Tips for Women’s Health: National Women’s Health & Fitness Day
Women’s Health & Fitness Day is the nation’s largest annual health promotion event for women of all ages and is celebrated the last Wednesday in September. It focuses attention on the importance of regular physical activity and health awareness for women.
Here are a few simple things that women can do regularly to ensure good health:
Health Tip #1: Eat healthily
Eat more natural foods like a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. Whole grains and high-fiber foods are great to add to your diet. Choose leaner cuts of meat, fish, and poultry. Avoid foods and beverages that are high in calories, sugar, salt, and fat.
If you’re not getting enough vitamins and nutrients in your diet, you might want to take a multivitamin and a calcium supplement to make sure you’re maintaining good health.
Additional diet tips:
- Limit foods that are high in sugar
- Eat smaller portions spread out over the day
- Watch your carbohydrate intake
- Eat a variety of whole-grain foods, fruits, and vegetables every day
- Consume less fat
- Avoid alcohol
- Use less salt
Health Tip #2: Exercise
Exercise at least 30 minutes per day. This will lessen your risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death among women in America. Aerobic exercises (walking, swimming, jogging, bicycling, dancing) are good for women’s health in general and especially for your heart. Adding weights will increase not only the strength of your muscles but your bones. You don’t have to lift heavy and you shouldn’t be concerned with bulking up unless that is your ultimate goal.
Regular physical activity helps:
- Keep bones strong
- Prevent hip fracture (breaking your hip)
- Decrease pain from arthritis
- Prevent dementia
- Maintain the independence to do basic everyday activities, like getting dressed, going to the bathroom, bathing, and eating
Health Tip #3: Self-Care
Self-care is something that many women struggle with. It’s their nature to take care of others first. But taking care of yourself is vital to your health. When you practice self-care techniques, you can manage stress more easily, boost your confidence and your immune system, and lower your risk for many diseases.
Ways to practice self-care:
- Eat healthily
- Get plenty of sound sleep
- Sit in the sun
- Read for pleasure
- Getting recommended screenings
- Cholesterol and Blood Pressure: Women ages 20 and up
- Pelvic Exams and Pap Smears: Women ages 21-65 should have annual pelvic exams and a Pap smear at least every three years.
- Breast Exams and Mammograms: All women should receive a breast exam every year beginning at age 20, even if it’s just a self-exam. Get mammograms from age 40-50, and every other-year mammograms after that.
- Osteoporosis Screenings: Women 65 and older
- Colorectal Screenings: Start at age 50
- Skin Cancer: Women of all ages should develop the habit of paying attention to changes in the skin or changes in moles and birthmarks
- Diabetes: Get regular screenings from age 40 onward