Your health is in your control. Whether you’re pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or pregnancy is the last thing on your mind, there are steps you can take to live your healthiest life and feel good.
Wellness fads come and go, and it can be hard to keep track of what you can do to feel your best. When in doubt, health experts recommend going back to basics:
1. Break a sweat – Find an activity you love and do it often. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts per week, like yoga or hiking, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity workouts per week, like running or cycling. Regardless of what you choose the key is consistency. Making a plan and scheduling your workouts for the entire week can help you get check them off.
2. Fill your plate with whole foods – Indulging every once and a while is okay, but to feel good you need to fuel well. Nutrition experts recommend filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables and add whole grains, lean protein like chicken or fish, healthy fats like olive oil and avocado, and dairy. If your plate is colorful you’re on the right track!
3. Take care of your mental health – One in five women in the United States experience a mental health condition, including anxiety or depression. From time to time everyone needs a little bit of help. If you would like to support, you can talk to your healthcare provider. They can connect you to someone who can help, like a therapist or psychiatrist.
4. Less screen time, more sleeping – Not getting enough sleep can impact how you feel in the short term, but it can also have long-term effects, too. Not getting enough sleep is associated with chronic diseases like diabetes, depression, obesity, and heart disease. Make sure you’re getting seven to eight hours of good-quality sleep each night.
Happy hour, a glass of wine after work, and drinks at dinner: alcohol is often at the center of our social activities, and this isn’t a bad thing. Being mindful alcohol consumption is important if you want to feel your best.
- How much can I drink per day? The Dietary Guidelines of America recommend one drink a day per women and two drinks a day per men, because our bodies react differently to alcohol.
- Wait, what’s one serving? All drinks are not created equal, but the following measurements count as one serving: 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol), 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content), or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (40% alcohol).
- Are there short-term health effects? There are some short-term health effects associated with drinking, including alcohol poisoning; injuries, such as car crashes or falls; or risky sexual behaviors like unprotected sex, which puts you at risk for unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections.
- Are there long-term health effects? Consuming too much alcohol consistently over a long time can result in health problems like heart disease and stroke, some cancers, learning and memory problems, and mental health conditions like anxiety or depression.
- What if I need help? You should avoid alcohol if you’re under 21, pregnant or planning to get pregnant, experience certain health conditions, or taking prescriptions. If you’re drinking to cope with your feelings or having trouble stopping after a few drinks, help is available. You can also reach out to 2-1-1 NH for trained assistance in getting resources in NH.
Marijuana use, including medical and recreational, is not legal nationally and depends on state and local laws. In New Hampshire, medical marijuana is legal if prescribed by a provider. There’s still a lot healthcare providers don’t knowabout how marijuana can impact your health.
- Is marijuana addictive? Research shows that about 1 in 10 marijuana users will become addicted. For people who begin using before the age of 18, that number rises to 1 in 6.
- Can marijuana impact my brain? Consuming marijuana can affect the parts of the brain responsible for memory, learning, emotions, and decision making.
- What if I eat or drink it? Eating foods or drinking beverages that contain marijuana have some different risks than smoking marijuana, including a greater risk of poisoning. Products containing marijuana are often unregulated, and it’s hard to know how much marijuana each product contains.
I’m pregnant, should l use marijuana? Using marijuana during pregnancy may increase the baby’s risk for developmental problems. If you’ve been prescribed medical marijuana, your provider can help you find a safer medication.