It’s Women’s Health Week!
Did you know Sunday marked the start of Women’s Health Week? For one week every year, the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) sets out to encourage women of all ages to take steps to practice better health, and raise awareness of the health disparities facing women around the world. It’s no secret that women often put their friends, family, career, errands, etc., before themselves (it’s okay – we all do it) and let their health fall by the wayside in the process. But the truth is – taking time to prioritize your health can actually help you be more present for the people and activities that matter most. Not to mention, practicing healthy habits sets an example for the important women in your life to do the same.
In the spirit of a week dedicated to women’s health (which we LOVE), we’ve outlined some steps you can take, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to help you take your health into your own hands.
- Schedule Screenings and Checkups
Taking steps toward better health does not have to be a huge undertaking. In fact, you can start with a few small, attainable steps to get yourself there. A good place to start is to make sure you’re seeing the doctor when you need to. It sounds obvious, but wellness visits, screenings and vaccines often slip through the cracks in the calendar. Take the first step by marking your calendar several months in advance, when you know you’ll be needing an appointment for a vaccine or check-up. Conversely, if you notice any changes in your health, get into the habit of scheduling appointments reactively to get checked out. This will help your peace of mind, too!
- Get Moving and Eat Healthy
When it comes to health and wellness, a balanced diet and exercise are usually the first thing you’ll hear (easier said than done, of course!). It’s true, though – these two things can make a huge difference. Even small amounts of physical activity a day; 30 minutes of brisk walking for five days a week, in addition to muscle strengthening twice a week can help improve sleep and mental health and lower your risk for other health concerns.1 Small changes in diet will help immensely, too; incorporating greens and vitamin-rich foods like fruit, fish and chicken into your diet can help reduce swelling and inflammation, and improve menstrual cramps.2 Small steps will do the trick — you don’t need to drink green juice for every meal to improve your health!
- Don’t forget about your mental health
Finally, take a moment to check in on your mental health. Maybe you haven’t checked in with yourself recently, or taken the time to manage your stress – but this is the perfect moment to do so. While your physical health is important, mental health has a huge impact on your everyday life. If you find that your mental health has taken a backseat, or you’re experiencing overwhelming stress, depression or anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek help from a medical professional.
Will you take these steps?
Yes, they will take a little time out of your schedule, but these steps will also allow you to keep your health in check. You would be amazed by how much simpler and more enjoyable life becomes when you take time for YOU. Plus, it’s an opportunity to empower and bond with your girlfriends over a shared goal – being the best and healthiest version of yourselves.
Spread the word
Spread the word on social media this week by using the hashtag, #NWHW. You can also follow along with @ChangetheCycle as we share resources each week for women seeking below-the-belt health support. Your health deserves the time and energy you spend on the things and people you love in life – start creating healthy habits today to optimize your health at every age.