Your wardrobe is one of many lifestyle choices that can help you stay healthy and improve your self-confidence and self-esteem. Choose wisely when it comes to clothing, shoes and bags with these tips.
Improving Your Health with Clothing:
- Wear the correct size. Tight clothing can cause circulatory problems and aggravate high blood pressure. Buy clothing that fits comfortably. Use the size tags only as a guideline to help you choose – if seeing that tag upsets you, cut it out after you decide to keep the garment. Don’t let a size tag control your self-esteem or self-confidence. That goes for jewelry as well – choose what fits you and what is proportionally attractive for your ‘right now’ body.
- Dress for the climate. Let your local weather forecast help you decide what to wear. Harsh winters call for coats, hats, gloves and boots to help keep you healthy and comfortable. High heat and humidity is easier to bear when you’re decked out in light weight and loose fitting gear that allows air to circulate. Choose lightweight layers to help you transition from outdoor heat to indoor air conditioning.
- Protect yourself from the sun. Keep using your sunscreen and let your garments provide an additional line of defense. Hats shield the delicate skin on your face and neck year round. Toss on a tunic or sarong after your swim at the beach or pool.
- Customize your bra to your shape. Bras with adequate support help reduce back pain, and when supplemented by muscle-building exercise, can improve your posture. Specialty shops and department stores often offer free fittings. Fuller figures may need underwire and front hook closures – and the fuller your figure, the more closures (3 or more hooks versus 2) you may need.
- Shop for compression socks. Many doctors recommend compression socks for patients who are recovering from medical procedures or have conditions like diabetes that interfere with circulation. They’re also great for anyone who wants to boost blood flow or stands on their feet all day.
Improving Your Health with Shoes:
Measure your heels. High heels look sexy but the misalignment can trigger pain and posture issues for some people. Give your feet a break by looking for styles with good support (i.e. slightly thicker heels, wedges as opposed to stilettos) and alternating with flats some days.
- Take off the flip flops. Flip flops provide little support for your ankles and knees. They’re convenient at the pool but put on walking shoes if you’re covering longer distances.
- Learn the facts about toning shoes. Lots of people liked the idea of shoes that would shape up their legs for them. However, studies showed that those claims failed to hold up and some brands actually caused injuries. It’s better to get a good, supportive pair of athletic shoes designed for your preferred activity – walking, jogging or running.
- Keep up to date with your shoe size. Your feet may keep growing all your life, so ensure your favorite boots still fit before you put them on for all-day wear. Allow about a half inch of space around your toes, and don’t be afraid to try a “wide” size for winter footwear that will allow you to wear thicker socks for warmth.
- Drive responsibly. Bare feet and flip flops can be dangerous behind the wheel. You may slip or find your toe caught under a pedal. It’s worth the time to change into footwear that grips well.
Improve Your Health with Purses and Shoulder Bags:
- Lighten your load. Your handbag may weigh more than you think. The general rule of thumb is to limit yourself to ten percent of your body weight or less. Empty out stuff you no longer need on a regular basis.
- Switch sides. It’s easy to get in the habit of carrying stuff on one side of your body only, which leads to overuse over time. Make a conscious decision to alternate from one shoulder to the other throughout each day.
- Try a cross-body bag. Even better, pick a style with straps that you can wear across your chest or back. It will distribute the weight more evenly and take the pressure off your shoulders.
- Switch wallets. While women may be putting too much stress on their shoulders, hips are often the area of concern for men. Ditch that overstuffed wallet in favor of a lean credit card case. You can always keep your old wallet in your glove compartment for those occasions when you need the extra items.
Fashion can be good for you, so let your wardrobe help you to lead a long and active life. Use these tips to check out your closet and guide you through your next shopping trip.