It’s never too late to begin the journey to good health. National Women’s Health Week kicks off on Mother’s Day, and reminds women to take care of themselves and to make their health a priority, not just this week but every week.
Wondering what steps you can take for better health? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health offers these suggestions as a healthy starting point:
An Ounce of Prevention
Scheduling a yearly wellness exam is a great time to check in with your doctor about how you’re doing, how you’d like to be doing, and how to maintain or achieve your health goals. Well-woman exams may include age-appropriate preventative screenings such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, vaccinations and mammograms.
Physical activity is good for you! The Office on Women’s Health recommends getting 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Choose an activity you enjoy and be patient with yourself and your abilities. If you can’t set aside a 30-minute block of time, incorporate mini workouts into your daily routine, such as a brisk lunchtime walk, riding your bike to work, or taking the stairs when possible. As always, consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.
It’s important to follow a healthy eating plan to maintain optimal health. A healthy diet can help protect us from many chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins are important components of a healthy diet. It’s not just meal times that matter. Heart-healthy snacking can and should be included in a healthy eating plan as a way to help decrease hunger and keep you from overeating at mealtimes. A HealthyYOU Vending machine at work is a great way to keep snacking in check.
Get Your Zzzzzzzs
Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night is key to a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep can benefit both physical and mental health.
Good Health Is More Than Just Physical
Your mental health is as important as your physical health. Incorporate stress-relieving measures, such as meditation, into your daily routine, and avoid unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and texting while driving. If you feel excessively stressed, talk to your primary care provider.
It’s never too late to be your healthiest you! Join the National Women’s Health Week celebration and learn what you can do to lead a healthier life at any age.
This article is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or professional healthcare provider for all questions and treatment about any medical matter.