Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Healthy Habits to Steal from Guys

On International Women's Day we dedicate our newsletter towards empowering women readers and wishing them health forever!

We all know that women are the healthier sex. So why would they care what good habits guys use to stay fit? Research shows that men have an easier time losing weight and finding happiness than women do, thanks to key lifestyle differences.

#1: Eat a Real Meal
Women eat too little at breakfast and lunch, and without enough calories and the right combination of protein, carbs, and fat in a meal, their blood sugar levels fluctuate. That can leave them feeling hungry, which increases their chances of staging a mid-afternoon unhealthy snack or overeating at night.  In the morning, swap your usual bowl of cornflakes for an egg-and-cheese sandwich or oatmeal topped with nuts or fruit. Then, to stay full until dinner, bulk up your midday meal with lots of salads. Front-loading your calories like this may feel like overeating, but research has found that it actually helps you take in fewer calories overall.

#2: Team sports
Women give up on team sports after school. If they do any regular exercise at all, they tend to swim, jog or join the gym. But team sports have unique benefits. Studies show that team play makes women physically fitter and emotionally healthier and have more fun. This is the most reliable way to sustain exercise for lifelong than a short-term fad.

#3. Hit the gym, not the fridge
Men are good at exercising. They never seem bothered about getting sweaty and red in the face. Most importantly, men use exercise in the same way many women use food. When men feel stressed, they take it out on the rowing machine or the resistance weights  not the chocolate counter.

#4: Work the weights
Walk into any gym and you'll find men pumping iron and women pounding the treadmill. Women are more likely to focus on cardiovascular exercise, while men mix sessions of cardiovascular and resistance training. Resistance training builds muscle and muscle burns fat. As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, which means you burn more calories. And you don't have to pump iron to see the benefits. Sit-ups, push-ups and walking up stairs can all build muscle mass.

#5: Worry less, sleep better
According to a study for the National Sleep Foundation, women are up to twice as likely as men to have difficulty falling and staying asleep and to experience daytime sleepiness. That can be because of biological factors, like pregnancy and menstrual-related hormone fluctuations. But stress plays a big part too. Men are better at putting the worries of the day to bed, before they go to bed. Women are hardwired to agonise over problems, and that's backed up by the fact that twice as many women as men are diagnosed with depression. Knowing you might have a practical answer to a tricky problem certainly helps you sleep at night. If it works or not is a different thing, you'll surely sleep tight.

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