For mothers lifestyle who want above all else to be present alongside their children, seeking a long and active life becomes even more necessary. But we are always so busy taking care of the child that our health ends up in the background.
The good news is that simple changes of habit can bring great health benefits. Small attitudes will already make you feel more energetic and healthy, and make room for further improvements in your lifestyle.
Here are ten simple and amazing ways of living more and better.
- Take care of your posture
That first pain may have started with the pregnancy, in front of the computer or when carrying the baby. When we become mothers, the pains here and there begin to appear.
You may feel pain in the back, neck, or shoulders, or even have carpal tunnel syndrome, with numbness and pain in the arms, wrists, and hands.
The problem is often postured.
Sitting with your shoulders bent forward – at the time of breastfeeding, for example – compresses the nerves and discs of the spine and restricts the flow of blood to the muscles.
Re-learning to sit, with shoulders back and chest open helps prevent back pain. For those who are breastfeeding, it may even help the milk to go down, which helps to prevent mastitis.
If you are breastfeeding, use a pillow or cushion to support the baby and carry it to the breast so that you can sit upright instead of getting all curled up.
Take care of your posture when you stand: stretch yourself to be as high as possible, using your abdominal and pelvic muscles. Rotate shoulders back and down.
- Lose a Little Extra Weight of Pregnancy
The extra pounds of pregnancy may remain. And being overweight is not good for your health or longevity.
Luckily, the benefits to the body already start with a small weight loss. Studies have shown that losing only 5% to 10% of your body weight (from 3 kg to 7 kg for those weighing around 70 kg) lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of diabetes and has cardiovascular disease.
Start slowly and do not condemn yourself if you have not been able to resist that piece of pizza that is left over. Decreasing only about 100 calories a day can lead to a loss of 4 kg over the course of a year. (A candy bar can have more than 200 calories.)
- Care for your teeth and gums
When you have a small child at home, it is the easiest thing in the world to “forget” that the dentist exists.
The problem is that gum diseases contribute not only to tooth loss. Bacteria from a diseased gum may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke by contributing to inflammation of the cardiovascular system, according to the American Association of Periodontology.
This condition is much more common in women than is imagined, due in part to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause.
Also, you know that the quality of life of a person who does not have teeth in good condition decays a lot, not counting self-esteem. And fixing the damage costs a lot more than preventing it.
Then follow the same rules you set for your child: brush your teeth after meals and floss. Do not abuse bullets and candy, and go to the dentist at least once a year for cleaning – or more often if you have gum problems or any other symptoms.
- Prevent Depression
One in five mothers suffers from postpartum depression. But most women do not think it’s going to happen just with them.
Depression may appear disguised. For example, if you are so sleepy that you can hardly think straight, you may feel that you are only suffering from tiredness rather than a sign of a bigger problem.
Stress is also a trigger for depression. Try to count on the support of family and friends, avoiding social isolation. And if you feel that you are more discouraged than you should, talk to the doctor.
- Sleep more
Being a mother is sleeping less. But what if this lack of sleep is causing health problems, including weight gain or memory loss? Would not it be better to forget dirty clothes that need to be washed and sleep when you have the opportunity? Here are some tips for better sleep:
Try to get some sleep and get up at about the same time every day.
Keep the room dark, with no electronic devices or TV nearby. Leave your gadgets charging out of the room, so do not give in to the temptation to take a peek.
As much as possible, take a relay with your partner to wake up with the baby.
Treat sleep as a priority: if so, leave to do the dishes the next morning.
Take naps, if possible. An after-dinner nap is especially effective: 20 minutes of sleep renews energy.
You burn calories, protect your heart and lungs, and strengthen your muscles. Dancing is a particularly good activity for mothers because you can do it anywhere and anytime – even together with your child.
There are several ways to exercise: spontaneously, with music that appears, or looking for games or videos to mimic choreography. And of course, if you have the time and money, one or two weekly dance classes are great for raising your spirits and increasing your circle of friends.
- Escape from “white” foods
You will do your body a great favor if you reduce the consumption of foods that carry refined sugar or white flour. Refined sugar contributes to inflammation of the body, a biological process that releases harmful free radicals and accelerates aging.
You also need to reduce the consumption of “simple” carbohydrates, like foods prepared with white flour, because they quickly turn into sugar inside your digestive system. Give preference to whole and non-industrialized foods.
- Do stretching
Yoga increases flexibility, one of the best ways to feel and look ten years younger. But even five-minute stretches throughout the day can prevent back, neck and shoulder pain and prevent joint problems.
A few times a day, you can stand, stretch as much as possible, and lean forward as if you were putting something on a high shelf. This lengthens the spine and leaves the body aligned.
Other good stretching exercises include touching your toes and twisting from side to side, as if you were turning to look back, with your feet firm on the floor and your hips forward.
Or imitate the animals and simply squeeze several times a day, with a will, the way you think more natural.
- Check it out
You would not fail to take your child to the routine appointment for one year, would not you? Your body deserves the same attention. Go to the doctor at least once a year. He will ask for important tests, such as the pap smear, blood pressure measurement, possible vaccines, blood tests.
There is no way of knowing if that constant fatigue is the result of busy motherhood or if there is any imbalance with your thyroid, for example. Only by going to the doctor will you identify this type of problem.
Include also in your check-up a trip to the ophthalmologist, to see how your vision walks.
- Eat straight from the farm to the dish
The more unprocessed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes you can incorporate into your diet, the better. The antioxidants found in these foods neutralize free radicals, help protect against heart disease, cancer, memory loss and various effects of aging.
Foods rich in antioxidants include liver, black beans, avocado, pear, apple (with peel), sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, walnuts, almond, cinnamon, ginger, green tea, coffee, red wine, and – good! – Dark chocolate.