WASHINGTON, May 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a national study, just over 25 percent of American women are focused on and proactive about their health and well-being. The "Life...supplemented" My Wellness Scorecard National Study reveals that nearly three-quarters of American women try to live a healthy lifestyle, but often miss the mark. Ranked on a scale from "AlphaWELL" (those who are extremely proactive and meticulous about their health) to "OhWELL" (those who do little to nothing about maintaining their health), participants were evaluated on their overall wellness regimen—maintaining a healthy diet, taking supplements, getting routine exercise and other general lifestyle habits. Only one percent of women are "AlphaWELLs" and 26 percent are "WELLs," while 42 percent and 31 percent are "WannabeWELLs" and "OhWELLs," respectively. The study clearly shows that while women want to be well, they need help getting there.
"The average woman wears so many 'hats' that she often neglects taking adequate time for herself," says Cheryl Forberg, R.D., registered dietitian for "The Biggest Loser," and consultant to the "Life...supplemented" campaign. "There's no greater reminder than Women's Health Month that women need to invest in themselves. If they spend just a little time evaluating their overall well-being, it is easy to develop healthy habits that can last a lifetime."
During the month of May, the "Life...supplemented" campaign, a consumer wellness program, is encouraging women, no matter their stage in life, to embrace the three pillars of health: healthy diet + supplements + exercise, to help them get back on the right track to good health.
Good Fat is Good for Health
According to the My Wellness Scorecard National Study, 58 percent of women report doing a fairly good job of avoiding processed foods, watching what they eat when it comes to cholesterol-rich dishes and avoiding fatty foods like whole milk and fatty meat. However, nearly 35 percent admit that they eat more cholesterol-rich and fatty foods than they should. Ms. Forberg offers simple swaps for a healthier diet:
- "If you tend to favor fatty and cholesterol-rich foods, try to choose ones that offer important nutrients or slightly modify your intake of these foods. For example, avocados are high in fat, but they include the type of fat that can lower cholesterol levels. Plus, they provide a whole host of other health benefits. Another easy change is use egg whites when cooking. They are a great source of protein and have less cholesterol than the yolks."
Store Your Supplements Wisely
When it comes to vitamins and other dietary supplements, 61 percent of women take a multivitamin. However, only 46 percent of women say they take a multivitamin daily. Remembering to take your multivitamin and other dietary supplements can be easy if stored conveniently:
- If you work in an office, consider keeping your supply there, and refill your weekly tablet case every Friday before you go home. This way your reminder is on your desk when you arrive at work Monday morning. On the weekends, if you're in the kitchen cooking, leave your multivitamins and other supplements in your kitchen cupboard to ensure they are stored in a cool, dry place. And if you prefer eating out, keep a stash in your purse so that you're never without them.
Breathe, Stretch, Shake... Let's Go!
Regular exercise is extremely important, and 48 percent of women say they "enjoy cardiovascular exercise like running, walking aerobics, dancing, tennis and basketball." However, 41 percent of women say they don't have a regular exercise regimen. Exercising three to four days a week for an hour may seem impossible, but here's how you can spring into action:
- You don't need a gym membership or personal trainer. The key is getting active and increasing your heart rate. Activities like working in your garden, going for an after-dinner walk, taking the steps instead of the escalator or even dancing while enjoying a night out on the town are great ways to get moving. Whatever your preference, be sure to choose activities that you enjoy and fit your lifestyle.
To find out whether you're an OhWELL, an AlphaWELL or somewhere in between, take My Wellness Scorecard. The Scorecard provides a personalized wellness assessment with realistic steps to take toward better health. It also gives you a strong starting point to discuss and develop your own personal wellness regimen with your physician or other healthcare professional.
Methodology: The 2009 "Life...supplemented" My Wellness Scorecard National Study was conducted October 2 through October 9, 2009 by Ipsos Public Affairs. The survey was conducted on-line and included a national sample of 1,172 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos' U.S. on-line panel, including 616 women. Weighting was employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to the Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of 1,172 would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points, while an unweighted probability sample of 616 would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. Ipsos also conducted the 2007-2009 "Life...supplemented" Healthcare Professionals Impact Studies.
About "Life…supplemented": "Life... supplemented" is a consumer wellness campaign dedicated to driving awareness about the responsible use of dietary supplements as an integral part of an ongoing, proactive regimen that combines healthy diet, supplements and exercise. The campaign is managed by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the leading trade association for the dietary supplement industry, under its affiliated 501(c)(3), the CRN Foundation. The dietary supplement category includes products such as vitamins, minerals, botanicals, sports nutrition, weight management and specialty supplements. More than 150 million Americans use these products each year to promote and maintain good health. Find out more about AlphaWELLs, WELLs, WannabeWELLs and OhWELLs by clicking on My Wellness Scorecard at www.lifesupplemented.org.