Two of the most important ways a woman can protect her health over her lifetime are exercise and good nutrition. In the Sutter Health network, doctors and skilled wellness coaches understand the role you play in your health. We work with you as you make the lifestyle decisions that can help prevent chronic disease.
Throughout the Sutter Health network you’ll find classes on forms of exercise that benefit your body and your mind, such as yoga and qi gong. We provide support groups if you already have a chronic condition, where people learn from each other as well as from our expert group leader.
Many Sutter locations provide highly trained nutritionists who can provide education and coaching to help you choose the best foods to protect your long-term health. Talk to your doctor if you want to explore one-on-one nutrition counseling or take a nutrition class. We also offer weight loss programs for people who want to lose weight in order to improve their health.
Physical activity and healthy food choices can boost your energy, improve mood and ward off disease. It’s great to know that much of your health destiny is within your own hands.
Here are some facts and tips about the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
Exercise lowers your blood pressure and protects against diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease — the No. 1 killer of women. Physical activity also can help fight depression, which is more common among women than men.
- Start gradually. If you jump into a new workout routine too quickly, you may injure yourself or burn out fast. Take it slow and build up your endurance gradually.
- Set a long-term goal. Try to get to get 30 minutes or more of physical activity at least five days a week.
- Do what you love. Get active doing the things you already love: Walking in the park, gardening, dancing or yoga.
A healthy diet makes you feel good and can help prevent diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. But good nutrition doesn’t mean you have to diet. In fact, starving yourself to keep up with the latest fad diet rarely works. You may lose weight in the short term, but in the long run it’s difficult to stick with strict rules for eating. The best nutrition plan takes a simple and balanced approach.
- Eat colorful fruits and vegetables. Fill half your plate with colorful, fresh vegetables and fruit. For snacks, try celery sticks dipped in almond butter, sugar snap peas or apple slices.
- Avoid processed food and refined carbohydrates. Limit crackers, cookies and other foods made with simple sugars and white flour. Processed foods are nutrient-deficient and can contain unhealthy trans fats.
- Seek balance. A healthy diet includes a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. Avoid extremes and enjoy a variety of foods.