Today, we’re celebrating National Women’s Health and Fitness Day. We chatted with Lisa Murphy, Health and Wellness Coach, about why health and fitness matters, and why it’s so difficult for women to prioritize. Read on for tips for the busy professional women and her responses to our common wellness excuses.
Why is health & fitness so important for women?
Lisa: As women, we take care of everyone else but ourselves. It’s challenging for us as women. It’s important to take care of our bodies and our minds because we are so focused on taking care of work, spouses, children. It’s the old saying, you need to put your oxygen mask on first.
Heart disease is still the leading cause of death for women in all age groups (CDC). This is a preventable and reversible lifestyle. We need to learn to take better care of ourselves, so we can be better equipped to prevent and reverse heart disease. Then, we can also take better care of all the other areas of our lives.
As women, we have a lot of excuses to not prioritize our health and wellness.
“I’m too busy and tired”
Lisa: If you’re saying you’re too busy, it really comes down to priorities. We must prioritize ourselves. We’re too tired because we’re not taking care of ourselves. So of course, we will be exhausted!
“It takes too much money to be healthy.”
Lisa: This is a super understandable. However, yoga requires no special equipment; you do it in your bare feet. The less expensive way to eat overall is eat a whole food, plant-based diet. You will save a ton of money on your grocery bill if you buy rice, quinoa, fresh fruits, veggies, etc. from the farmer’s market.
“I can’t keep it up.”
Lisa: We approach any fitness regime like we approach everything. We try to attack it all at once instead of trying to take on some small lifestyle changes. I use a saying: “Small hinges swing big doors.” Small, attainable bites set you up for inevitable success rather than a whole new fitness regime. We must take small baby steps to get where we want to go.
What are your health & wellness tips for the busy professional women?
Lisa: Here’re a few smalls steps for the busy professional women.
- Priorities. Get clear about your priorities. As I mentioned earlier, we need to prioritize ourselves, so we can thrive well in other areas of our lives.
- Manage your calendar according to your priorities. If your number one priority is to lose 10 pounds, yet nowhere on your schedule is time for movement, food prep or grocery shopping, then it’s not going to happen. We need to reflect on our time and where our priorities are.
- Spend at least a few minutes each day in quiet contemplation, prayer or meditation. This can be overwhelming for people if they don’t have mindfulness practice. Practice gratitude. Keep a little journal. Write down three things that you’re grateful for every day.
- Regulate device use. Again, this is really challenging. But, our phone should not be the first thing we look at in the morning or the last thing before we go to bed. Boundaries around our device usage is crucial. Our devices are causing us anxiety. Our attention spans are so out of control that we can’t focus. So, we need to regulate device use.
- Develop good sleep hygiene. A lot of us are exhausted because we’re not sleeping well. A lot of us aren’t sleeping well because of device use. We’re not spending time each day in quiet. So many studies show that lack of adequate sleep is linked to health problems like increased incidence of Alzheimer’s. It’s super important to get a good night’s sleep.
Thanks, Lisa, for chatting with CX! We hope you take time to implement these simple steps into your routine to prioritize you.
Interested in learning more about wellbeing? Here are some upcoming Central Exchange Promote Wellbeing programs you may be interested in:
+ Be well and lead well with real life resilience 📅 Wed, 10/10, CX Downtown Lunch
+ Learn why and how to trust your gut 📅 Tue, 10/30, DT Lunch
About Lisa Murphy
I grew up in small town Iowa, earned a degree from the University of Iowa in actuarial science, and logged 12 years in corporate America, most recently as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for a reinsurance company, before moving to Dubai in 2003. The next ten years I enjoyed traveling the world teaching yoga and studying meditation and Eastern philosophy, which changed the trajectory of my life.
After repatriating to Kansas City and going through a painful divorce (is there any other kind?) I felt unstable and seeking grounding. With so much uncertainty, I turned inward and immersed myself in my passions: cooking, practicing yoga and spending plenty of time on the meditation cushion. With a renewed selfawareness, I recognized that yoga has benefits well beyond sculpted arms, that meditation calms and empowers your mind, and that being true to yourself is the only way to achieve ultimate health and happiness.
In my current practice as a health coach, I help busy women reach their health goals, such as chilling out, losing the stubborn belly fat and improving sleep and energy, so they can feel comfortable and confident in their bodies and minds.