A. Continue to Lose Energy and Risk Feeling Worse
More often than not, women are inactive on the job, so a lack of physical activity can be linked to the work they do. Furthermore, women who have a sedentary job tend to be sedentary at home, which poses an even greater risk. Bodies are built for motion.
Let's learn more about Lack of Physical Activity.
Cause wear and tear on your joints and muscles. If you've been sitting for long periods of time, your joints and muscles will let you know. Eventually, you'll begin to grimace every time you have to get up from a chair or climb stairs. Everyday movements can become a chore … and keep you locked in the Vicious Cycle.
Sap your energy, limit the oxygen you're getting, and slow your blood flow. Your nerves, arteries, and veins can even become blocked. Skipping exercise when you're tired can keep you locked in the Vicious Cycle: the more tired you feel, the more tired you'll be.
Weaken bones and muscles. Sitting too much makes you weak. Unless you're continually using the major muscles in your body, they don't strengthen. Bones also lose their density, causing them to weaken and become brittle. Your body responds to the demands you put on it, and if you remain sedentary, your muscles and bones weaken over time.
Increase your risk for falling or breaking a bone. Hip fractures are a major concern as they can limit mobility and lead to a loss of independence.
You may believe that you're already getting enough physical activity in your daily routine. Learning more and gaining knowledge about what makes for a healthier life is all it may take to get you to start moving more to break the Vicious Cycle.
Make getting active about having fun. Remember how it felt to be younger and moving? You can start feeling that way again.
Start dancing more. Whether it's salsa, hip-hop, ballroom, or bachata, turn up the volume and swing to the music. You can even join or start a praise dance group at your church.
Find a Zumba class. This Latin-inspired cardio dance workout uses music and steps to form a fitness party.
Look for a local pool offering water aerobics. Not only are water aerobics and exercises easier on the knees and joints, but exercise classes at local centers, including YWCAs and YMCAs, can be a lot of fun.
Hair may be an issue for some African-American women. If it's an issue for you, you are not alone.
Some African-American women will tell you that they cannot "sweat out their hair" or that sweat is an irritant to their head/scalp. Some spend a lot of money on hairstyles to include weaves, wigs, and straightening. These treatments may make your hair fragile when washing.
Some days it may even feel like you are choosing between physical activity/exercise and your hair.
Here are a few tips, if hair is a concern:
- Embrace your natural curls. Your hair may be easier to manage without chemical relaxers. This may give you the freedom to wash and condition more often.
- Lightly spray your scalp after physical activity with olive oil, shea butter, or argan oil to reduce frizz.
- According to a number of sources, including Shape Magazine and Black Women's Health, dry shampoo sprayed at the root of your hair will absorb sweat and oils.
With all the other responsibilities, sometimes we just don't take time for ourselves to engage in physical activity. Some may view physical activity as a chore. Is Zumba or praise dancing a chore? Enjoy your activities and as a bonus—improve your health.
Nearly 70% of Hispanic women do not meet physical activity recommendations. This compares to 55.6% of all women in the U.S. Despite having large, close-knit social networks, Hispanic/Latina women report getting little support from family and friends for increasing their physical activity levels.
Physical well-being and mental health/depression are intertwined.
- Try to gain support from family and friends to participate in activities you enjoy.
- Don't allow yourself to become isolated.
- Engage in family activities and socialize with friends.
The way you feel physically and mentally is not only important for you, but it is also important for those you love. Make time to care for yourself a priority.