The last Wednesday of every September is National Women’s Health and Fitness Day! Today is about assisting women to achieve a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise. We want to help spread awareness of the importance of physical fitness for women and maintaining a healthy weight.
We want to start by bringing awareness to the alarming issue of obesity. Obesity in the United States is a prevalent and ongoing healthcare concern. According to the 2013–2014 NHANES survey of the National Center for Health Statistics, 66.9% of women in the United States are overweight or obese. These women may be unaware of their overweight status since many surrounding women also tend to be overweight.
Carrying extra weight on a long-term basis can lead to adverse health effects such as:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Gallbladder disease
- Mental illness (depression, anxiety)
- Low self-esteem
- Low quality of life
What is a healthy weight for a woman?
A healthy weight for an adult woman depends on her height. See the chart below for average healthy weights based on height and BMI.
4’10” 91–115 lbs
4’11” 94–119 lbs
5’0″ 97–123 lbs
5’1″ 100–127 lbs
5’2″ 104–131 lbs
5’3″ 107–135 lbs
5’4″ 110–140 lbs
5’5″ 114–144 Ibs
5’6″ 118–148 lbs
5’7″ 121–153 lbs
5’8″ 125–158 lbs
5’9″ 128–162 lbs
5’10” 132–167 lbs
5’11” 136–172 lbs
6’0″ 140–177 lbs
6’1″ 144–182 lbs
6’2″ 148–186 lbs
6’3″ 152–192 lbs
If you find you are overweight based on the above averages, you may benefit from an enriched diet along with vigorous exercise. Through diet and exercise, you can lower your weight, increase blood flow and improve your overall quality of life.
There is no one-size-fits-all diet plan or exercise routine, but there are healthy standards for both that you may use for guidance to get started.
What does proper nutrition consist of for a woman?
Daily caloric intake depends mainly on a woman’s age, height, weight and daily activity level. To get an idea of how many calories you should be consuming to maintain or lose weight, visit the MyPlate Plan Tool.
A healthy plate of food consists of appropriate portions from the five food groups:
Fruits and Vegetables: Women typically do not eat enough fruits and vegetables daily. About half of your plate should consist of vegetables and fruits (not just fruit juice).
Proteins: There are various sources of protein, such as seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), nuts, seeds and soy products. Two servings of protein a week should come from seafood.
Grains: Whole grains should make up about half of your grain intake. Whole grains are found in brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and whole-wheat bread.
Dairy: Women should consume 3 cups of dairy each day. If you prefer not to drink milk, dairy can also be found in yogurt, cheese, kale, broccoli, fortified soymilk, fortified cereals and many fruit juices.
To lose weight, the number of calories you take in should be less than the number of calories you burn each day. Regular exercise improves health and burns fat, helping you to shed those pounds in a safe, effective manner.
You may have heard that just 30 minutes of exercise a day can improve health and make you feel better. While that may be true, you really need more than that to see timely results of weight loss.
How much exercise does a woman need?
Getting 30 minutes of exercise a day is a great start to get in the habit of working out. But if you are looking to lose weight, boosting the intensity and length of your workout is going to help you see the results you want.
When first starting an exercise routine, try to work out for at least an hour, three days a week. That will be enough to kickstart the heart and muscles without draining yourself too early in the process. Once you get comfortable and feel you are ready to challenge yourself more, you can increase the frequency to four or six days a week. Be sure to allow for at least one full day of rest a week.
A well-rounded exercise routine should consist of cardio, strength training, and stretching to avoid injury. Cardio will promote the fat-burning process while lifting weights builds muscle tone. Stretching between workouts will open the joints and lengthen the muscles, reducing your risk of injury while increasing flexibility.
Maintaining a healthy weight is integral to women’s health. Weight loss can be accomplished by adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine. No matter where you are in the weight loss process, staying motivated is key.
If you are looking to lose weight and support a healthy lifestyle, turn to the experts at the Garcia Weight Loss Clinic. No fad diets, no counting calories, just weight loss solutions that work!