Every May, just like clockwork, Women’s Health Week is celebrated beginning on Mother’s Day. Coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office, Women’s Health Week is a way of encouraging women to take control of improving their overall health.
It can be a struggle to recognize when you need to take a moment for yourself, and truly assess how you’re feeling both mentally and physically. However, it’s important that you do for your own sake and the sake of your family. At the Kaldas Center, every day is women’s health day and every week is women’s health week. So, we know what we’re talking about and we want to share our knowledge with you! Here are 5 practical ways for women to improve their health.
1. Get Regular Checkups and Screenings
Annual checkups and screenings are very important when it comes to preventative healthcare. They help to detect diseases and health issues early. Preventing health issues is much easier than treating them which is why it is recommended to see your primary care physician and your OB-GYN once a year.
Annual Checkup with Your Primary Physician
In an annual checkup with your primary physician, the following is what you can expect in your exam.
- Review of personal and familial medical history
- Vital signs
- Blood pressure
- Neurological exam
- Skin exam
- Blood tests
- Abnormalities of the head, ear, throat, and abdominal
- Breast exam
In addition to the above, your doctor may also order screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies if you are over the age of 40.
Annual Checkup with Your OB-GYN:
While some of the below exams can be performed by a primary physician, an OB-GYN has extensive knowledge when it comes to a woman’s reproductive system and it is highly encouraged women take advantage of their expertise. In an annual checkup with your OB-GYN, he or she may order the following.
- Pelvic exam
- Pap smear
- HPV screening
- Sexually transmitted infections screenings
An OB-GYN can address additional concerns a woman may have regarding fertility and women’s health concerns.
2. Start Exercising
A simple way to improving one’s health is by incorporating 30 minutes of exercise daily while reducing the amount of time one is sitting per day. Not only can exercise help in maintaining and losing weight, but it can also dramatically lower many health risks while improving other aspects of your health. By creating a daily exercise routine, you can improve your heart health, reduce stress, improve your mood and experience positive bursts of energy!
Here’s How to Get Your Exercise In:
- Go for a brisk walk
- Try Yoga
- While on the phone, move about the house
- Do a 10-minute workout video
- Get dancing to your favorite music
3. Eat Healthily
Another simple way of improving your health is to ditch the processed food while opting for fresh, nutritious food. Just like exercising, healthy eating can improve multiple facets of your life. When it comes to healthy eating, it’s important to have a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates and fats. It all starts by creating good eating habits.
Create Good Eating Habits
- Spend 20 minutes on Sunday creating easy-to-grab veggie snacks by washing, chopping, and bagging (or containing) veggies like carrots, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower.
- Drink more water! Switch one sugary drink with a glass of water. Need energy in the afternoon? Cold water with lemon slices will help you wake up and focus. Not to mention mild dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, worsened mood and difficulty concentrating.
- Toss the chips and snack on whole almonds, granola, berries or the veggies you packed on Sunday.
- Eat breakfast. We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so eat it. Even if you just eat a banana and a piece of toast, you’ll feel full and focused. Plus, you’ll be less likely to grab an unhealthy snack mid-morning when you’re hungry.
4. Know Your Mental Health
When it comes to your health, it’s important to remember not only how you are doing physically, but mentally as well. Keeping your mental health in check starts by destressing and sleeping. 7-8 hours of sleep helps increase your ability to pay attention, stay focused and improves memory. And increased stress is linked to numerous health problems such as heart disease and obesity. Did you know nearly two-thirds of Americans lose sleep because of stress?
Tips for Destressing and Sleeping
- Establish a sleep pattern by going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. This creates consistency and helps you fall asleep faster and get better sleep.
- Create a bedtime routine to signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
- Make your bedroom a sleep paradise. Darken the windows or wear eye covers to block out light. Use a fan or white noise machine to block noise. Make sure you aren’t too cold or too hot while you sleep. Enjoy those zzzs!
- Regular exercise, yes, we’re back to that, will help you sleep and help you destress.
- If you have a lot on your mind, jot it down in a notebook. Get that stuff off your brain so you can relax and fall asleep.
5. Stop Unhealthy Behaviors
We know bad habits can be hard to kick, but for your health, it is well worth it! Take a look in the mirror. What bad habits are you harboring that could be altered for the sake of your health? Are you smoking? Do you wear a helmet when riding a bicycle? Do you put the phone away and wear a seatbelt when driving?
Tips for Breaking a Bad Habit
- Replace your bad habit with a good habit. Find an alternative to the bad habit and create a good one.
- Remove triggers that cause you to perform a bad habit. If you’re texting while driving, put your phone out of reach. If you eat too much while watching TV, reduce your screen time.
- Find an accountability buddy. The American Society of Training and Development found that 65% of people are more likely to hit their goal after making a commitment to an accountability buddy.
- Try a rubber band. If you’re acting on a bad habit, snap yourself out of it, literally!
Improve Your Health with Help from the Kaldas Center
If you’re struggling to get in gear this Women’s Health Week, the Kaldas Center is here to help! Give us a call or schedule an appointment at KaldasCenter.com for more tips on improving your health.