’t have time for.

The problem is getting enough sleep, exercising and eating right are the keys to good health. How does this turn around? I decided earlier this year to be good to myself. If I am healthier, I will have more energy to do the things I want to do and be able to be there for my family and be more successful in my job. I’ve started eating right and am getting regular exercise. It’s amazing how I want to make good food choices now and vegetables which I always had issues with getting enough are now a craving. In no way, am I there yet but I am going in a positive direction.

This is my favorite quote from the abc.com article. “When you’re flying on a plane, put your oxygen mask on first before you assist others”. I used to take 4 different prescription medications and now I only take one. If I lose the rest of my excess weight, I’m confident I will not have to take that last one anymore. Treat yourself right. There’s no time like the present to enjoy a healthy midlife!!
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