Just recently I was approached to write an article to be included in Dairy Australia’s ‘Fit, Fab & 50 Challenge’, as part of Healthy Bones Action Week. I was asked to write a piece for Day 7 of the challenge (the final day) encouraging women to continue on with self-investment. I was honoured to be asked and of course accepted. Here’s where you can read my article as it appears on the Healthy Bones Action Week website:
About the Fit, Fab & 50 Challenge
The Fit, Fab & 50 Challenge is a free 7-day Challenge designed to encourage women 50+ to take action for their bones during Healthy Bones Action Week (1-7 August) and beyond. Once signed up, participants received daily inspirational emails during the week and went in the draw to win 1 of 60 fabulous prizes. The Fit, Fab & 50 Challenge aims to encourage women to maintain strong bones so they can live the life they want – whether that’s travelling the world, competing in a new sport, embarking on a new adventure or simply spending more time with friends and family. Despite looking and feeling great, women over the age of 50 are most at risk of osteoporosis – a debilitating disease which can cause chronic pain and loss of independence. The average age of menopause for women in Australia is 52. It is estimated that the average woman loses up to 10% of her bone mass in the first 5 years after menopause, causing bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to fracture easily. The risk of osteoporosis can be reduced by taking three simple steps to protect your bones and overall health:
- Increase your daily serves of calcium-rich foods including milk, cheese and yoghurt;
- Go for a walk or commit to some form of regular weight-bearing exercise; and
- Spend time outdoors to get more vitamin D from safe sun exposure.
Here’s what I wrote for Day 7 below:
Congratulations on completing the 7th and final day of the Fit, Fab & 50 Challenge! This may be the last day but that doesn’t mean that the focus on you should stop! I encourage continued and ongoing self-investment. As women, we often tend to put ourselves last after family but in actual fact by prioritizing ourselves first we are not only doing ourselves a huge favour but also our families because we will be much happier, healthier and nicer people to be around!
Self-investment is about tuning in to you, really making the effort to understand yourself and identify what it is that you need in order to feel happy, healthy and fulfilled in every way: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Here are some examples of ways you can self-invest:
- Eat healthy, nutritious food – We don’t have to be perfect all of the time but as a general rule stick to fresh and nutritious foods.
- Regular Activity – Rather than use the word exercise let’s use the word activity. Find one or more activity that gets your heart pumping and that you enjoy doing and do that regularly!
- Meet up with friends regularly – Girlfriends are the best therapy, as is laughter. Make a regular date with your besties to catch up for chatter and laughter.
- Date nights – Help keep the romance alive and look after your relationship by scheduling a regular date night. Mix it up and do something different each time.
- Pamper yourself – If we feel good on the outside, we feel good on the inside, right girls?! Shout yourself to a bit of pampering now and then – a massage, a facial, a manicure, a pedicure. You get the picture!
- Quieten your busy mind – Consider practicing mindfulness. Not only is it proven to help alleviate symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety but it also helps to slow down an over thinking busy mind (‘monkey mind’), improves our ability to focus, improves our immune functioning, can help us sleep better and provides a greater sense of overall wellbeing.
- Get outside in nature – You can never underestimate the healing powers of nature. If you spend regular time outdoors enjoying nature – your vitamin D levels will rise; you will be moving your body; you will enhance your mood; you will be boosting your immunity; and, you will enjoy a clearer head!
- Switch off and have regular digital detox time – One of the reasons our minds have become so cluttered and busy is because we are always ‘switched on’! We are glued to our mobile phones and computers. We are constantly engaged in social media. Busy, busy, busy! Our minds need regular time out to slow down, relax and be present.
- Practice gratitude – Such a simple practice can bring our priorities back into line. All you need do is look for one thing in each day for which you are grateful. You will soon discover that generally it is simple things – like the cup of coffee my husband makes me in the morning, the winter sunshine on my face, when my child smiles, the sounds of birds chirping, a sunrise or sunset sky.
- Find a hobby that brings you joy – Doing something you enjoy and that brings a sense of achievement all contributes to that feeling of fulfilment that we all need. It may be art or craft or photography or gardening or dancing. When you find it, just make sure you make time to do it!
Live the life you want by prioritising yourself with continued and ongoing self-investment. You are worth it!
Ciao for now,
Linking up with Kylie Purtell for #IBOT