by Dr. Shanthi Thomas
Most women believe that becoming a mother is the end point of youth, and henceforth start a life of ailments and other age-related illnesses in general. However, does it have to be so? Can mothers stay young? Research says they can. Let us see how.
Most mothers limit their life within the four walls of the house. If they are working mothers, the workplace and the home are the two places they spend their entire lives in. They would have lost touch with childhood friends or friends from college and university. This has to change. Mothers should be able to take time off from their daily responsibilities and just hang out with friends. Female friendship is important because women tend to be more empathetic and supportive of other women. Ideally, spend time with female friends on an outing, or a trekking trip or just eating out.
Many mothers feel guilty if they spend any time on themselves. They feel that they should sacrifice all their needs for the children. However, this attitude soon gives rise to bitterness as your body health deteriorates and the skin looks uncared for. Enlist a relative’s or a babysitter’s help, and take time off to go for a spa or a full body massage to get that glow back.
Nothing can replace the benefits that regular exercise brings. Regular walks in the evening itself can help you get fit. In addition, there are applications that are tailored to mothers’ particular needs, such as those that target the tummy. It is not necessary to get expensive gym memberships or training equipment. If one has the discipline, fitness is within reach for every mother.
A broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or above should be used by all women who wish to protect their skin from the typical ravages that aging brings. It is the best anti-wrinkle and anti-dark spot product that you should use. You should use it every day, and reapply every few hours. The best sunscreens also include an effective array of skin-restoring ingredients and antioxidants suitable for your skin type.
You read that right. Mothers should have an occupation that brings them some income, and they should continue working long past the retirement age. This is of particular importance because the financial freedom itself will improve the quality of life of a woman. Also, being occupied ensures an active life which is very important for longevity and vitality.
All mothers should have hobbies that they nurture and enjoy for some time every day. It can be fifteen minutes of reading before sleep every day, or gardening for 30 minutes in the evening. Reading is good exercise for the mind, and gardening is good for both mind and body. Traditionally as women age they take up knitting. Though it is a good hobby, something that gives more mental or physical stimulation would be preferable as one ages.
Every mother should have healthy eating habits. They should have plenty of fruits and vegetables to eat; not just apples and bananas but also colorful berries and melons. 2-3 servings per day should be the aim. As for vegetables, you can choose anti-oxidant rich dark green leafy ones such as spinach and broccoli and colorful vegetables such as carrots and squash. Do take milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu or almonds for calcium, to prevent bone fractures and osteoporosis. Get enough protein from eggs, beans, eggs and nuts. Get fiber from whole grain cereals without added sugar, whole grain oats, barley or rye, fruits such as pears and strawberries as well as vegetables such as carrots and beetroots.
Senior women can protect against joint and muscle pain, and stress that comes with aging, with regular massages. Studies have found that regular massages help seniors experience an improved quality of life, increased energy levels and an overall healthier and younger feeling. It can also improve the quality of sleep and relax the mind and body.
To prevent urinary tract infections as well as constipation, and to keep the kidneys healthy, it is important for older women to drink water throughout the day, even when they do not feel thirsty. Adequate water intake is essential in order to lessen the rate of cognitive decline and degenerative diseases such as dementia.
To live a fulfilling life, it is not enough to consume; you need to produce as well. What can you produce? You may write your life experiences and bring it out as a book. Or write down all your favourite recipes for the younger generation. You can also start a business. The possibilities are endless.
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