Women’s Health Week – It’s Your Time!
It’s National Women’s Health Week and this year’s theme is “It’s Your Time!” I am thrilled that we’re recognizing how important it is for you to start making your health a top priority. So often, women put themselves last behind everyone else: their spouse, children, parents and even neighbors! This week is dedicated to empowering and encouraging women to take the much needed steps to improve their physical and mental health and lower their risks of certain diseases. Those steps include the following:
- Visit a health care professional for a regular checkup and schedule preventive screenings like mammograms, pap screenings, blood pressure and cholesterol tests, bone mineral density tests, diabetes screening, and more. Check out this chart to see which screenings are recommended for your age.
- Give yourself a break! Spend at least 15 minutes a day doing something just for you (read a magazine, take a bath, take a walk, call a friend, smell the flowers, have a piece of dark chocolate and really taste it). Most importantly, give yourself permission to spend the time. No guilt allowed!!
- Get active – start a regular exercise regimen. It can be anything that you enjoy that gets you moving. And, you can do different things on different days. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to stick with it. Exercise has many great benefits: to help balance hormones, prevent unhealthy weight gain, help with weight loss, improve cardiorespiratory and muscle fitness, improve bone health and improve mental function.
- Eat healthy – Eat as many whole foods as possible, avoid processed foods, avoid trans-fat, eat small portions of low-GI foods every three hours, avoid eating refined flour and sugar, avoid artificial sweeteners. Read more here.
- Pay attention to mental health – Get enough sleep and manage stress! These are fundamental to preventing hormone imbalance due to increased cortisol demand or adrenal fatigue
- Avoid unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, binge drinking, not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet
- Avoid and reduce exposure to environmental toxins. Here is one that I have added to the list. Take a look at the cleaning and beauty products that you use on a daily basis. Avoid heavily fragranced cleaning products, air fresheners, body products and cosmetics. Look for BPA-free cans and plastic products.