Feb. 1, 2006 | For women to maintain a healthy lifestyle, there are four main areas to consider, said Julie Hall-Barrow, Ed.D., in a seminar Jan. 26 at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Hall-Barrow is director of education for the UAMS Rural Hospital Program.
“The prescription for good health includes prevention, diet and nutrition, exercise and stress management,” she said. Hall-Barrow’s program, titled “Peak Performance for Women,” took place on the UAMS campus in
While less than 45 percent of adults were considered overweight in 1976, that percentage is now 65 percent, Hall-Barrow said. That trend can be reversed through closer attention to physical activity and healthy eating habits.
Hall-Barrow said that she does not recommend eliminating any food groups to lose weight. Instead, she promotes eating in moderation and reading labels to get a true understanding of the fat, cholesterol, sodium, and calories in foods.
She also wants women to realize that weight loss takes time. “We gain weight over a long period of time, and we can’t lose it overnight. I don’t recommend dieting. Instead, you should evaluate your foods, eat a variety of healthy foods in moderation and come at it with a realistic goal of losing about one or two pounds per week,” she said.
Regular exercise is also a key component to a healthy lifestyle. By tailoring an exercise program to your personal goals, it will hold your interest for a longer period of time, she said. Even people with physical limitations can tailor an exercise program to address their personal fitness goals and abilities.
Hall-Barrow stressed the importance of aerobic exercise for cardiovascular health, strength training for healthy bones and muscles, and stretching for flexibility. She also encouraged participants to develop a plan for good health into their 50s and beyond. “You have to choose now how you will you look and feel then,” she said.