Habits affect health, wellness

By Julian Robinson, Advocate Staff

Women’s health, by nature, is a complex issue and there are several factors that affect the overall health of women beyond eating habits.

“One main factor is knowledge. Understanding about portion size and nutrients is so important,” health education professor Miguel Johnson said.

“Overeating, to me, is taking in more calories than are required for one individual, usually by not realizing the portion size.

“By not paying attention to your overall health while eating junk food day after day can cause your body to crave those foods because that’s what your body is used to.”

For many people, it is easy to eat unhealthy food, and even with gym memberships and New Year’s resolutions it is hard to remain healthy most of the time.

Some common causes of unhealthy eating habits include hormonal imbalances, the stresses related to school and studying, and issues with money.

In many cases, feeding yourself, or your family, from local fast foods restaurants is cheaper and easier than shopping at Sprouts or Whole Foods.

Sociology major Keia Walton said, “Hormones and the menstrual cycle play a huge part in the way us women eat. When you’re on your period, you tend to eat worse. It could be vulnerability or just boredom. Sometimes you eat what’s convenient to you, like fast food or junk food but not just women — men do it too.”

Not getting the proper amount of exercise and not paying attention to what you eat is easy to do.

Without knowing the signs, it is easy to fall into the trap of eating more than you can handle.

“Overeating is saying you’re full but your mind is saying otherwise,” early childhood development major Jocelyn Murray said.

Sometimes when a person eats too quickly, the body is not given enough time to send the signal to the brain that you’ve had enough to eat so eating and being full overlap.

“Having a major exercise program would be good for women because it keeps the body in balance and makes women feel good about themselves,” Murray said.

A woman might always be strong, mentally, but physically some women have additional priorities.

Nursing major Briah Davis said, “Sometimes women lift a lot, but many women don’t because we don’t want to look and feel masculine.”

For some women, being muscular is akin to being masculine and from a man’s perspective might not be as attractive as a petite and more feminine woman.

In 2014, over 54 million Americans paid gym membership fees and for the second year in a row actual visits to the gyms exceeded 5 billion.

The average member visited their club over 100 times; an all-time high, and memberships have grown 18.6 percent between 2008 and 2014.

For people who want to maintain good health, the most important thing is to practice healthy habits.

Lifestyle adjustments, like taking the stairs instead of escalators or elevators, are first-step habit modifications.

Today, only 14 percent of Americans, in a survey presented at the Washington business group health summit, meet the basic health standard of taking a brisk walk every day for 30 five times per week.