Mother’s Day kicks off the start of the 19th annual National Women’s Health Week
National Women’s Health Week is a time to educate women on the steps they can take towards good mental and physical health. The purpose is to bring awareness to preventable women’s health issues, and encourage women to seek preventive care to maintain their health. No matter your age, it’s never too late to embrace healthy habits and make changes to improve your well-being:
Visit your doctor for a well-woman visit (check-up). Regular visits with your physician can help you manage any current health issues, and help prevent new ones from occurring. Your doctor will also help you stay up-to-date with immunizations and recommended preventive screenings, such as those for breast cancer and cervical cancer.
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Reduce the amount of foods you eat containing saturated and trans fats, eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and avoid high sodium and high sugar snacks such as chips and cookies. Be sure to talk with your doctor to find out how much of essential vitamins and minerals – such as folate, calcium, and vitamin D – you should be getting each day based on your age and medical history.
Get active. Physical activity is as important as eating right, and women of all ages and abilities benefit from being more active. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity or exercise every day. You can work your way up to 30-minutes by breaking your activity into 10-minute increments, such as taking a 10-minute walk three times a day. Always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.
Pay attention to your mental health. Getting enough sleep and managing stress are important factors in managing your mental health. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night. If you experience stress that makes your feel overwhelmed or interferes with your ability to take care of yourself, talk with your doctor about ways you can reduce stress.
Avoid unhealthy behaviors. Behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking, texting while driving, and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet increase your risk of disease and injury.
UCR Health encourages all women to talk with their doctors about ways to stay healthy. If you haven’t had a regular check up with your physician or healthcare provider in the past year, make an appointment to discuss your health and any vaccines or preventive screenings recommended based on your age and health history.