It’s that time of year to take care of yourself! The 18th annual National Women’s Health Week, which was held this year May 14 – May 20, is led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. During this week, women are encouraged to be their best, healthy selves and to make their health a priority.
Here at Women’s Health Associates, we offer services that can keep your health in check. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate your health, we’ve compiled some tips that can help you in making the first steps in your wellness journey.
Making the most of your health
If you haven’t had one this year, plan a well-woman exam. This exam is highly suggested for all women over the age of 21 and covers all aspects of one’s reproductive health. During this time, talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have about your health. Include information about your diet, exercise habits, tobacco and alcohol use, and family health risks for diseases like cancer. If you’re insured, this visit is most likely fully covered as a preventative service, meaning there is no copay or payment to meet your deductible. Depending on your age, you may require further testing like pap smears, mammograms, or an HPV test.
Take time to consider your fitness goals and what you’re doing to keep in shape. The Center for Disease Control suggests that all adults should engage in at least two and a half hours each week of aerobic physical activity that exerts a moderate amount of effort. In addition to this, adults should complete two muscle strengthening activities that include all major muscle groups. Keeping fit ensures that you stay healthy and helps in preventing diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Do your best to avoid unhealthy behaviors. This can include smoking, drinking excessively, texting while driving, and not wearing your seatbelt. Each of these behaviors create a health risk to you and can cause threats ranging from illness to mortality. The CDC has materials for those quitting smoking or cutting down on drinking if you need any assistance. Ask your doctor if you have any behaviors that you’re trying to cut down on or quit — they can help set you in the right direction for your wellbeing.
How can I get involved?
It may feel like you just don’t have time to do what it takes to stay healthy. Though being healthy can feel like a full-time commitment, there are ways to incorporate beneficial habits into your day. The Office on Women’s Health suggests several tips:
- Skip your usual fast food indulgence and bring in a salad from home. Not only are you helping your health, you’re helping out your wallet!
- Pour a glass of water instead of soda or coffee – staying hydrated is a key to good health!
- Take a walk during lunch or after work to stretch your legs and keep your heart healthy.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep – seven to nine hours is suggested for adult women.
- Take advantage of short workouts – as long as the workout is intense enough, it can be just as beneficial as a longer, more leisurely workout.
- Quit texting and driving. Cell phones are involved in 1.6 million crashes a year – leave the phone until you get home!
No matter your schedule, you can find time to make your life a little healthier. Not only will it make you feel better today, you’ll be improving your life for the long run as well.
Is it time for your yearly well-woman exam?
Please contact us at Women’s Health Associates for an appointment.
Our doctors will go over any wellness concerns you may have and will help you take the steps needed to make your life the best and healthiest it can be.