woman exercising

Tips for Women’s Health: National Women’s Health & Fitness Day

Tips for Women’s Health: National Women’s Health & Fitness Day

Key Points

Eat healthily



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

woman eating healthy food

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 

woman exercising


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

woman meditating

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:

  • Meditate
  • Exercise
  • Eat healthily
  • Get plenty of sound sleep
  • Sit in the sun
  • Read for pleasure
  • Journaling
  • Getting recommended screenings

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
By Leslie Radford

How To Read Nutrition Labels

How To Read Nutrition Labels

Packaged Foods
Packaging Terms and What They Mean

It’s not realistic that we eat only fresh, natural, organic foods and completely avoid processed or packaged food options. Sometimes we have to eat things out of a box so we need to learn how to read the information on nutrition labels to determine which processed options are better than others.

Packaged Foods

Nutritional labels on packaged foods allow you to compare the calorie, fat, trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar content, as well as learn the ingredients in any given food. Knowing this information, you can make the most accurate decision about which foods are appropriate for your dietary needs.

Look for plain ingredients. The harder it is to pronounce, the more likely you shouldn’t consume it.

Some packaged food will even say “organic,” “ natural,” or “no artificial ingredients” but many people don’t know what the difference is, so they end up buying the wrong products, for their personal dietary needs.

Packaging Terms and What They Mean

Healthy Snacks to Curb Your Cravings

Healthy Snacks to Curb Your Cravings

Sometimes you just need a snack. But don’t turn to chips when you need something salty, or candy when you need something sweet. There are more nutritious, satisfying treats available.

Curb Your Cravings

Blood sugar dips three to five hours after you eat. Eating small, frequent snacks keeps your metabolism revved up and helps normalize blood sugar and ultimately keep you from reaching into the cookie jar.

Nutrient-poor, sugary snacks like candy bars may give you a quick jolt of energy, but then you’ll crash. That can leave you hungry, cranky, sleepy, and unable to concentrate. Good-for-you fruit sugars, honey, dairy products, whole grains, and many vegetables lift mood and battle fatigue without the roller-coaster effect.

Healthy snacks derive an extra mental boost if you include protein in your snack, like fish, meat, eggs, cheese, and tofu. They contain an amino acid that increases the production of neurotransmitters that regulate concentration and alertness.


When choosing a snack, keep these general guidelines in mind: 150 to 250 calories, about 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and no more than 12 grams of fat.

Healthy Snacking

Healthy snacking curbs cravings, fights weight gain, regulates mood, boosts brainpower, and gives you the energy you need to keep going. Nutrition is the key to a healthy life.

Foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy products, whole grains, and legumes are satisfying and are packed with the nutrients, fiber, and protein your body needs. They guard against sugar highs and lows.

Here are some examples of healthy snacks:

  • Fresh fruits and veggies

  • Roasted chickpeas

  • Popcorn

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Whole-grain toast with peanut or almond butter

  • Plain yogurt or cottage cheese (Add freshly cut fruit)

  • Fruit and veggie smoothie

  • Whole-grain crackers with canned tuna or salmon

  • Unsweetened dried or freeze-dried fruits

  • Frozen banana slices

  • Frozen grapes

Always remember to check the nutrition label when shopping. Watch for added sugars and salt, and try making healthier versions of packaged snacks at home so you can choose the ingredients.

What are Macronutrients and Why They are Important to Your Health

What are Macronutrients and
Why They are Important to Your Health

There are 6 essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly: Carbohydrates, Lipids (fats), Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals, Water. Nutrients are found in foods that provide us with energy, are building blocks for repair and growth, and necessary to regulate chemical processes in the body.

Three of those nutrients are called macronutrients (Carbs, Lipids, and Proteins) and are the chemical elements that humans consume in the largest quantities (“macro” means large). Almost every food has a combination of macronutrients. Although each of these macronutrients supplies the energy needed to run body functions, the amount of energy that each provides varies.


Carbohydrates provide fuel for the central nervous system and muscles. They can be found in grain products, fruits, and vegetables. It is recommended that carbohydrates should supply 45–65% of our total daily energy needs.

The shorter the molecule chain is, the easier it is for your body to break down. These are called simple carbohydrates. On the other hand, larger molecule strains are referred to as complex because it takes longer for your body to break them down into usable components and will keep you full longer.

Why do we need carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates provide the major source of energy to fuel our daily activities. They also prevent protein from being used as an energy source and instead enable fat metabolism. They are also important for brain function and can influence mood and memory.

Some of the carbs we consume are converted into a type of starch known as glycogen, which is stored in the liver and muscles for later use as an energy source.

Cellulose (a.k.a. dietary fiber) is a non-digestible carbohydrate found in fruits and vegetables. They are not used as an energy source but play an important role in maintaining the health of the large intestine and assisting with the removal of body waste.


Proteins may be used as a source of energy when carbohydrates are not available. Protein is found in many foods including meats, poultry, fish, meat substitutes, cheese, milk, and nuts, and in smaller quantities in some starchy foods and vegetables.

The body breaks down protein into its building blocks called amino acids. There are 9 essential amino acids that can’t be produced by the body. Proteins that contain all nine essential amino acids mostly come from animal sources. Proteins that do not contain all nine essential acids mostly come from plant sources.

Why do we need proteins?

Proteins are used to produce new tissues for either growth or to repair old or damaged tissue, and to regulate and maintain body functions. Enzymes used for digestion, protection, and immunity are made of proteins. Essential hormones used for body regulation require proteins to function.


Although fats have received a bad reputation in relation to heart disease and weight gain, some fat in the diet is essential for health and wellbeing.

Trans fat, or saturated fat, has been shown to increase the risk of coronary heart disease and is known as unhealthy fat. These “bad” fats are mostly found in processed food such as fast foods and sweets.

Healthy fats, or monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, consist of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that are essential fatty acids. Like essential amino acids, your body cannot produce them by itself so they have to be ingested through food. Great sources of healthy fats are avocados, coconut oil, fish, walnuts, and extra virgin olive oil.

It is recommended that 20–35% of our daily energy requirement should be supplied through the consumption of fats and oils.

Why do we need fats?

Fat is actually incredibly important to normal body functions, providing support to hormones, insulation for nerves, skin, and hair health. They are a high-energy source that helps us absorb vitamins and insulate the body.

These three things in combination keep us healthy and our bodies regulated.

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