We’re all about being healthy and making positive change, right? Well, did you know that some of the choices you’ve made in your wardrobe could be working against your resolutions to be healthier in 2013?
All Clothing designers are NOT in the business of making clothing safe and healthy – there may indeed be a few, but the majority of the industry is focused on making their product attractive to consumers. That’s not a slam against the industry, by the way – because we all want to look our best, but what if there were some easy ways to change your wardrobe and help to eliminate a health issue you might already be having, or to help prevent one from occurring?
Let’s take a look at some simple ways to do just that:
Wear lower heeled shoes. As researchers keep working to further define the impact of high heeled shoes on physical health, more and more evidence has come to light indicating that high heels are indeed damaging to your lower back and feet over the long run.
To avoid running into any issues with pains or other conditions, and to help eliminate aggravating any condition you may already be experiencing, follow these tips:
- If you must wear high heeled shoes (and Divas, I understand that there are times when nothing but that killer heel will do), alternate with lower heels throughout the week.
- Consider adding low wedges or kitten heels to your wardrobe – especially for commuting, and for use during that short run out for lunch when you’re working on a deadline.
If you do a lot of walking and standing each day, take a pair of flats with you (or store a pair in your office) just in case your feet start to feel weary. If you’re going to be staying behind your desk, you could even consider those “fold up flats” that are sold in drugstores around the country. Just remember to change shoes before that important meeting!
Try to incorporate exercises that strengthen your back so you’re less prone to damage from high heeled shoes.
- If you have a gym membership, speak to the trainers at your facility and ask about specific exercises for your back.
- If you’re an at-home exerciser like I am, research back strengthening exercises on the web and consider checking out a video or DVD from your local library to try before you buy.
Balance and alternate wearing skirts and pants. For women especially, wearing pants all the time can result in a buildup of moisture in the pelvic area, which in turn can encourage the growth of bacteria. In order to reduce the risk of providing a beneficial environment for bacteria, alternate wearing pants and skirts or dresses during your work week.
- Wear pants only a few days of the week, or on days when you don’t expect to have an unusually long or tough day at the office. If pants are part of your normal ‘uniform’, consider purchasing a looser cut or wider leg pant.
- Especially during the warmer months, try to wear more skirts and dresses, and reserve your pants for the cooler seasons.
- Wear breathable fabrics and blends. In line with the principle of balancing pants and skirts, wearing breathable fabrics can help allow your body to breathe; Not allowing your body to access as much air as it needs can result in excess moisture. In some cases, that can lead to infection, and in other cases it can lead to body odor.
- The most breathable fabric is 100 percent cotton. Cotton blends often work well for air circulation, and may be easier to care for.
- Try on the garment you’re considering and notice if it feels airy and cool or seems to keep any air from getting to your skin. Your favorite pencil skirt, for instance, may look fantastic, but is probably NOT the best bet for remaining airy and cool during steamy weather. Ditto for that fabulous leather skirt you found at the outlet store!
Wear pantyhose less often if you can handle that. Many women, like myself, “grew up” with pantyhose. If you’d like to go bare-legged, work on the skin tone and condition of your legs during the fall and winter when you are likely to be more covered, and wearing opaque hose, so that when the time comes to go bare, you can!
Women are sometimes guilty of making wardrobe choices for the sake of fashion – this may also be the case for women who wear the wrong pantyhose. When worn frequently, ill-fitting or too thick pantyhose can cause poor blood circulation, which has its own set of side-effects, including:
- Development of varicose veins due to continued pressure on the veins.
- Pains in the legs when pantyhose are removed.
- Swollen, sensitive legs.
- Numbness and cramping in the legs, also known as “pins and needles.”
It’s a very nice feeling to know you look stunning – you feel good about yourself, others notice how attractive you are, and the overall effect is a positive boost to your self-esteem and self-confidence…but…there also comes a time to consider your physical health and well-being.
Your wardrobe can make a big impact on your health. Keep these tips in mind when you’re planning wardrobe updates, working with an Image Professional, or just when you’re getting dressed in the morning.
When you shop for new clothes – especially if working with a Personal Shopper who may not know your preferences – make wise choices that support your good health. Your body will be glad you did!