This week is National Women’s Health week. While you will be flooded with ads promoting the best athletic wear and ways to lose inches, that is not the heart of Women’s Health week. It stands as a reminder for women to make their health a priority and build positive health habits–for life. We all have times when we think we are already unhealthy, we can’t undo the damage that has been done, we are too busy, or we are too old to make a difference in our health. But that simply isn’t true. By making changes in our daily routine and the way that we view our health, we can change our life to a healthier one today.
Create a relationship with a healthcare provider
Find a doctor who has your whole health as a priority. Have a well-woman checkup, stay on top of vaccines, and preventative screenings.
Being physically active is one of the most important steps you can take to get and stay healthy. Women of all ages and abilities benefit from getting active. Everyone should try to be active for at least 30 minutes every day. Physical activity, or exercise, will help you feel better and be healthier. Try walking, restorative yoga, physical therapy, or simple stretches in a chair.
While the basics of healthy eating are the same for everyone, women have specific nutritional needs, especially at different stages in life. Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about what will be right for you.
Become curious about mental health
Good mental health is essential to overall well-being. More than 1 in 5 women in the United States experienced a mental health condition in the past year, such as depression or anxiety. Discover healthy ways to manage stress, seek a therapist or counseling, and make sure you are getting enough sleep.
Practice safe behaviors
Take a look at your behaviors and ask if the risk is worth it. Doing things like stopping smoking, not texting while driving and making your home or dwelling accessible as you age can help extend your life.
It’s not always easy to take steps for better health, and every woman has her own approach. The key is to find what works for you. A great way to do that is to reflect on your health goals, what motivates you, and what’s holding you back from being your healthiest you. If you’re unsure of where to start, speak with your doctor or the Office of Women’s Health has a free helpline with resources to get you started. You can find out more at: WomensHealth.gov/nwhw/about or calling the helpline at 1-800-994-9662