A Women’s Guide to Good Health in 2010

Dr. Margit Lister with Wasatch OBGYN shares specific advice on how woman can accomplish that goal.


Set a goal and “Go for it!”

Find something that inspires you and work toward that goal. I believe that if the mind gets lazy the body will follow. Learn to exercise your mind. Get involved, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and challenge yourself to try something new. Find a friend or family member and see if they will join you in your goal.

Take time to stretch daily

Stretching thru yoga or gentle warm up exercises can help your body adjust to the wakeful hours of the day. It releases muscle tension and stress. Yoga can help increase flexibility, balance, strength, and range of motion. You will notice a decrease in fatigue, pain and tension.

Watch your negative thoughts.

Your mind is a very powerful motivator, use it to your advantage. Wake up and tell yourself what you want to accomplish today. Don’t get sucked into feeling sorry for yourself or letting your mind tell you things that are negative. i.e. “I’m fat”, start thinking, “Today, I am getting thinner.’ Look at yourself (in the eyes) in the mirror, and tell yourself your positive thought, maybe recite the goal you wish to achieve. Don’t be victim, take control of your thoughts and your actions.

Do things that you enjoy.

Make time for YOU! Find a hobby, or start a creative activity; such as a craft, writing, or art. volunteer, help someone in need, or play with pets. Whatever makes you relax and enjoy the moment. For me, this is snuggling with my kids when they are sleeping!

Exercise!

I can’t come onto this show without stressing the importance of exercise. First, find something active that you like to do and find fun. Exercise comes in all different activities. Wii video games, gardening, housework, dancing, walking, anything that makes you move consistently for 30-60 minutes or more. You don’t have to work up a sweat with your activity, it’s about the time you do the activity more than how hard it is for you to do it. Walking around the block (10 minutes) after each meal, would a great start. Nothing too difficult, just simple and consistent is important.

Women have a tendency to be caregivers of the community and forget about themselves in the process. Mental health drives physical health. Take a look at your life, are you happy? If there are areas that you want to work on, talk about it with your friends/family, look for ways to change your behavior and move toward to better you!

Get up to date on your immunizations and routine screening tests.

See your primary care physician and make sure you are up to date with your immunizations and routine screening tests. Make sure to see the dentist and ophthalmologist (eye doctor) also. This will ensure that you are aware of any health issues that need to be addressed in the future.

Determine your BMI (Body Mass Index).

Find your height and weight and put it into a BMI calculator or ask your doctor to determine this for you. This will give you an idea of your percentage of body fat.19-25 is considered normal. The CDC website has a calculator if you have trouble finding one.

Assess your activity.

Are you living an active lifestyle? Get a pedometer and see. Mark how many steps you take each day for a week. What is your average steps per day? If it is less than 10,000 per day, you could benefit from more activity. Find something active that you like to do and find fun. Exercise comes in all different activities. Wii video games, gardening, housework, dancing, walking, anything that makes you move consistently for 30-60 minutes or more. You don’t have to work up a sweat with your activity, it’s about the time you do the activity more than how hard it is for you to do it. Walking around the block (10 minutes) after each meal, would a great start. Nothing too difficult, just simple and consistent is important.

Examine what you are eating.

Take a look at your diet. Do you eat well or do you make poor food choices? Do you eat well but too much of a good thing? Take an inventory of the calories that you eat for a typical day. Are you eating the appropriate amount of food/calories? Go to Mypyramid.gov and start a ‘my pyramid plan’ and see how you fair. You may be surprised at the results.

Are you connected?

How is your social network? Are you connected to friends and family in a positive manner? Are you involved in social or spiritual groups that enrich your life? Women need positive social groups to help relieve stress and increase mental well being. Look at your friends and family, are they a positive influence on you? Make sure they help motivate you to be a better person. If they are a negative influence, minimize your time with this person or share how you are trying to be more positive in life.

Once you assess your areas of need, you can begin a plan to make a change. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Track your progress and change one thing at a time. If you change too much to fast, you won’t maintain any change. Be positive and forgiving with setbacks, and most importantly keep at it!


Dr. Margit Lister is an OBGYN with Intermountain Health Care. If you would like to schedule an appointment, visit: www.intermountainclinics.org.

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